This week, Metallica singer-guitarist James Hetfield said that Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich "never rehearsed" for the metal band's concerts until just a few years ago, adding that rehearsing is what the drummer "needs to do."

The Metallica frontman made the remarks on the band's own podcast The Metallica Report Wednesday (Oct. 11), as he and other Metallica members recapped the band's experience playing the inaugural Power Trip festival in Southern California on Sunday (Oct. 8).

Hear the full podcast near the bottom of this post.

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"An interesting fact — Lars never rehearsed ever until, I don't know, I'd say maybe four or five years ago he started really getting into rehearsing" Hetfield says, as Blabbermouth pointed out.

The rocker reveals, "Now, he'll rehearse four days for a two-hour set, which is what he needs to do, which is awesome."

Metallica Power Trip Rehearsals

On the podcast, Hetfield said Metallica acquired their own rehearsal space by the Power Trip site in Indio, California, to prepare for the event in the days preceding it, rather than schedule full-band rehearsals at Metallica's main headquarters in San Rafael, California.

Hetfield explains, "There was gonna be rehearsals down at HQ for a couple days beforehand. And I said, 'I'm not gonna show up, guys. I would love it if we could find a rehearsal place [closer to the festival] because I'd love to see all these other bands.''

Metallica perform onstage
Jeff Yeager, Getty Images

The singer continues, "We found a place over here in the polo grounds to rehearse. And I'm grateful that Lars was up for it. So they did their rehearsals down there, and then we came up and we have rehearsals [on the festival ground] and get to watch these bands."

He adds, "It's so frickin' cool to have your own compound at a festival for all the days of the festival… We show up, go rehearse and then go out there and watch Iron Maiden. I mean — how cool is that?"

Below, find a list of rockers who have defended Ulrich over the years. The drummer often faces criticism for his drumming due to perceived technical limitations and inconsistencies, with critics frequently pointing to his basic drumming style and occasional timing issues.

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The Metallica Report - Oct. 11, 2023

Rockers Who Have Defended Lars Ulrich

Why does Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich need defending? It seems almost bizarre that the question even has to be asked. But as dyed-in-the-wool Metallica fans know, a certain subset of metal listeners seem intent on consistently criticizing his drumming skills. Still, Ulrich has had several fellow musicians who have come to his defense, including other drummers. Below, see what they had to say about it.

Gallery Credit: Philip Trapp

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