Metallica’s Lars Ulrich eats 20 pancakes a day
If there’s one thing you can say about Metallica, the band definitely knows how to take a punch.
The last time Metallica released a new LP was when it came out with 2011’s “Lulu” — a collaboration album with the late Lou Reed that earned the band some of the worst reviews and feedback of its entire 35-year career.
“Occasionally, for comic relief, I’ll scroll down to see what ludicrous thing someone has written,” drummer Lars Ulrich tells The Post of their haters. “Someone will say, ‘Those guys were better when they were f - - ked up,’ or, ‘Those guys haven’t been any good since before they started.’ It’s fine. It doesn’t make an impact.”
But this summer, they returned from their five-year absence with “Hardwired,” a crushing three-minute blast of metal that showed there was plenty of life in them yet. With the multimillion-selling San Franciscans set to play the Global Citizen Festival on Saturday in Central Park, and an 11th album, “Hardwired . . . To Self-Destruct,” coming in November, Ulrich explains his hopes for the band, his desire to rock with Kendrick Lamar and the superfood that keeps him drumming like a demon.
Why did you want to play the Global Citizen Festival?
The festival has been on our radar for a few years. I was watching [Stephen] Colbert last year and Hugh Evans [co-founder of Global Poverty Project] came out. I was super-impressed at how passionate and personable he is. Not to rank do-gooders, but sometimes you wonder if there’s an ulterior motive. But he has an earnestness that is very infectious. And there’s a politically neutral tone to what he does.
You’re on the bill with Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Major Lazer and Demi Lovato. Whom would you most like to collaborate with?
I have nothing but respect for all those artists. But if Kendrick wanted to come up and freestyle over some Metallica riffs, I would love that. How awesome would that be?!
The response to new single “Hardwired” has been pretty positive. Do you think fans are going to feel similarly about the album “Hardwired . . . To Self-Destruct”?
The response in the inner circle to our album has been very positive, beyond what we expected. But 2016 is like the Wild West in music. What happens when you put out an album is anyone’s guess. We have access to all information, and the iPhone 7 will get it to us faster than last week’s iPhone. But the downside is that everyone’s got an attention span of about nine seconds, and then it’s on to the next thing. So who knows how this album will connect?
Lyrically, “Hardwired” has a very pointed sense of impending doom to it. Is that the theme of the album?
We don’t write to be topical, but there are a lot of songs that have conflict, questions, vulnerabilities, uncertainties. There’s lots of stuff for people to relate to. I haven’t quite wrapped my head around that yet, but James’ [Hetfield, Metallica’s singer-guitarist] best lyrics are usually the ones that are more ambiguous.
Drumming in Metallica can’t be easy at the age of 52. What are you doing to keep up the pace?
Well, I go running pretty much every day for 30 to 45 minutes. That’s an expected one. But a significant part of my diet are these oat pancakes that I eat. They’re made of egg whites, oats, fat-free yogurt and a little Stevia. That’s my carbs. It’s a recipe that comes from the French nutritionist Pierre Dukan. I eat about 20 of them a day — I’m never more than 6 feet away from a pancake at any time! It’s the fuel to the drumming in Metallica.