‘I’m More Important Than Metallica’: The Infamous Meeting Where Lars Ulrich + James Hetfield Ripped Into Each Other

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During the time that the band were creating their album St. Anger, there was some real tension between Metallica members Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield. In fact, during one of the band’s meeting – which was caught on video – the two members ripped into each other something fierce.

Via the 2003 Metallica documentary Some Kind Of Monster, you will find footage of this infamous fight (you will also find part of this footage below). For context, per an older Metal Hammer article, James returned to Metallica after attending rehab, and in this meeting, spoke to some demands of his. Per the footage below, it looks like that James wants to make sure he has personal time for him and his family, and to not be entirely consumed by work. Lars, James, and Kirk Hammett are all present – along with a couple other individuals – discussing the timeframe in which the band shows up to work on music.

But right away, you can see that Ulrich is real frustrated with James (and vice versa). At one point, Lars speaks to James showing up for work on time (and that of everyone arriving at certain times), to which Hetfield says, “That’s so funny coming from you, really is, but thanks… I’ve never heard him say that in 20 years – ‘Sorry I’m late.”’

Kirk then interjects and says, pointing to Ulrich and Hetfield, “You guys have issues; you guys have a long list of issues that you guys need to go through. Seems to me like there’s a lot of history that you guys need to work out.”

Later, Lars makes claims that James does not care about other people’s points of views or how they feel. At another point, James says, “I’m more important than Metallica, and I’m tired of the other way around happening.”

Lars then asks, “Why does it have to be either or?” Then a conversation comes up regarding making time for family and work; Lars makes a point to say if it’s possible to live life with both work and family being important, to which Hetfield ends up making a crude comment saying how, when he sees Lars working for eight hour days, he thinks the drummer doesn’t care about his family.

This meeting is full of awkward and rough moments, with James and Lars just throwing insults and comments back at each other. For a more intimate look into this meeting, check out the video below.