Specifically, he was asked about his experience partaking in the Taylor Hawkins tribute show that took place this past September. While Lars talks about how he was totally on board to take part in the show, he also mentions how, to a degree, he feels uncomfortable straying outside of Metallica. Per Ulrich (all quotes transcribed by Blabbermouth):
“Straying outside of the Metallica world is not the most comfortable thing for me. I think a big part of why we just love staying inside the Metallica universe is because there’s that safety in numbers, and we just support each other and have that thing. But playing with Grohl and the other three Foo Fighter guys, and then at Wembley we did, with Brian Johnson, the AC/DC singer, we did an AC/DC set, and it was so much fucking fun to play.”
At one point during their conversation, Howard Stern says there’s a “special kind of energy” when musicians of different backgrounds perform together. In response to this, Ulrich talks about music from other bands he has covered, but he does mention the one band that would give him a run for his money: Rush. Specifically, the Metallica drummer does not think he is that qualified to play Rush’s music.
“For me, and I use the word ‘wheelhouse’ a lot, playing those AC/DC songs is right in my wheelhouse. If they had said — I mean, I love Rush — [but] If they had said, ‘Come up and play ‘2112’ with Alex [Lifeson] and Geddy [Lee], I’d go, ‘I think there’s somebody more qualified to do that than me.’ But playing those AC/DC songs with the four Foo Fighters guys and Brian was just a fucking next-level magical experience. And then in L.A., a couple of weeks later, we did a Black Sabbath medley with Geezer Butler, O.G. bass player and absolutely one of the geniuses of the early days of hard rock and metal, we did a couple of Black Sabbath songs. So it was great fun to go do that.”
Stern then presses Lars and asks if he really could play Rush’s music if need be. This is what Lars says:
“Could I do it? Obviously, playing with Alex and Geddy would be incredible. Some of the guys, Chad Smith played and Dave played a couple of songs [with Geddy and Alex]. It would be an uphill thing. It would take a lot of rehearsal, a lot of prep. ‘2112’ would probably be too much of a bite of the apple for me. But in terms of just feeling comfortable, and kind of doing the thing that exists sort of where I am, that AC/DC stuff is right in my fucking pocket. And I love that so much.”
Could you imagine Lars Ulrich of Metallica playing drums on Rush songs?