METALLICA’s LARS ULRICH Embraces His Danish Roots
Speaking about his Danish upbringing and how it has shaped who he is, Ulrich said: “As the world spins out of control here in many ways, I feel more and more Danish and kind of embrace my Danish roots. I love America; I love living in America. It’s been an incredible 30-[plus] years, close to 40 years now [since I moved to the U.S.], but the Danishness in me still flourishes, and I’m very proud and happy about that side.
“People [ask me], ‘Oh, you’re gonna move back [to Denmark]?’ I’m, like, ‘I’m very happy,'” he continued. “I’m very happy [living] in San Francisco. I love the Bay Area mentality and the creative energies that flow through all the different things — even tech here, obviously, where people are inventing the future. But I’m really more and more, I think, understanding and appreciative and understand what role my upbringing and the culture and the history and the Danish worldview plays in continuously shaping who I am.”
While still living in Denmark as a teenager, Ulrich played tennis professionally and could have gone on to a career as a tennis star, but chose music instead.
METALLICA was formed when Ulrich, who had moved to Los Angeles, placed an ad in a local paper called the Recycler looking for other musicians to play with. The ad was answered by guitarists James Hetfield and Hugh Tanner of the band LEATHER CHARM.
METALLICA officially formed in October 1981 and the band’s first recording was “Hit The Lights” for the compilation “Metal Massacre”.
Bay Area DJ Ron Quintana came up with the group’s name: he was debating between using “Metallica” and “Metal Mania” for the name of his radio show and Ulrich encouraged him to use “Metal Mania” so that he could use “Metallica” for his new band.
METALLICA‘s first full lineup — featuring Hetfield, Ulrich, guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist Ron McGovney — played its first gig on March 14, 1982 at Radio City in Anaheim, California.