Lars Ulrich is an American-Danish musician and one of the founding members of the famous heavy metal band ‘Metallica’. Although Ulrich belonged to a well bred family of sports players and his father was a professional tennis player, but he chose the life of a musician even though he was encouraged from his father to take up tennis seriously since he was a young boy. His love for metal music and drumming formed for the first time at the age of 10 when his father took him to his first concert to watch the live performance of ‘Deep Purple’. Ulrich was so moved by the music that he got his first drumset shortly afterwards and started pursuing music. It was when he moved to Los Angeles with his family that he was able to jam with other heavy mental musicians, in the course of which he met James Hetfield and formed the world famous heavy metal band ‘Metallica’. He has been since playing drums for the band for over two decades now and manages his own record label ‘Music Company’ side by side. Ulrich is the first Danish musician ever to be induced in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Childhood & Early Life
Lars Ulrich was born in Gentofte, Denmark to Torben Ulrich who was a professional tennis player and encouraged Ulrich to play the game. His grandfather Dexter Gordon was a saxophonist.
Thinking of following his father’s footsteps, Ulrich almost prepared himself mentally to become a tennis player one day. At the age of 10, he went to a ‘Deep Purple’ concert with his father and later got himself a drumset.
When he was 16 years old, Ulrich and his family moved to Los Angeles. There he started working on his passion for music and sent out an ad in the newspaper saying, ‘looking for metal musicians to jam with’.
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After 16 year old Ulrich sent out the ad for jamming with metal musicians, James Hetfield got in touch with him and five months later ‘Metallica’ was formed. In 1983, the band released its first album ‘Kill ‘Em All’.
The band’s next album ‘Ride the Lightning’ was released in the following year and it started to gain some underground popularity but it was their third album ‘Master of Puppets’ in 1986 which made them commercially famous.
During the touring for ‘Master of Puppets’, the band had an accident in which they lost their bassist but the band continued to make music and released ‘…And Justice for All’ in 1988, to smash the Billboard’s Top 10.
Throughout the nineties, Ulrich was involved with the making of music with his band and released albums like, ‘Metallica (1991)’, ‘Load (1996)’, ‘Reload (1997)’, and ‘Garage Inc. (1998)’. All of these albums contributed to the success of Metallica.
In the late 1990s, he formed his own record label, ‘Music Company’ while he was still busy drumming for Metallica and in the following years he began to show his anger against file sharing and the band sued ‘Napster’.
During the course of releasing ‘St. Anger (2003)’, and ‘Death Magnet (2008)’, Ulrich did a cameo in the movie ‘Get Him to Greek (2008)’ along with the famous English actor Russell Brand.
In the year 2012, Ulrich did a role in ‘Hemingway & Gellhorn’, HBO movie and also in the same year ‘Mission to Lars’ was released. It was a documentary on how a disabled man manages to meet Metallica.
Ulrich’s most prominent work in his lifetime has been the founding of Metallica and playing drums for the band for two decades. All his recognition as a musician has come with the popularity of his heavy metal American band.
Personal Life & Legacy
Ulrich has been married twice - his first marriage was with Debbie Jones, an English woman whom he met on one of his tours in 1988. The marriage only worked for two years as Ulrich was always busy with Metallica.
He got married for the second time to a physician, Skylar Satenstein in 1997 but got divorced from her in 2004. The couple has two children together, Miles and Layne. Miles is a drummer for the band ‘My Missing Half’.
He dated Danish Actress Connie Nielsen from 2004-2012 and has two children with her - Bryce Thadeus Ulrich-Nielsen and Sebastian.
He was inducted in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 with his band Metallica and he was the first Danish musician to feature in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
When he was young, Ulrich was very interested in British heavy metal band ‘Diamond Head’ and travelled from San Francisco to London to see their live performance.