Lars Ulrich (Gentofte, December 26, 1963) is a Danish musician known mainly for being the drummer, composer, founder and leader (along with James Hetfield) of the American thrash metal band Metallica.
He was born on December 26, 1963 in Gentofte (Denmark), into an upper-middle class family. A tennis prodigy in his youth, Ulrich moved to Los Angeles, California at the age of sixteen to further his education, but instead of continuing to play tennis, he decided to pursue drumming. After placing an ad in a local Los Angeles newspaper, The Recycler, he met James Hetfield.
His playing is very varied, ranging from the easy rock rhythms of Metallica's album (The Black Album), to the complex and fast parts in many of the songs of the heavier Metallica albums, such as Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning or ...And Justice for All.
Son of professional tennis player Torben Ulrich, he already in his early years traveled around the world for his family's dedication to tennis. He acquired a taste for music from his father: Torben Ulrich's passion, apart from the tennis courts, was avant-garde music, which he passed on to his son, from the jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman to Jimi Hendrix.
In February 1973, at the age of nine, Lars attended his first Deep Purple concert in Copenhagen. This turning point greatly influenced his taste for heavy music. But his father wanted him to follow his path: tennis, for which his education was focused on that sport, becoming one of the best tennis players in Denmark in youth categories, located at times between position 10 and 15 in the ranking, which which was promising for a career of this type, however, music was too strong a passion. In his games he imagined himself as a drummer pounding cardboard boxes with sticks as a drum kit imitating his idols John Bonham from Led Zeppelin, Ian Paice from Deep Purple and Roger Taylor from Queen.
In 1976, "after begging her grandmother 50,000 times on his knees", he received a battery as a gift from her. It was his first battery. Lars immediately wanted to play with a band, but his father advised him to be patient: “Try to take lessons on the instrument first”, to which Lars replied: “I can learn in 10 days. I have always lived for this."
Lars Ulrich immersed himself in listening to New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) groups, such as Iron Maiden, Diamond Head, Motörhead and Black Sabbath, Fist -his favorites-, among others.
In 1979 his father enrolled him in a famous tennis academy in Florida (USA), which he considered his “tennis prison”. The following year his entire family moved from Denmark to New Port Beach in Los Angeles. There his passion for heavy metal became manifest.
The vital contradiction between being a professional tennis player or dedicating oneself to music was a constant unknown. When he traveled to Europe he was reacquainted with the music of his favourite, Diamond Head, and even stayed with the band for a while, and in Denmark he met local heavy metal groups. When he returned to Los Angeles he had decided his destiny: music.
In those days he met the guitarist of the group Anvil Chorus, Kurdt Vanderhoof, from San Francisco, who urged him to join his band, but Lars wanted to stay in Los Angeles.
Ulrich created The Music Company label in 1998, distributed by Elektra, in which the Canadians DDT have signed; the Goudie Texans; Systematic of Oakland, California and Brand New Immortals, among others.
Of the presentations without Metallica that he has made, one with Kirk Hammett and Kid Rock on Jay Leno's Tonight's Show and the Grand Slam Jam event, tennis tournament and concert in which Ulrich played doubles with John McEnroe against