Re: Lars Ulrich
I'm not a big fan of Lars's playing--too much open hi hat and weird tom stuff for my taste--but I think he's best when he plays simply for the song--"Enter Sandman" is one example. Regarding his use of Gretsch drums, he admitted to as much in a Modern Drummer interview a while back. He said something like he loves Tama drums and has a great relationship with Tama, but prefers to record with a Gretsch kick drum now and then. In fact, there are a lot of drummers who don't record with the drums they endorse and play live. I suspect it has something to do with pressure from producers and engineers who can get the sounds they want from certain drum brands, Gretsch in particular. Let's face it, you can't see a bass drum logo on a record.
Oh, I also despise the snare sound on "St. Anger"--truly awful!