Why does everyone make fun of Lars?

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
No one made fun of Lars in the 80's.

If Metallica had only made 4 or 5 albums, then dropped of the face of the Earth, Lars would be highly regarded for all he accomplished on those legendary albums. His playing was pushing limits (at least in music people tended to listen to), and full of creative parts and some highly technical playing, particularly on And Justice for All.

When I was 18, there was hardly anyone who played like Lars. He was considered a top drummer of the era.

But then the 90's happened. And then the early 2000's. And as mentioned, Lars stopped practicing, and he was pretty open about how he didn't practice and didn't keep up. And not only did his playing stop improving, but live footage from the early 2000's shows his playing got worse. He could barely perform his own songs. And his attitude in the press didn't help.
So there were a lot of fans who used to worship the guy, or at least respect him, or who lost their respect for him.

I mean, who can respect a guy who says he doesn't practice, doesn't like to practice, and it shows in the live show? Not to mention, he stated simplifying his own parts in some of the older material.

Meanwhile, tons of drummers who grew up on Lars learned everything he did, and improved upon it, and then improved upon it some more.

And now you have so many drummers who weren't around when Lars was a thing in the 80's, who only became aware of him in the 2000's, who wonder, why the heck was this guy getting accolades for when the stuff on youtube isn't all that compared to "insert so-and-so" who is playing at a higher level.
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Seeing Metallica live in 88/89 was completely mind-blowing. It was beyond epic.

But I get it, if you weren't there, and only have seen the post-mid 90's Lars, then he seems like a bad joke.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I don't know if Metalica got worse, or that other entries into the genre got more interesting & divergent. I remembering hearing SpaceGrass in 95 and optimistically thinking that we were at the beginning of of a new era of slow-n-heavy... Little did I know.
Well, Metallica stopped pushing boundaries.

Meanwhile, as you correctly observed, other bands came along and pushed boundaries into different more divergent directions.
 

petrez

Senior Member
He was my biggest inspiration back in the 90's when I discovered them, his drive and what he added to their music, it just all clicked with me. Master is my all time favorite album, with Ride maybe a close second. I never quite got into Justice, didnt like the dry sound of it and it just became too many riffs, too complicated for my taste. I even like their 90's period, he played really tasty, groovy on the albums even though the music style changed. The last time I got remotely impressed by him was on the first S&M, he played to a click, yes, but still tasty and on point, in my opinion. From then on, it got messy. Too many needless fills, timing issues etc. Maybe I got better standards myself by that time, as I could play every Metallica song, note by note at that time, even improve parts (in my mind at least 😆), so the magic faded quickly. He still should be respected for his achievements, no doubt. I just no longer hold him as high as I once did. And I can't listen to newer live clips without thinking it could have been so much better with a drummer that actually cared about the music, not doing random unnecessary fills every other bar, with added random crashing. I don't bash on him though, as I still owe him, and Metallica, so much for my interest in metal today. I just don't want to see them live today, knowing how good they once were.

I can definately see how younger people without the knowledge and experience of "old" Metallica talks bad about his drumming abilities if they watch a recent live show, or even just hearing one of the last albums, which didn't impress me either. It's just the mismatch of seeing a drummer playing that mediocre, in front of the biggest audiences in the world.
 
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iCe

Senior Member
No one made fun of Lars in the 80's.

If Metallica had only made 4 or 5 albums, then dropped of the face of the Earth, Lars would be highly regarded for all he accomplished on those legendary albums. His playing was pushing limits (at least in music people tended to listen to), and full of creative parts and some highly technical playing, particularly on And Justice for All.

When I was 18, there was hardly anyone who played like Lars. He was considered a top drummer of the era.

But then the 90's happened. And then the early 2000's. And as mentioned, Lars stopped practicing, and he was pretty open about how he didn't practice and didn't keep up. And not only did his playing stop improving, but live footage from the early 2000's shows his playing got worse. He could barely perform his own songs. And his attitude in the press didn't help.
So there were a lot of fans who used to worship the guy, or at least respect him, or who lost their respect for him.

I mean, who can respect a guy who says he doesn't practice, doesn't like to practice, and it shows in the live show? Not to mention, he stated simplifying his own parts in some of the older material.

Meanwhile, tons of drummers who grew up on Lars learned everything he did, and improved upon it, and then improved upon it some more.

And now you have so many drummers who weren't around when Lars was a thing in the 80's, who only became aware of him in the 2000's, who wonder, why the heck was this guy getting accolades for when the stuff on youtube isn't all that compared to "insert so-and-so" who is playing at a higher level.
.
Seeing Metallica live in 88/89 was completely mind-blowing. It was beyond epic.

But I get it, if you weren't there, and only have seen the post-mid 90's Lars, then he seems like a bad joke.
That pretty much sums it up for me. A lot of friends of mine were into Metallica early 2000's and when i saw live vids i didn't get it. Sloppy timing, unnecessary fills etc. Until i saw them live in 2008 i noticed how tight he played. Haven't seen them live since but did get the Quebec Magnetic dvd a few years back and i really like that dvd! Solid playing as well. The thing I've accepted is that using a china as a distortion pedal instead of double bass playing is a ingenious way of cover up blasting double bass isn't what it used to be hehe

Having said; if i got the chance to switch places due to some weird space time continuum wormhole opening up i might jump into it. Because he does what a lot of drummers dream of doing; touring the world, making money with it, getting free gear etc. Well maybe i won't make those silly faces when playing, but i'm more of a 'Neil Peart conceal don't feel' type of drummers ;)
 

Trommelmonsterbvb

Active member
Trashtalking Lars is Pretty trendy. especially in the Instagram and Youtube years, where People Focus on Speed, fills and flashy… Lars was badass in the 80s. I think Cliffs Death has left a massive crack in how the Band itself viewed what they wanted to make. simply Keep doing what they where doing, was not possible afterwards. And then in late 90s when the Drama with Jason climaxed and James went away for Therapy it kinda happened all over again.
Also I do think most of Lars praise should be in the context of Songwriting, he Always had a big Impact and voice in Terms of Orchestration, Song structure and the likes. Metallica would not be them without Lars, in many more ways than "just" the drum Department.
 
Charlie has issues though. I saw the Slayer farewell tour and Charlie was unable to play. Gene Hoglan sat in with Anthrax.

However yes I agree age is just a number. Plenty of old fogies tearing it up still.
Yeah Charlie’s got some hand issues ( carpel tunnel) , going back like a decade , but can still kill it . Could be due to technique and playing hard over the years , but I know jazz players with perfect technique and form that have suffered with it in there 30’s also . Morgan Rose of Sevendust is another with a myriad of injuries due to playing style over the years that can still kill it behind the kit . Lars being 60 could be part of it after playing all these years but as someone else stated or alluded to , his heart just doesn’t seem to be in it for awhile now . But still gotta give him credit for his and the bands accomplishments over the years . I can’t tear down another drummer , it’s just not what I think drummers should do to fellow drummers , but I guess his personality and things he’s said and done over the years makes it easier and I can see where some are coming from .
 

Sebenza

Member
Yeah Charlie’s got some hand issues ( carpel tunnel) , going back like a decade , but can still kill it . Could be due to technique and playing hard over the years , but I know jazz players with perfect technique and form that have suffered with it in there 30’s also . Morgan Rose of Sevendust is another with a myriad of injuries due to playing style over the years that can still kill it behind the kit . Lars being 60 could be part of it after playing all these years but as someone else stated or alluded to , his heart just doesn’t seem to be in it for awhile now . But still gotta give him credit for his and the bands accomplishments over the years . I can’t tear down another drummer , it’s just not what I think drummers should do to fellow drummers , but I guess his personality and things he’s said and done over the years makes it easier and I can see where some are coming from .
Even Steve Smith has had issues with his left wrist and I think we can all agree his technique is certainly a notch above most.
 

jimb

Member
I always thght they were a poor Judas Priest cover band....and he's an interesting fellow is he? ... clearly I'm completely out of the loop....
 

BruceW

Senior Member
I've never been a big Metallica guy, their genre isn't my favorite, tho I appreciate the popular stuff. He's obviously a far better drummer than I will ever be. Pretty sure that Lars has brought this on himself tho...act like a jerk, win jerky prizes. Might not be fair, as he might very well have grown, maturity-wise since way back when. And he might not have. But fame ain't always "fair", either for or against. Sometimes you reap what you sow
 
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He's become sort of a meme / a sitting duck - it's jokes that people on the internet make because it's allowed to do so. Look at the youtube video of Coltrane's Giant Steps. Everybody is making fun of legendary pianist Tommy Flanagan. That tune is at about 300 bpm and has tricky changes and there were little or no rehearsals. I wonder how many of those wise guys would have done better in this recording session.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
He's become sort of a meme / a sitting duck - it's jokes that people on the internet make because it's allowed to do so. Look at the youtube video of Coltrane's Giant Steps. Everybody is making fun of legendary pianist Tommy Flanagan. That tune is at about 300 bpm and has tricky changes and there were little or no rehearsals. I wonder how many of those wise guys would have done better in this recording session.
That is akin to the Max Roach "Mr. Hi-Hat video" and all the snarky commentary. They have no idea just how amazing a player Max was.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
No denying his playing on the first few albums is strong, so he gets a lot of respect still from me and I don't understand the hate he gets from other drummers. He's achieved more than most people.

Metallica is more a big business now and he's an integral part to that.

Hats off to him.
 

PaisteGuy

Well-known member
No denying his playing on the first few albums is strong, so he gets a lot of respect still from me and I don't understand the hate he gets from other drummers. He's achieved more than most people.

Metallica is more a big business now and he's an integral part to that.

Hats off to him.
I’ll reiterate, his playing on the first four albums was decent for the songs, and he for the most part replicated them live as they were recorded. He had an unorthodox style as he followed James rhythm guitar. After over reaching in AJFA, which is a very good album, he dumbed down his style for the eponymous Black Album and in turn, simplified parts from songs from the first four live after 92’-93’. It’s one thing to slightly alter a fill to keep it interesting, but he changes them completely on songs that should warrant sticking to the original ie; the break downs for Creeping Death and Disposable Hero’s. He also adds fills where they don’t belong. His timing was never great but good enough, but got very sloppy in the 90’s. He used to be able to do double bass pretty well (not lightning speed, but fast enough) but let that skill deteriorate to the point where even simple 16th’s were sloppy and uneven.
Dave Lombardo once jokingly offered to give him drum lessons. Even Tommy Lee made fun of him with a meme titled ‘straight outta time’ a play on ‘Straight outta Compton’.
Had Lars put the time and effort in to just keep what he had in the mid to late 80’s and was more humble, I don’t think we’d see anywhere near the mocking and derision he gets. To his Credit he has tightened it up considerably in the last couple of years, so I’ll give him that.
 
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CommanderRoss

Silver Member
I've been a fan of them since Puppets & was head over heels in love with his ...Justice Tama Artstar II kit. Even went as far as painting the lugs & hoops of my white kit to match back in the day.
As for his playing, I was always enamored with how tight he was on ...Justice. The Black Album has a good amount of what I call "Power drumming" on it & I for one liked the ringy, open snare sound on Anger. I thought I read once that it happened by accident & they just kept going with it.
I might be wrong, but it sounds like how he'd handle it. "Just leave it. I don't want to play it again." - Lars probably.

He has gotten sloppy as he's aged as I imagine I have at 50. I know I can't play the same speed now like I did at 25 & wouldn't begin to try. He's in a genre where speed & accuracy is paramount. If you don't have it, fans will let you know.
Lars gets away with it simply because Metallica has been around for-e-ver & their fan base "gets it".
Like Rush: They aged & their fan base accepted the slower tempos of the songs they so loved.

His mouth however, is what separates the wheat from the chaff.

Arrogance & his Napster "I'm not rich enough" whining just sent the fans away. They just didn't care anymore, so he became the butt of jokes from here to Moscow. Yeah...they're Hall of Famers & will continue to do what they need to do to stay relevant. But in the meantime, he'll just have to embrace the suck & keep on going.
 
In his cover story in Drumhead magazine a few years back, Weckl actually admits he's had a huge variety of physical issues from playing drums.
I was shocked myself to read that.
That's surprising as he always going on about posture at the kit and looking after your mind, body, spirit etc, but I imagine it's unavoidable after year after year on tour and practising every day.
I doubt he'd still be touring if he had made millions being in a big band.
I get the impression he has quite a lot of dough, but is not super wealthy and needs to keep touring to bring the cash in.
Maybe it was the white hair and dark bags under his eyes, but I was quite surprised at his appearance over the past few years.
I imagine he's quite physically fit but is a perfectionist in every facet of his life, which can take its toll.
 
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