[With a D.I.Y. sound] There wasn’t much, “Oh, I have to master my instrument and I have to sit there and learn how to play quadruple paradiddles upside down for six hours.” It wasn’t until a few years later, about which we spoke openly, that we did [Ulrich and the guitarist Kirk Hammett] were like, “Maybe we should improve our skills.” I started taking drum lessons after we released our first record. Kirk started taking lessons.
Be in a band [might] Be more like filmmaking because filmmaking is a collective endeavor. We’re in a garage band, but at some point, if you really really want to do it, you have to be disciplined – if nothing else, out of respect for everyone else you’re on this team with.
SCOTT Movies are collaborative, yes, but they’re usually a one-off thing. The idea of filmmaking, at least as it has been practiced for the last 50 or 70 years, is that there is a man whose vision it is and whom everyone else serves.
ULRICH [With a band] You have to learn from what you’ve done, the good things and not the good things. We’re all in our 50s and we’re just setting a new record. We’re much better songwriters than we were 30 years ago, but once you understand the craft, options will weigh you down.
So often when we do interviews, people ask, “In 1987 you said that. When that happened in 1995 why did you do it? What did you mean? “It’s 25 years later, I can’t tell you because my version changes over time. I can’t listen to any of our recordings without thinking about where we were when we recorded them how the studio looked and how we drove to the studio every day.
But it’s also fun sometimes to throw that back into the things that can be appreciated. Pick something random [Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”]: You watch this movie and it’s amazing and you say, “OK, what did it do three hours after it was recorded? Did he rewrite the scene the next day? Was there anything that day that made him say something different? [Leonardo] DiCaprio about this character? “That’s what I was talking about earlier when I got into the minds of people who really turn you on.