Metallica’s Lars Ulrich feels “completely…intimidated” by the thought of playing with orchestra

ABC/Randy HolmesMetallica may be the biggest metal group in the world, but some things still make them nervous. For example, drummer Lars Ulrich says he's "completely...intimidated" to be playing alongside the San Francisco Symphony for the band's upcoming orchestra-accompanied shows.

“We do what we do and some even accuse us of being semi-good at it. And that's sort of our niche," Ulrich tells The Mercury News. "But I believe that any musician will always have a tremendous amount of respect and humility around other players and other people who excel at their particular niche or particular craft."

"I take it very seriously that I am, for better or worse, the anchor of the whole thing," he adds of the performance. "And you just want to be on top of your game and really focused."

The shows, taking place Friday, September 6 and Sunday, September 8, will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Metallica's symphony-accompanied 1999 live album S&M, as well as the opening of SF's new Chase Center arena.

Ulrich says that the upcoming performances will nod to the original S&M concerts while also reflecting the current state of Metallica.

"It's a new group of people. It's a new building. [Bassist] Robert Trujillo wasn't involved 20 years ago," Ulrich explains. "I like that [this production] extends a respectful nod to what it's been in the past. But, at the same time, it's an opportunity for new discoveries."

"I think that is the Metallica spirit," he adds. "Continuing this sort of quest forward, rather than being tied down to the past."

The shows will be recorded for a new concert film titled S&M2, which will screen in theaters for one night only October 9. For ticket info, visit

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