Metallica (Very) Briefly Considered Making Lars Ulrich Frontman
It's hard to imagine Metallica with anyone other than James Hetfield behind the mic. But according to the band's original manager, an early crisis of confidence could have scrambled the lineup considerably.
Jon Zazula, who founded Megaforce Records to get Metallica's music in stores after hearing the band's No Life 'Til Leather demo, recalled in a recent interview that before Hetfield grew into the frontman we know and love today, he had trouble adjusting to the spotlight.
According to Zazula, he and drummer Lars Ulrich briefly considered having Ulrich himself take over vocal duties. "Lars and I planned a lot of stuff. But James wasn't the most confident of singers. I don't think he felt comfortable," said Zazula. "At one point there was even talk of Lars becoming the frontman. For about five seconds."
Hetfield hinted at those early difficulties in a 2014 video interview, looking back on his struggles with confidence and saying, "I’ve been afraid of responsibility my whole life, not wanting to take responsibility for myself. ... I was afraid of responsibility. Afraid of failure, maybe. Afraid I didn’t know what I was really doing."
Thankfully for the band's future fans, cooler heads quickly prevailed and Hetfield learned to embrace his vocal responsibilities, while Ulrich remained behind the kit to become one of metal's most successful (albeit occasionally made fun of) drummers. It seems pretty obvious at this point that everyone ended up where they were supposed to be, but if you just can't shake the notion of Lars as Metallica's singer, take a look at this fan-shot footage of him taking the mic for a live cover of Diamond Head's "Am I Evil?"
Watch Metallica Perform 'Am I Evil?'
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