Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich spoke in an interview with 92Y in New York City and explained what would Metallica be like if Cliff Burton was still in the band. He said:
“I think that there would have been an evolution if Cliff was still in Metallica. And, obviously, I believe very much that it’s the sum of the parts, the band.
So if Cliff was still in the band, something else would have happened and those records would have some sort of different feel to them.
It’s the same thing as saying, ‘What if Jason Newsted was still around now? What would [Metallica’s latest album] ‘Hardwired… [To Self-Destruct]’ sound like?’ You know what I mean? It’s great stuff, but I’m not the guy that can give you definitive answers.
I think that, like with everything, Cliff was incredibly, incredibly opinionated and was actually quite inspiring to both James [Hetfield, Metallica frontman] and I, because at that time, it was so much about a gang and a kind of collective, and then Cliff would just go… he would use the word ‘I’ a lot more and we would use the word ‘we’.
And so he was just very, sort of like, what he liked, what he didn’t like. But he also rolled along with and understood that there was a part of Metallica that…
Maybe he liked ‘Orion’ better than he liked something else. Do you know what I mean? I think that’s totally fine. Being in a collective, being in a group, being in a gang, it means you have to compromise. If not, then go be a solo artist.”
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