Former Dream Theater drummer, Mike Portnoy, is one of the most respected and acclaimed drummers in the world, no doubt. And he says he’s a huge Lars Ulrich fan.

Mike Portnoy spoke in a recent interview with Australia’s “The Void” and defended Lars Ulrich about his drummer skills. He said (transcriped by Blabbermouth):

He’s one of my heroes, I’ll defend him to the end. I’ll tell you what: you don’t have to be a great drummer to be the most important guy in the band. And that’s what I learned from him.

First of all, I do love Lars’s drumming. But as far as I’m concerned, you don’t have to be a great drummer to be somebody that’s important.

Some of my heroes are guys like Lars, or Peter Criss [KISS], who takes the heat for a lot of stuff, or Ringo Starr The Beatles], who takes the heat. These guys are my heroes…

Those guys are all very important to their bands. Lars Ulrich, obviously — he’s the leader of Metallica, and he showed me those leadership qualities.

Ringo Starr and Peter Criss, those guys were so important to the bands’ chemistry; they were important personalities in those bands.”

Click here to entire interview on Youtube.