During a recent conversation with Maxim, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich was asked to single out his favorite Metallica album cover.
“I’m not much for favorites. I guess speaking about what we were just talking about, the [1996’s] ‘Load’ and [1997’s] ‘Reload’ albums with the amazing pieces by Andres Serrano, they will always hold a special place in my heart.
“I love him as an artist. I love the imagery. I love the fact that we saw Serrano through as the cover art for those two records. Those are probably my two favorites.”
Serrano is great. There’s also such a cool legacy of Metallica t-shirt designs. Which of those have stood the test of time for you?
“We did a lot of things with the artist named Pushead. A lot of the ones that he did for us in the late ’80s and early ’90s, I think, are iconic.
“The way that he interpreted the songs, the lyrics, and then drew these incredible images. Most of them were based around what we’d call the ‘Damage.’ Like the Pushead skull that he introduced in 1986.
“There was something very iconic about all that, and I think probably looking at all the t-shirts that we’ve done, those are the ones that still stand out to me when I look at all the different things we’ve done for the last 30-plus years.”
What are some of the best movies you’ve seen this year?
“I saw Julian Schnabel’s new film, ‘At Eternity’s Gate,’ which I thought was amazing. It’s about Vincent Van Gogh, the painter, and Willem Defoe plays Van Gogh. It’s absolutely amazing.
“Then there’s this film called ‘The Favourite.’ It’s with Emma Stone and a few others. Then there’s this Polish film, which is by the director who won the Academy Award for Foreign Film about five years ago for a film called ‘Ida,’ his new film is called ‘Cold War.’
“Oh, and this amazing film called ‘Free Solo.’ I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of this, but these are guys that climb without ropes.”
Yes, I’ve heard of it. It’s totally insane.
“Yeah. Basically, it’s like a vertical granite wall in Yosemite, I think it’s 3,000 feet [915m] tall, without a rope or without safety harnesses or anything. Talk about the mindfuck of all mindfucks.
“It’s just unbelievable compared to any action film you see or anything, and this is real. He’s climbing without ropes and just straight up. You’re just sitting thrsere with sweaty palms and an accelerated heartbeat and wondering how this is all going to play out. I would encourage anybody to see it. It’s the best action film of the year by far.”