In an interview with Revolver, drummer Mike Portnoy talked about Metallica’s Lars Ulrich.
“Around 1983, I heard Metallica’s ‘Kill ‘Em All’, and Lars Ulrich turned my world upside down. I can’t state enough how much of an impact he had on me. And, you know, he takes a beating in the drum world. A lot of drummers like to talk smack about him, but I disagree.
“I think Lars is so tremendously important to the drum world. He was the type of drummer that I admired, that was like the leader of his band; you could tell he was behind the songwriting, and the producing, and the merchandise, and all that stuff.
“And the way he led Metallica, and still does to this day – was something that had a huge huge impact on me. When I was coming up with Dream Theater, I wanted to be that type of drummer, that [is] hands-on with everything and had control over what you were doing.
“His drumming was groundbreaking. The drumming on ‘Kill ‘Em All’ and ‘Ride the Lightning’ and ‘Master Of Puppets’, ‘…and Justice For All’, the drumming on those albums had a huge huge impact on me and still does to this day. And I can’t state how important he is to drumming and the metal world in general.”