As heavy metal's most enduring acts enjoy sustained success, the question of "Who will be the next Metallica?" repeatedly pops up as fans wonder if they'll ever see another metal act dominate on the global stage like the thrash vets have. While Metallica's Robert Trujillo told us bands like Avenged Sevenfold and Gojira may be in line to carry the torch, drummer Lars Ulrich appears less certain about the future of music.

When asked about being a film buff, Ulrich told Noisey, "When I enter the film world, that's when I turn my brain off. Music is not terribly inspiring anymore unfortunately." Elaborating, he continued, "In the world of film, there are still more creative things happening — it's more intriguing. Film is definitely my favorite escape. These things [gestures to his smartphone] have a tendency to disrupt your life if you let them, so I guess seeing films is the most immediate disassociation from this damn thing."

Comparing the modern era with the past, the drummer offered, "Ten years ago or 30 years ago, it was different. Like, 'Oh my god Guns N' Roses, oh my God who are these Nirvana guys! Oasis!' You were hearing about it and you wanted to meet them." Explaining how this feeling is no longer pervasive, Ulrich went on, "Nowadays, there aren't any bands that have had that impact on me. The last time where I was like, 'Holy f--k! This really inspires me,' was this band called Sword, from Austin, Texas. Stoner rock, kind of a modern Black Sabbath. Super cool. They showed up seven or eight years ago, and I just had to bring these guys on tour."

Ulrich also mentioned Norway's Kvelertak, but stated, "These bands are few and far between nowadays. This is not a black and white statement. I know more about film than I do about music because I follow it more." Remaining open to new bands, Ulrich assured, "That doesn't mean if something awesome came and slapped me in the face then I wouldn't embrace it, it just shows up less and less."

These thoughts echo sentiments recently expressed by Nine Inch Nails mainman Trent Reznor, who condemned social media's effect on music when speaking with Yahoo, calling it a "toxic environment for artists" that "led to some very safe music." “I don’t see any Princes emerging on the scene today," he continued. "I see a lot of people making formulaic, made to please, vegan restaurant patron-type s–t. And I think it creates an environment where people are too f–kin’ worried about what other people have to say. And people who have never made anything think it’s OK to talk s–t about stuff they have no right to talk about. You got a Facebook account? Nobody gives a f–k. You haven’t achieved anything.”

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