Churning out their own brand of iconic metal for 30 years now, Metallica may be one of the most influential bands in the world, but according to drummer Lars Ulrich, “I don’t think Metallica would be where Metallica is today if it wasn’t for Iron Maiden.”

In a recent interview with Rhythm Magazine, Ulrich opened up about how much of an influence Maiden was on the band in their early days, as well as the future of Metallica.

Ulrich cites Maiden as not only paving the way but for “just inspiring [him] to start a band in 1981.” So for that I guess we all owe Maiden our gratitude! Metallica covered the Maiden tune ‘Run to the Hills’ on their 1986 'Garage Days' EP and Ulrich thinks some people may have taken it the wrong way, saying, “There may have been a couple of people who thought that we were taking the piss but obviously it was meant as a tribute in our own perverse Metallica way.”

He also shared a memory of going out to see Maiden around July of 1988 at the Meadowlands in New Jersey “as lubed up as possible” and having Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain hand him the sticks for the encore right before the band was set to play ‘Run to the Hills.’ According to Ulrich, “The whole thing was a complete clusterf--- and I don't even think we got through the first verse.”

On talking shop with McBrain, Ulrich said that he’s not really that kind of guy, he’s “more interested in how they function as people than how they tune their snare drums.” He continues to say, “Being around creative people is inspiring to me and I love to try to understand what their inspirations are.”

As for the future of Metallica, they’ll wrap up this year with their 30th anniversary shows in San Francisco in December and then, according to Ulrich, “back to the writing songs and making another record thing.”

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