This year's presidential race and general political climate was one for the ages, and got a lot of people involved in the conversation that normally weren't a part of it. Metallica was also writing its new album when all of this was going on, so it stands to reason that the pressing political situation came up at least once, right? Nope.
According to Lars Ulrich in an interview with Vulture, he and James Hetfield never talk politics, and Lars doesn't really see the point in doing so.
I swear to you, I talk to James Hetfield about most things on this planet, but I don’t think I’ve ever willfully had a political conversation with him. We’ve spent 35 years together, and obviously we’ve been in the same room when the conversation went toward politics, but James and I sitting down in a room and discussing our particular views on something like affordable health care? Never happened.
Lars also explained why Metallica never really took a political stance:
"The thing you’ve got to understand is that Metallica is made up of four people from four different places who took four very different paths to where we are now. The one thing that unites us is the love of the music that we’re playing and that all four of us felt like outsiders trying to figure out who the hell we were. We didn’t come together because we were questioning this in the culture or that about politics. We came together because we were all a little lost and trying to get a sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves. I’ll sit and talk politics with you all night, but I don’t necessarily feel the need to do it in an interview. Metallica is a collective, but we’ve just never been the kind of band to sit down and say, “Okay, what’s our common view of the world?”
I agree with Lars on this. If you're playing in a band that doesn't have an overtly political message, and you get along with the dudes in your band, then why try to bring up other topics? I'm not saying it should be completely barred from conversation, but I understand where Lars is coming from.
Asked to share his personal political views, Lars carefully explains:
I grew up in a functioning social democracy. I grew up on affordable health care in a country where the word “we” is more popular than the word “I.” So trust me I have my opinions about this stuff, but I don’t really need to shout it from the rooftops. Maybe one day I will, and there are times when it’s difficult not to. I’m stunned about how truth and facts have become obsolete, and how if someone sees something they don’t like, they just say “the media made that up.” But I get plenty of shouting done about this stuff in my personal life.
Lars, surely, can look forward to being called a cuck for many years to come.