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‘That Metal Show’ Recap: Lars Ulrich + Robb Flynn Kick Off Season 10

Ethan Miller / Mark Metcalfe, Getty Images

Has it really been 10 seasons of VH1 Classic’s ‘That Metal Show?’ Yes, it has. Season 10 kicked off last night (March 31) with Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich and Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn as the guests on the gab fest. So one might say it was a Bay Area-centric episode. Ain’t nothing wrong with that, as its one of the most metallic and fertile regions of the U.S.

Ulrich, who last appeared on Season 8, immediately engaged in the discussion about whether or not Pantera can be considered thrash. His take was that the band could be considered such in the early days.

Co-host and comedian Don Jamieson shared an intimate story about how the last time that Ulrich appeared on the show, they went out for drinks after. While they were consuming some high-end libations, the conversations are still the same as if this was 1980 and they were chugging PBR, with Ulrich cranking Saxon songs on his iPod.

Ulrich addressed the failed ‘Lulu’ album with Lou Reed (“I was surprised there were not more open minds, but it was not a popularity contest and it was not for everybody”) and pointed out that that type of creative freedom keeps Metallica as a unit alive. He also said that they could not say no to a legend like Reed, who was certainly jarred by the criticism levied at the music.

This summer’s first-ever Orion Music + More Festival was also a hot topic, with Ulrich saying that they were inspired by what they saw when they played the annual Bonnaroo. ‘Tallica had been kicking the idea around for a few years, but starting your own fest “is not super easy to do.” It’s meant to mimic the experience of European fests, which find fans camping out and immersed in other facets of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.

He also joked that playing ‘Escape’ from ‘Ride the Lightning’ is something that frontman James Hetfield has been running away from for 25 years. But it’s caught him, since they are performing the album in full one of the nights of the fest. The one song that has Lars running for cover? ‘Don’t Tread on Me,’ which he said he was arbitrarily practicing and asked himself, ‘What were we thinking?’

The skins smasher also revealed that the upcoming Metallica movie project will be a film built around a concert experience and expect it in 2013.

Machine Head’s Robb Flynn spoke about how his band, which enjoyed a touring stint with Metallica a few years ago, embarked on its longest tour cycle for ‘The Blackening.’ Length is something Machine Head are comfortable with, since their albums are masterful, full of long songs. While there aren’t 13 songs, there are eight epics, which is more than fine when it comes to the fans.

He shared that Machine Head will do another U.S. tour run this fall and while the hosts marveled at how the band has always been able to throw an unforgettable melody into the maelstrom of their metal. He said you grow and evolve and become “a little less scared to sing. When you are playing with grind, death metal and punk bands, you chill out on the singing. But the more we did it, the more comfortable with it we became.”

And that’s why the band’s music has become some revered by metal fans.

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