We’ve all considered our funeral song, and anybody who dares say otherwise is lying. Although it’s a morbid topic, you can learn a lot about someone from the track they want to be played as they are lowered to the ground, and Lars Ulrich is no different.
One song isn’t good enough for the Metallica drummer, who instead elected to name four tracks when the question was posed to him. Each selection shows a different side to his persona, and his choices hold significant weight.
The first suggestion from Ulrich is Rage Against The Machine’s rebel anthem ‘Killing In The Name Of’. Speaking to Louder Sound, the drummer repeated the line, “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!” but then reassessed his decision and admitted, “But I don’t know if that’s a song I feel defines my life.”
Rage Against The Machine is a band Ulrich has championed on several occasions, and their debut album helped navigate him through the dystopian maze of 2020. He remarked: “The first Rage Against the Machine album. From my worldview, there’s nothing that seems to put things more in perspective than Rage Against the Machine”.
Ulrich added: “The music, themes, lyrics, delivery – everything seems to be so spot-on and relevant to the daily craziness that shows up whenever you unlock your device. I think it’s the perfect soundtrack to the 2020.”
Ulrich’s second selection for his funeral song is a tonal shift from Rage Against The Machine. It comes courtesy of Oasis with ‘Supersonic’, who are another one of the Metallica man’s all-time favourite groups. He even once suggested Noel Gallagher is the greatest songwriter ever.
“The hardest thing in the world – trust me, we know this first hand – is to write a simple song,” Ulrich said in the same interview. “And the shorter and simpler, the harder it is. Those great Oasis songs – ‘Wonderwall’, ‘Live Forever’, ‘Supersonic’ – if you hear Noel do them by himself, just guitar and voice, it’s pretty incredible what those songs break down to when you’re that naked and that vulnerable.”
Ulrich then considered ‘Am I Evil? which appeared on the debut album by British metallers Diamond Head in 1980. He then contemplated one more song and added: “Or I guess ‘Return Of The Vampire’ by Mercyful Fate. That’s an old classic that I played on when they re-recorded it around 1993, and maybe in some weird way ‘Return Of The Vampire’ could be me in my afterlife coming back.”
As Ulrich’s longwinded answer to the question proves, musos can spend all day considering their perfect funeral song and never arrive with a definitive answer. Ulrich is a hedonist, even with his funeral song choice, and an hour-long DJ set might be required at the service when he eventually departs.