It’s hard to imagine Metallica without James Hetfield as their frontman. While they were able to move on following the death of Cliff Burton, Hetfield, Hammett and Ulrich fit their parts in so well that it’s next to impossible to think about anyone singing other than Hetfield. However, in a new interview with Metal Hammer, the band’s original manager Jon Zazula recalls that for a short time in 1982 before Kill ‘Em All was released, the band briefly considered having Lars Ulrich as the singer of the band.
“Lars and I planned a lot of stuff. But James wasn’t the most confident of singers. I don’t think he felt comfortable. At one point there was even talk of Lars becoming the frontman. For about five seconds.”
Thankfully, those plans were scuttled almost right away, Hetfield went on to sing on their debut album, and the rest is history. The singer has opened up in the past about his fear of leading, speaking with Road Recovery about how he used to be terrified of responsibility, which ties in with Zazula’s narrative. Ulrich is pretty much the mouthpiece of the band anyway, but now we only have to listen to him talk, not sing. Ultimate Classic Rock has found footage of Ulrich singing “Am I Evil,” and it’s not terrible, but we’d prefer to hear him play drums over singing.