Anyone who's seen Soul Purpose, the latest film from Teton Gravity Research, might recall the sequence in which Chris Collins rips a Wasatch backcountry line to Metallica's 'Sanitarium. And any skier who caught the 2004 documentary Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, probably noticed that drummer Lars Ulrich often appears wearing TGR ball caps. Coincidental product placement? Or do Metallica and big mountains go together like metal and P-tex? We tracked down Ulrich to find out.
SKIING: What's your connection to TGR?
ULRICH: I met them in Jackson Hole. We were drinking partners, and they showed me what they were doing with their films. I thought they were cool guys.
SKIING: You must get TGR swag thrown at you all the time.
ULRICH: I do get a lot of stuff, but I really like who they are and what they do. They're not pretentious; they don't have agendas. I wear their stuff because they're not fake.
SKIING: Do you watch their movies?
ULRICH: Yeah, we watch them on the bus, on planes. I like hearing our music with skiing. We just give it to them for free. We can't charge them-these guys are core, and we're all skiers at heart.
SKIING: So you?re a skier?
ULRICH: I'm a skier for life.
SKIING: You any good?
ULRICH: I go up there and make a complete dick of myself. I have no style, no flair. I just go as fast as I can.
SKIING: Where did you learn?
ULRICH: You talk about it in the past tense, as if I have learned.
SKIING: Ever try snowboarding?
ULRICH: No, because (lead singer) James Hetfield is a snowboarder, and, as in everything else, we're kinda yin/yang.
SKIING: I've heard famous people say they love skiing because they don't get recognized under their goggles and hats.
ULRICH: Goggles and hats? I'm more of a comfort guy. I'm not the one who says, "Hey it's a huge snowstorm - let's go out in the middle of it and prove how big our dicks are."
SKIING: See any connection between making music and skiing?
ULRICH: It's all about the freedom to be who you are.
SKIING: Does your record company discourage you from skiing because you might get hurt?
ULRICH: No way. If they did, I'd go straight up there and do a double diamond, naked, on one ski, drunk.
SKIING: If you could pick - ski star or rock star?
ULRICH: I'll take half of each. I love what I'm doing, but it's all scheduled and sometimes I miss the spontaneity of, "Hey it snowed last night. Powder day!"