[Photo by: Herring & Herring]

Lars Ulrich's drumming technique in Metallica has long been debated among music fans—perhaps even more so than the Beatles' Ringo Starr—and now the percussionist is offering some insight into his music-making outlook, saying he's “never been very interested in ability.” Watch the video below.

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In a new Polar Music Prize interview, Ulrich discusses his drumming influences and defends a more intuitive approach to the instrument, as noted by Loudwire. “I've never been very interested in ability,” Ulrich says. “'Oh, wow! This guy is so great!' Yeah, he's so great, but it doesn't mean that he can make it swing, or it doesn't mean that he can make it work within a group or a collective.

“To me, it's always about the song,” he continues. “The band first—and the drums or the guitars, or whatever else is going on, is just part of the big picture. So what you always have to do is check your ego at the door and do what's best for the song, for the music, for the overall sound.”

So while the Metallica drummer's proficiency may continue to be questioned by more technical metalheads, Ulrich clearly lays out his cooperative vision for drumming in a band, citing early inspiration from players such as Deep Purple's Ian Paice, the Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts and AC/DC's Phil Rudd.

Adding that he views the drums as “more of a group instrument,” Ulrich says he doesn't even like to practice by himself. “That's not my thing. So, being in a band, writing songs, making records…that's always fascinated me.”

Watch Ulrich go deep on drumming here:

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