Phoebe Bridgers & Metallica’s Lars Ulrich talk ‘St. Anger,’ Nine Inch Nails & more
The day after publishing a conversation between Billy Corgan and Kevin Parker, Rolling Stone has posted another addition to their Musicians on Musicians series. This time they have Phoebe Bridgers talking to Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. That may seem like a weird combination, but Phoebe said she got into Metallica in elementary school, after hearing them in a Playstation 2 game. "I think of Metallica as being a pop band," she says. "A lot of metal is just metal to be metal — but Metallica write real songs."
She even speaks in defense of 2003's St. Anger, calling it "a great record. It might have been the first Metallica album I heard."
"That record had a very, very different makeup," Lars responds. "For those couple years, everything was about being open with each other, about the spirit of no rules. I’m happy we did it."
Phoebe and Lars also discussed their mutual love of Motörhead, with Phoebe relating the story of the Lemmy Kilmister reference in "Smoke Signals." "It’s a true story," she says. "I was on a road trip with my drummer, and we were listening to the radio. They were talking about how Lemmy passed away [in 2015], and I was like, 'Lemmy was alive?' I was like, 'Oh, my fucking God. It’s crazy that he was alive this whole time.' So he died twice to me. I just sometimes always assume those people who are famous for living hard aren’t around anymore, and it was just a weird mindfuck. We spent the whole road trip screaming along and making playlists."
"I listen to a lot of Motörhead," she continues, "a lot of Metallica. I have dabbled in the Slayer world. And then, weirdly late for me, I got super into Nine Inch Nails."
"You can’t deny Trent and his talent," Lars responds. "It’s insane."
"It’s one of those musical influences that I feel like isn’t very obvious in my music," Phoebe says, "but hopefully with this next record, it will be. I kind of visited it with Punisher, but not that hard. I also have an apathetic voice, and I feel self-conscious that when I scream I sound like musical theater. I don’t have a metal-style “Aaaah” scream — I just have a [sweetly] “Yeaah” when I sing loud."
The idea of Nine Inch Nails-influenced Phoebe Bridgers material sounds very exciting to us!
Meanwhile, Phoebe's new EP with string player and composer Rob Moose, Copycat Killer, featuring orchestral reworks of Punisher songs, is out today, and you can stream it below.
Phoebe also recently, and as promised, covered Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris" with Maggie Rogers when Trump lost, to benefit Stacey Abrams' Fair Fight voting rights organization. It was only available for purchase for 24 hours, and in that time over 40k people downloaded it, raising $173,703.59. Here's a video of Phoebe and Maggie celebrating: