Lars Ulrich’s Sons Perform ’Insane’ Cover of ‘Eleanor Rigby’
The cover was recorded in conjunction with the Metallica drummer’s recent interview with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. Traditionally, these conversations - streamed over the tech giant’s social media platforms - conclude with a performance by the guest. “I’m like, ‘Nobody wants a fucking drum solo,'” Ulrich explained to Rolling Stone. So in lieu of delivering something himself, he invited sons Myles and Layne to come up with a song.
The result is a blistering and fuzzed-out rendition of the Beatles’ 1966 track. “There’s been some incredible versions of ‘Eleanor Rigby’ along the way, but I’m pretty sure there’s never been one that had this kind of sound, this kind of feel, this kind of energy and madness to it,” Lars Ulrich said. “I was like, ‘You know what, boys? You done me proud.'”
The beaming father, who described the cover as “insane,” was tasked with recording the performance: “That’s me standing in the corner filming it, going, ‘Holy fuck!'”
You can watch the Ulrichs' version of "Eleanor Rigby" below.
Both Ulrich boys are college students, at home because schools have been shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Myles, 21, attends the Berklee College of Music, while Layne, who turns 19 next week, is an NYU freshman. The young men also have the benefit of being raised in an extremely music-friendly household. “In every room of the house, we have acoustic guitars and basses lying around, so you can always pick up a guitar and jam,” Lars revealed. “It’s great to have a guitar in the kitchen or family room.”
The drummer is especially proud of his sons’ varied musical interests. “When I was their age, my tastes were literally just half an inch wide,” he admitted. “When I was 19, it was New Wave of British Heavy Metal. That was it. But between the two of them, it covers so much ground. Both of them are huge Radiohead fans; they listen to a lot of Arctic Monkeys, they definitely listen to a lot of more, like, noise rock, White Stripes and Jack White, and a lot of punkier stuff.
"When James [Hetfield] and I were 19 years old, if it wasn’t exactly what we were listening to, it was like, ‘Eh’ — we didn’t want to know. It wasn’t until we got with Cliff Burton and Kirk [Hammett] that we started kind of broadening our horizons a little bit.”
The Beatles cover got Dad excited for what his sons may create in the future. “It just feels like there’s increasingly less and less madness and unpredictability in music,” the Metallica drummer opined. “And when I see that clip, it just feels, like, holy fuck, it’s like a moment. If they can bring that out to the world and not have it be too watered down or overproduced, then that’s certainly promising for what could come.”
As for his own band, Ulrich remains hopeful that Metallica can create new material while in quarantine. During his interview with Benioff, the drummer admitted that the band is “trying to figure out” how to record new music while separated. “That’s obviously something that we’re circling and we’re very excited about.”