When Metallica released "Kill 'em All" in 1983, neither the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nor Guitar Hero video games existed -- and the headbanging group would hardly have imagined either lay in its future. Now the band, stars of the newly minted Guitar Hero Metallica, is also one of the headliners of the Rock Hall's class of 2009 and they enter on April 4 ready to rattle the rafters of an institution whose only other metal inductee so far is Black Sabbath.
Metallica drummer and co-founder Lars Ulrich sat down on camera with Billboard to tell us why he's "psyched" and "proud" and why the Hall of Fame is such an "awesome" honor for the group, which is in the midst of a world tour to promote its latest album, "Death Magnetic." He also chats about the "family reunion" the group is throwing for the event in Cleveland, bringing in relatives, friendly industry and media supporters and former bandmates from the past 25-plus years of making musical mayhem.
Guitar Hero Metallica, which was released March 29, lets fans jam along on hits from throughout Metallica's history, as well as on songs from friends and influences including Motorhead, Mercyful Fate, Bob Seger and Think Lizzy.
"It's like a great gateway into music," drummer Lars Ulrich tells Billboard during this video interview. And he explains he did it not just for The Kids but also for his kids. "If nothing else," he admits, "it would at least give me hopefully another couple years with my kids of them thinking I'm somewhat cool. Dad has his own video game!' " Ulrich also opines on the benefits of video games for rock bands in 2009 and why he's a better guitar player than drummer in the gaming world.