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Rippin' With the Rock Star

Cold Front

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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!”