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Lars Ulrich Credits Noel Gallagher with Inspiring Him to Quit Cocaine

Lars Ulrich
Michael Kovac, Getty Images

Metallica‘s legendary days of hard partying are long over, but some habits die harder than others, and for drummer Lars Ulrich, cocaine use continued to linger well into the 21st century. In fact, as he recently shared during an interview with the UK’s Daily Mirror, he didn’t give up the drug until Oasis co-founder Noel Gallagher inadvertently inspired him to set it aside 10 years ago.

“In the early days, I’d always get drunk way faster than the other guys,” Ulrich explained. “I realized that if there was a little bit of cocaine involved I could stay up longer, instead of ending up face down in the corner passed out three hours before the party ended. I loved the social elements of cocaine. I loved the danger of it. Then about 10 years ago, I read an interview with Noel Gallagher, in which he said: ‘I just stopped doing cocaine.’ I thought that was really cool: it felt so fresh, so honest, so pure — I love that side of him. I’ve never had an addictive personality, so I woke up one day and said: ‘Enough.'”

Unlike a lot of people who’ve walked away from substance abuse, Ulrich still finds himself able to indulge occasionally. His party diet has changed, however; as he told the Mirror, he planned on unwinding after Metallica’s recent Glastonbury gig with a glass of bubbly. “A glass of champagne, that’s probably what I’ll have,” he nodded. “Before the gig we’ll be like a sports team backstage doing all our stretching. We won’t be shooting tequilas. But afterwards, yes, I’ll have a drink. Champagne — maybe tequila, vodka. I like clear drinks; I don’t really do beer.”

Ulrich went on to describe his current domestic existence, which includes making lunch for his kids, driving them around after school, and squeezing in his Metallica responsibilities during the daytime hours. Cholesterol problems have driven meat from his diet — “I live and breathe hummus” — and although he still enjoys a bit of alcohol every now and then, he says it’s much more of an occasional thing these days. “If I have anything to drink at home, it’s maybe only once every week or two, and it’s always after the kids have gone to sleep,” he explained. “I don’t like to drink around them.”

Next: Top 10 Metallica Songs

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