Drummer Lars Ulrich acknowledges that Metallica fans have several problems with the band's 2003 album, 'St. Anger,' and says he understands why there is negative sentiment directed toward the disc.

In an interview with Classic Rock magazine, Ulrich defends the album but doesn't reject the criticism.

"I view 'St. Anger' as an isolated experiment," explains Ulrich. "I'm the biggest Metallica fan, you've got to remember that. Once again, as we've been known to do, once in a while these boundaries have to be f--ked with. We'd already done 'Ride the Lightning,' which I believe is a fine record. It didn't need to be re-done."

When the interviewer suggested that the 'St. Anger' songs "go on forever," Ulrich responded that there was a method to the band's madness.

"When we heard the record from beginning to end, I felt … that the experience was so pummeling, it became almost about hurting the listener, about challenging the listener, so we left the songs unedited," he adds. "I can understand that people felt it was too long."

Ulrich also talks about his relationship with frontman James Hetfield, saying that they have a solid friendship but sometimes butt heads.

"Most of that toughness, that he-man thing, that was just a facade for him to deal with his own insecurities," reveals Ulrich about Hetfield. "Me and him always had the best relationship when we were alone. The problem was as soon as there were other people in the room, we started fighting for pole position."

Metallica just performed for 100,000+ fans in Quebec City over the weekend. Read all about that show here.

Watch Metallica Rehearsing 'St. Anger' in the Studio