Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich recently sat in on a roundtable discussion with music executives about the importance and future of branding in the digital age. Ulrich discussed how the band cannot rely on fans for business decisions, their performance in Antarctica, his thoughts on U2's new album and more.

In the Billboard article, the outspoken drummer said that the band cannot rely on the fans when making career decisions saying, “The minute we have a conversation about ‘what does the fan want?’ we stop ourselves, because it’s a lost cause.” Ulrich continues, “If you put 20 Metallica fans around this table, they’re going to tell you 20 different things. We really turn the conversation inward: ‘What are we comfortable with? Is this something we feel we can get behind?’ It’s not about selling out, but whether it’s selling our souls. As you lay in bed every night, [you ask yourself], 'Do I feel good about the choices I made?'”

Ulrich also addressed the group’s Coca-Cola Zero performance in Antarctica last year. As the only band to perform on the continent, the drummer was asked, “What’s the next frontier?” He answered, “There aren’t any left. At least on this planet. We’d have to do space.”

While discussing branding, Lars praised U2's rumored $100 million deal to give their latest album. ‘Songs of Innocence,’ away for free on iTunes. Ulrich responded, “I think U2 are the coolest … it's 2014 and anybody who thinks outside the box, or attempts in any way, shape or form, to break the status quo in the world of music, should be applauded.” He added, “To me, it's not about whether the endeavor is a success or not. It's the fact that they have the balls and the foresight to throw something this radical at all of us. We are embedded in our creative process right now and this type of attempt to reinvent the wheel inspires me immensely.”

You can read the entire interview at Billboard.

In other Metallica news, the band recently announced a box set featuring 27 live concerts, the Blu-Ray release of the 2004 documentary ‘Some Kind of Monster’ and a headlining performance at Rock In Rio USA in Las Vegas next May. The band is also working on new music for their first new album in over six years.

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