Metallica have played plenty of festivals over the years, and even curated their own event with the Orion Music + More festival earlier this year. But even though it should be old hat for them at this point, the veteran rockers still get a buzz out of seeing so much talent in one place.

Drummer Lars Ulrich, speaking with the Owl magazine in the lead up to his band’s performance at San Francisco’s Outside Lands festival, says he relishes the experience of mingling with acts both young and old and hasn’t outgrown that enthusiasm for meeting musicians yet.

Ulrich explained, “I’m 48 going on 16, but, I have a tendency, I mean, when I’m around Jack White or when I’m around Dave Grohl or when I’m around people like Neil Young or whatever, I’m like a f—ing kid in the candy store myself. When I went down last year to see, you know, Muse and the Arctic Monkeys and Black Keys and whatever else, I mean, these are great experiences for me too.”

Ulrich says he’s looking forward to Outside Lands, and it being near the band’s home base makes it all the better. “As a Bay area resident and as a music fan going to see the Outside Lands’ Festival every year, is — it’s a huge thing for not only me, but for my family. So, getting a chance to play it and to sort of headline it or whatever, is obviously a huge thing for us. And you know, it was just a matter of time, I guess, maybe I can say that without being too sure of myself. But, you know, listen if I’m not going to play, I’m going to go, so either way I’m going to be involved in it somehow and I’m going to take my kids and it will probably be the concert highlight of their year.”

Outside Lands takes place Aug. 10-12 at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, with Metallica headlining the Saturday (Aug. 11) date.