In a brand new interview with SPIN magazine, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich was asked if
he was surprised by the reaction to “Lulu”, the band’s collaborative album with Lou Reed. “It was more spiteful than anyone was prepared for,” Lars replied. “Especially against Lou. He is such a sweet man. But when METALLICA do impulsive riffing and Lou Reed is reciting abstract poetry about German bohemians from 150 years ago, it can be difficult to embrace.”
Lars also said that he never had second thoughts when sweet Lou came in with lyrics like “I swallow your sharpest cutter / Like a colored man’s dick”. “I understand that to some 13-year-old in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, it can all seem a little cringe-worthy, but to someone raised in an art community in Copenhagen in the late ’60s, that was expected,” he said.
On the topic of Orion Music + More — the two-day festival created by METALLICA that will take place on June 23-24 at Bader Field in Atlantic City, New Jersey — and whether it’s necessary for METALLICA to charge $150 for a ticket, Lars said, “We’re not being paid to play Orion. It costs close to $10 million to put it together. That’s gotta come from somewhere other than, ‘METALLICA’s gonna write a check.'”
Ulrich told Brazil’s Wikimetal last September that he felt good about recording “Lulu”, which came out to poor sales and disastrous reviews last November. Ulrich said, “It’s definitely very unique, and whether it’s unique in a good way or unique in a not-so-good way, I have no idea yet. The people whose opinions I trust say it’s very good. It feels very good; it’s a lot of fun to do. But whether it’s making a new sound, or paving a new way, I have no idea.”
The drummer added that METALLICA’s success has given them the freedom to try new things, which is essential to the band’s longevity. He explained, “I think that 30 years in, we have to kind of do these things to keep us alive. If we get stuck doing the same thing over and over again, it becomes automatic . . . that’s not the band I’d like METALLICA to be. I know some people would like METALLICA to make the same record every two years, but that’s not what I want METALLICA to do, and I’m not interested in doing that.”
“Lulu” polarized fans around the world and earned METALLICA some of the most scathing reviews of its career. The effort features the former THE VELVET UNDERGROUND frontman’s spoken-word poetry and lyrics combined with METALLICA’s musical assault for a jarring experience that doesn’t sound like anything METALLICA has ever attempted before. A concept album based on two early 20th century plays by German author Frank Wedekind, the CD was co-produced by Reed, METALLICA, Hal Willner — who has produced albums for Reed, Marianne Faithfull, and Laurie Anderson, among others — and Greg Fidelman. Fidelman also mixed the record.
The collaboration between METALLICA and Reed was sparked by their performance together of Reed’s “Sweet Jane” and “White Light/White Heat” at the 25th anniversary of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame at Madison Square Garden in October of 2009.
The songs were all written by Reed with extensive arrangement contributions by METALLICA.
Only two songs on the album are under five minutes in length, while two are more than 11 minutes long and the closing cut, “Junior Dad”, clocks in at 19 minutes.