METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich and former THE VELVET UNDERGROUND frontman Lou Reed spoke to Edna Gundersen of USA Today about METALLICA and Reed's musical collaboration "Lulu", which ie being released today (Tuesday, November 1) in North America via Warner Bros. Records (one day earlier in the rest of the world through Universal Music).
On whether "Lulu" can be considered a METALLICA album:
Lars: "No, no, no, not even. This is a one-off project. It's a new collective."
On Reed's early versions of "Lulu" tracks which Ulrich and METALLICA guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield listening to before agreeing to work on the "Lulu" collaborative album:
Lars: "No drums, no guitars, no recognizable rhythms or keys. Just these soundscapes, incredibly beautiful. And Lou reciting these potent words. It was so deep. I called Lou and said, 'I don't know where this is going, but we're in.' Lou came out a week later with (producer) Hal Willner to see our studio. Within one hour, we were recording.
On working with METALLICA:
Reed: "They are my metal blood brothers. They're very brave, and they can play. I'm not easy to play with. Some of ('Lulu') that sounds easy is actually really hard. A lot of cool players can't do that. Academia drove it out of them."
On METALLICA's studio/headquarters in San Rafael, California:
Reed: "If I had the money, I would build a studio exactly like theirs, where everyone sits in a circle. If I had my way, they'd all be shot and dumped in the Hudson. They put everyone in isolation booths. That's why digital records sound like jigsaw puzzles made of sound. Just record it and leave me alone."
On METALLICA's spontaneous and impulsive approach to the "Lulu" project:
Lars: "You don't want to overthink it. For those of us who agonize over details, the dare was to jump without the safety net. There was a song we were starting to nail after two takes, and Lou said, 'We got it. I'm never singing that again.'"
On the fan uproar over the "Lulu" album:
Reed: "[METALLICA's fans] are threatening to shoot me, and that's only because I showed up. They haven't even heard the record yet, and they're recommending various forms of torture and death.
"I don't have any fans left. After 'Metal Machine Music' (1975), they all fled. Who cares? I'm essentially in this for the fun of it."
Lars: "In 1984, when hardcore METALLICA fans heard acoustic guitars on 'Fade To Black', there was a nuclear meltdown in the heavy-metal community. There have been many more since then.
"This is something they've never heard. Nobody hears rhythms or delivers poetry the way Lou does. It's not for everyone, but I think it's a fantastic record."
Read more from USA Today.