In Their Own Words


In tones usually reserved for describing love affairs and exquisite desserts, they effused all at once about the moment they first cranked up together.

“Our jaws were dropping.”

“We were going, ‘This is amazing.’ ”

“Beyond, beyond, beyond heaven.”

Powerhouses of Rock, Unite: LouTallica, by Ben Sisario. New York Times October 27, 2011.

James Hetfield

"Lou says, 'You gotta mean it,'" Hetfield reflects later, during a meal break. "Give me a clue. What do you want me to mean? And these lines don't rhyme. There's five syllables in this, two in there." Hetfield then notes that he and Reed, who virtually invented avant-rock in the Sixties with the Velvet Underground, have a lot in common, "in that we are aliens on this planet. 'Nobody is listening. I don't fit in.' It's unbelievable to hear his voice reciting these lyrics. You're captured, man."
When Metallica Met Lou Reed, by David Fricke, Rolling Stone. September 30, 2011.

It's definitely different. This is not the new Metallica studio record. This is 'Lulu'. And that's why we named it 'Lulu' — it's not Metallica [and] it's not Lou Reed; it's us together making something called 'Lulu'. I'm sure there's some Metallica fans that will think that 'This is the new Metallica record. I don't like it. I'm scared.' And it's not. This is a project that was presented to us that we wanted to challenge ourselves with. I mean, there's some great riffs on there. There's not a lot of singing from me on it. [It's] Lou and his lyrics, with us writing background music for Lou. So that's what we did. There will be fans that it will be difficult for them to understand, but we can't stop being Metallica, we can't stop exploring what we wanna do as an artist.
"James Hetfield Says Lulu Is NOT The New METALLICA Album", October 5, 2011.

Lars Ulrich

“I didn’t expect to be involved in a process of this magnitude,” says Ulrich, who is perceptibly in awe of Reed. “I’m invigorated at how absolutely awesome the record turned out. Lou walked into the studio and about seven seconds later my head was spinning like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. It was so impulsive it’ll take me years to access what happened,” he adds.
As quoted in The Hindustan Times November 5, 2011

On the phone, a few days after Lulu is mastered, Ulrich describes listening to the album on a late-night car ride. "I was overwhelmed," he confesses. "I also felt, 'This is really unique.'" How unique? He laughs. "This makes... ...And Justice For All sound like the first Ramones album."
When Metallica Met Lou Reed, by David Fricke, Rolling Stone. September 30, 2011.

“In 30 years I have never been part of that kind of creative outpouring,” Mr. Ulrich said. “It was cathartic. It was otherworldly.”
Powerhouses of Rock, Unite: LouTallica, by Ben Sisario. October 27, 2011.

Ulrich said most of the album was recorded in four days.

"We had no idea what hit us, so it was a lot about just being in the moment and playing with each other and giving the impulsivity a chance to be the predominant thing instead of thinking," the Metallica drummer said. "It was a more physical experience than a mental experience."

Metallica/Lou Reed Collaboration Was 'Scary' For The Band, by Aicia Quarles. October 27, 2011.

Kirk Hammett

REVOLVER Was Lou Reed influential on Metallica, musically, prior to this?

KIRK HAMMETT That’s a very, very interesting question because the person who turned me onto the Velvet Underground was Cliff Burton. ...

It’s interesting that, 25 years after his passing, Cliff is still affecting what you do.

You know, you’re absolutely right. I actually never gave it that much thought or looked at it like that. But yeah, he still is affecting us and he is still having an influence over us, which is pretty amazing.


When did you feel a connection with [Lou Reed]?

Once we started playing, he was just like, “Oh, my God. This is great! This is what I’ve wanted to hear all my life.” He was just basically saying that the day we rehearsed with him for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And that’s what led to, “Oh, we should make an album.” And we all kind of unanimously agreed: Yes, we should make an album. And that’s pretty much how things started. It was really actually very cool.


Did you discover any new things about the band or yourself in this process?
Yeah, it showed me that we could still be truly spontaneous and in the moment. We wrote the songs right there on the spot, and the entire time I thought we were just coming up with some rough, basic tracks. But they sounded so good and Lou was so bent on using that and using those particular takes on the album that all we truly could say was, “Sure, we are capturing a moment, and it really is truly, truly spontaneous.” We haven’t been spontaneous like that for years and years and years, probably since the ’80s. [Laughs] To actually see that we were still capable of something like that this far into our career is very cool. Truly very cool.

I think it’s one of the best things we’ve ever done. I say that from a pure musical standpoint. I’m not saying that from a heavy metal fan’s point of view. I love it. I can’t say enough about how great I think it is.

Kirk Hammett Talks About Metallica and Lou Reed’s ‘Lulu,’ Cliff Burton, and Not Playing Lead Guitar, by Kory Grow. Revolver November 1, 2011.

"Lou and us – we're kindred souls," Hammett says. "We both have a clear vision of what you should sound like and say. Also, he has an edge that totally fits. He speaks our language, slightly sarcastic and blunt, like another pea in the pod."


Hammett, whose father died in April, remembers when Reed recorded his vocal for Lulu's closing elegy, "Junior Dad." "I was on the verge of tears," the guitarist says. "I couldn't stay in the room. Ten seconds later, James comes into the kitchen, sobbing. Lou took down the guitar players in Metallica in one fell swoop. After that, anything Lou wanted, he had me. I'd play it."

When Metallica Met Lou Reed, by David Fricke, Rolling Stone. September 30, 2011.

Robert Trujillo

[No Comment]

Lou Reed

What about staging Lulu with the music you did with Metallica? When are we ever going to hear the results of that session?

I don’t think Metallica wants to be a band on Broadway! [Chuckles.] They’re metalheads. They’re not going to do that. But the version of the Lulu music I did with Metallica is awe-inspiring. It’s maybe the best thing done by anyone, ever. It could create another planetary system. I’m not joking, and I’m not being egotistical.

Lou Reed on working with Metallica Vulture June 29, 2011.

“This has so much rage, it’s thrilling,” says Reed, adding, “I’ve waited for a long time to have a shot at doing something like this with the right people. I’m energised and jacked up. Sometimes I find it so emotional I have to get up and turn it off.”
As quoted in The Hindustan Times November 5, 2011

"You have to feel it," Lou Reed says with a hard look at Metallica singer-guitarist James Hetfield. "You have to believe it."


"They're as powerful as you can get," Reed says of Metallica out in the studio lounge. "The drums are no joke, and Hetfield is like that." Reed pounds a hand on his heart. "Then you have lyrics that are high-octane. It's so easy, because we're not trying to change anyone."


"Wherever I go, they're still with me," Reed says with gravelly delight. "This whole thing has been the way it should be, in my mind."

When Metallica Met Lou Reed, by David Fricke, Rolling Stone. September 30, 2011.

"They are my metal blood brothers," says Reed, 69. "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."


Metallica's fans "are threatening to shoot me, and that's only because I showed up," he say. "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."

"No one wants Lulu Part 2, but on Radio Lou, in my head where I hear these songs, I want more of it."

Metallica, Lou Reed go on a genre bender with 'Lulu', by Edna Gundersen. USA Today November 2, 2011.