Legendary singer and former VELVET UNDERGROUND frontman Lou Reed recently spoke to New York Magazine about his collaboration with METALLICA on songs he’d written for “Lulu”, a theatrical production of stories by German author Frank Wedekind, which is currently running in Berlin.
When asked if there was any chance of him staging “Lulu” with the music he did with METALLICA, Reed said, “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.”
Regarding what the METALLICA version of the “Lulu” music sounds like, Reed said, “There are two stories ‘Lulu’‘s based on, and I rewrote ‘Lulu’ from the get-go, taking the original plot — mostly Earth Spirit, not Pandora’s Box — and followed it essentially from the point of view of Lulu and the various people who love her, until she gets involved with Jack The Ripper. The basics. So the METALLICA version will have absolutely all of that and more. It’ll probably come out by November.”
In a statement posted at METALLICA‘s official web site, the band wrote about its collaboration with Reed, “We are more than proud to announce that we have just completed recording a full-length album that is a collaboration with none other than the legendary Lou Reed. Ever since we had the pleasure of performing with Lou at the 25th anniversary of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame at Madison Square Garden in October of 2009, we have been kicking around the idea of making a record together.”
The statement added, “We have indeed been working at our home studio at [METALLICA headquarters in San Rafael, California] on and off over the last few months. In what would be lightning speed for a METALLICA-related project, we recorded ten songs during this time and while at this moment we’re not exactly sure when you’ll hear it, we’re beyond excited to share with you that the recording sessions wrapped up last week.”
Rolling Stone spoke with both Reed and members of METALLICA about the surprising announcement. Writer David Fricke described the disc as “a raging union of [Reed‘s] 1973 noir classic, ‘Berlin’, and METALLICA‘s ’86 crusher, ‘Master Of Puppets’.” The songs were all written by Reed with extensive arrangement contributions by METALLICA.
Reed called the collaboration “a marriage made in heaven. I knew it from the first day we played together: ‘Oh, man, this is perfection, right in front of me.'”
METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich said, “I don’t think we’ve ever felt this free. There’s nothing that’s totally outside of the boundary for us, nothing that feels like ‘Oh, what happens if we go there?'”
Frontman James Hetfield added, “Lars and I listened to [Reed‘s demos] and it was like, ‘Wow, this is very different.’ It was scary at first, because the music was so open. But then I thought, ‘This could go anywhere.'”
Songtitles on the record include “Pumping Blood” and “Mistress Dread”.
Reed does not have a record deal and METALLICA is no longer signed to Warner Music Group after completing their contract with 2008’s “Death Magnetic”, so it is not clear how or when they intend to release the yet-to-be-titled album.
Photos below courtesy of Metallica.com