METALLICA Drummer: The People Whose Opinions I Trust Say ‘Lulu Is Very Good

Brazil’s Wikimetal podcast conducted an interview with METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich when the band performed at the Rock In Rio festival last September. You can now stream the podcast using the audio player below. (Note: The Ulrichinterview begins around the 21-minute mark.)

When asked why METALLICA chose to make “Lulu”, its controversial collaborative album with former THE VELVET UNDERGROUND frontman Lou Reed, Lars said, “I can give you some bullshit answer, but I don’t look at things like that. The freedom of being in METALLICA… What the success of METALLICA affords us is to do these types of things. It’s only in interviews six months later when you sit and talk about it and all of a sudden you have to figure out ‘why.’ I never asked, ‘Why?’ So Lou Reed says, ‘Hey, you wanna make a record together one day?’ ‘OK.’ I don’t think it has to be more complicated than that. I would say maybe when the next METALLICA record comes out, maybe in another year or two, I’ll have more answers about this thing. I don’t really know yet, ’cause I haven’t had any distance from it yet. There’s a lot of music and it’s very overwhelming, and there’s a lot to digest, so I don’t even know the fucking answer to it all, but I hope that in a couple of years I’ll be able to look back on the experience and maybe I can answer it better. 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.”

He added, “METALLICA lives and breathes on being able to do these types of things, and 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 — [you start doing things on] autopilot. To me, 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.”

Wikimetal podcast (audio):


“Lulu” has 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.