SLAYER Frontman Says ‘Lulu’ Is ‘METALLICA Trying To Be Too Cool’

Jenn Selby of The Quietus recently conducted an interview with SLAYER bassist/vocalist Tom Araya. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

The Quietus: METALLICA decided to go a bit left-field recently and make “Lulu” with Lou Reed. What would [SLAYER‘s] equivalent be, if you had to go and make it, and you had to choose an artist to make it with who was completely mismatched, who would it be and why?

Tom: Erm… I can’t speak for the whole band, but it would require a lot of thought, and I don’t see us doing anything like that. I can’t even conceive of the idea of doing something like that, you know? Lou Reed of all people, you know? He’s just so avant garde, so out there, so musically different. He was his own thing. He was his own mould. And for them to try to… I don’t know, when I found out about that, I thought that it was a little too much.

The Quietus: Did you listen to the album?

Tom: No, I haven’t listened to the album. I don’t want to. To me, it’s like, I hate to say this, but it’s trying too hard to be cool.

The Quietus: Lou Reed is trying too hard?

Tom: No, no, no, this is nothing against Lou Reed. Lou Reed is great, I think what he does is amazing, but it’s METALLICA trying to be too cool. They’re trying to be too cool. Why do you need to do that? Why do you need to be too cool? That’s on METALLICA, that’s not on Lou Reed. He’s awesome… And they’re going to hate it if they read this, they’re going to hate me saying it, but it’s just my personal opinion. I don’t even need to listen to the album! [Laughs]

The Quietus: Dave Mustaine [MEGADETH] once told me — and several other people — that without him, thrash wouldn’t have existed. What would you say to that?

Tom: Daaave… He’s a little late on the draw! [Laughs] You know, because his record and his band MEGADETH didn’t materialize until the mid-’80s. He was a founding member of METALLICA, but I think there are other bands that we should owe credit to and they should owe credit to. Credit is due to a band — who made the music that we developed and made it our own — and I hate to say it, but ANVIL. You listen to the first ANVIL album, and you hear echoes of METALLICA. So, you know, there are other bands you can credit to starting thrash metal or attempting to do something new. We just took it and made it our own. And for some reason, ANTHRAX, SLAYER and METALLICA all evolved… And it was all about the same year, in ’81. And then we all evolved into this, 30 years later. Like I said, Mustaine was in METALLICA, but got kicked out, and five years later came up with his band. So he’s a little slow on the draw.

Read the entire interview from The Quietus.

METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich told Brazil’s Wikimetal that he still feels 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.”