During an interview with RollingStone.com to promote THE CULT‘s forthcoming album, vocalist Ian Astbury took time out to defend this season’s most contentious metal album, the Lou Reed/METALLICA collaboration, “Lulu”.
Ian said that the record was “something I’ve argued with many people about. You know, everyone’s saying, ‘Oh, it’s disgusting, it’s an abomination.’ You know the amount of hate they got for that record. Hate! I think Pitchfork gave it like 1, or 0.
“Lou Reed, he’s a 67-year-old man,” Astbury continued, “His body of work is stellar, he is one of our greatest laureates. If you know anything about Lou Reed, he’s not well right now. He’s deteriorating, his body’s sick, he’s getting frail and fragile. He’s chosen METALLICA to be his muscle, to be his armor, so he can come out one more time and make a statement of what’s happening in his internal life, and he’s using this Weimar Republic play, ‘Lulu’, to put himself over.
“If you actually listen to the record, there’s some phenomenal moments on it, by anybody’s standards. ‘Junior Dad’, for example, I think is a fucking brilliant piece of music.”
“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.