Lars Ulrich on Metallica’s Lou Reed Collab ‘Lulu’: ‘It’s Aged Extremely Well’

Lars Ulrich Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for P+ and MTV / Lulu cover: Stan Musilek – photographs for album cover and packaging, Anton Corbijn – photographs for album packaging, Warner Bros., Vertigo
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Among all the records Metallica has created throughout their career, one of the most fascinating and unique is their 2011 collaboration with the late Lou Reed, Lulu.

Throughout the record, Metallica presents music that is very different than what they are known for; the instrumentation is far more experimental and abstract (a far cry from thrash metal or hard rock). The record is a truly captivating work of art, and both Metallica members Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett share similar sentiments.

In the new posthumous Lou Reed book, titled The Art of the Straight Line: My Tai Chi, there are a plethora of interviews; among those interviews, Ulrich and Hammett reflect on their experience working on Lulu with Reed.

Speaking about the creative impact working on Lulu had on the band, Ulrich shared (all the following quotes were transcribed by Loudwire):

“We had a chance to get to a creative place we’d never been, and the lyrics inspired that. Lou took us out of our comfort zone. The lyrics were angry, spiteful, awkward, and beautiful, and all made sense. It was a cohesive work that had almost every human emotion.”

Speaking about the impact that Lulu, Hammett shared:

“On Lulu…I would say nearly 90 percent of what I did on guitar was done that way. In the past, I would have worked something out for three months before getting into the studio. It changed the way I approached my work.”

When it comes to Lulu, Ulrich has an incredible fondness for the record, and while speaking about how the album has aged, the Metallica drummer expressed:

“What the fuck is it about Lulu that it got that kind of reaction? I can’t quite figure it out, but years later, it’s aged extremely well. It sounds like a motherfucker still. So I can only put the reaction down to ignorance … It took our fans to a place I wish they would go more often. Maybe it would be a better time to release it now with what’s going on outside in the world, the chaos. I don’t know, but I am very proud of this record … James [Hetfield] and I would be figuring out ways through a piece of music and then Lou would look over and go, ‘That’s it. I’m not doing another fucking take of that.’ That’s not the way we usually worked, but it was so beautiful and great, the whole thing.”

What do you think of Lulu? When we wrote our ranking of Metallica albums from worst to best, we actually ranked the record relatively high. To find out where exactly we ranked it, follow the link below.

Metallica Albums Ranked Worst To Best

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