METALLICA frontman James Hetfield has once again defended “Lulu”, the band’s controversial collaborative album with former THE VELVET UNDERGROUND frontman Lou Reed, saying that he is “still blown away” Reed wanted to work with METALLICA.
“Lulu” polarized fans around the world and earned METALLICA some of the most scathing reviews of its career. The effort featured the former THE VELVET UNDERGROUND frontman’s spoken-word poetry and lyrics combined with METALLICA‘s musical assault for a jarring experience that didn’t sound like anything METALLICA had ever attempted before.
Less than five years since its release, “Lulu” has only sold around 35,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Speaking to Pioneer Press, Hetfield said about working on “Lulu”: “Lou was such a character and, just like any artist, was really insecure. That’s why he had a real frigging attitude! He was certainly not afraid to tell you what he was thinking. At one point, [METALLICA drummer] Lars [Ulrich] said, ‘You’ve got to trust me on this.’ And Lou said: ‘Trust you on this? Fuck you, I don’t trust anyone.’ I knew we had to handle him with some kid gloves. But we earned his trust and he earned ours. I’m still blown away he wanted to collaborate with us.”
Hetfield previously told METALLICA‘s fan-club magazine So What! that he had no regrets about making “Lulu”.
“We’ve been extremely either bullheaded or lucky or something,” he said. “We’ve been maybe very jaded in that things have worked pretty well for us. We’re perfectionists. We’re really extremely self-critical. It’s gotten us to where we are, but it’s also the curse. When something doesn’t go right, I come down so hard on myself.
“‘Lulu’ wasn’t accepted as much as we accepted it,” he continued. “I’m really proud that we did it. It was fun, it was an adventure. And there are a lot of bands out there that do adventures that kill them, whether it’s choosing the wrong management or making a bad investment or something like that.