"Everything is cut live – us staring at each other, playing," Lou Reed says of his new collaboration with the world's biggest metal band: 10 songs about extreme desire and violence, originally written by Reed for a theatrical production in Berlin and recorded with magnum-concert force at Metallica's studio north of San Francisco. "It's like going back to the garage when you're 15 years old," adds drummer Lars Ulrich, sitting next to Reed one day during the sessions. "A very expensive garage," Reed cracks dryly.
Reed and Metallica first played together at the 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame anniversary concerts in New York. "We knew we were made for each other," Reed contends. Indeed, the wildest thing about Lulu may be how natural he and the band sound together: the way James Hetfield's Viking bellow dogs Reed's parched vocal desperation in "Cheat on Me"; Metallica's perfect whiplash against the masochistic pleading in "Mistress Dread." "It was all about the lyrics," Hetfield says of the riffs and arrangements Metallica contributed to Reed's songs. "What is he trying to get across here? What is the feel? Whatever the feel is, let's amplify it."
By David Fricke