Metallica and the word “scared” don’t usually go together.
But fear was one of the emotions that band members felt when they began work on their latest album, Lulu, a collaboration with Lou Reed that will be released Tuesday.
“That was scary, but it was also so exciting to think, ‘Is he going to tell us what to play? Are we going to know what to play? Is he going to start singing randomly? Should we figure out some parts?’” lead singer James Hetfield said in an interview. “We have had many different ways of recording, and this is yet another new way for us.”
Reed and Metallica, both members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, first performed together at the hall’s 25th-anniversary concerts in 2009. They found that they had amazing chemistry together.
That chemistry prompted them to go into the studio together, but the concept for the album started as a work that was the brainchild of Reed, based on the Lulu plays (Earth Spirit and Pandora’s Box) written by Frank Wedekind.
“This was the template from God,” Reed explained in an interview last week with Hetfield and Lars Ulrich.
“It was written for a play in Berlin, for the Berlin Ensemble Theatre. It was done there as a soundscape surrounded by various electronics. I lifted the whole thing, since it is mine, and brought it over to them and turned them loose on it so that on top of the electronics, (it) became Metallica.”