Kirk Hammett: ''Lulu' Is Some of the Best Stuff We've Done'

"Working with Lou Reed was such a cool, unique, and special thing for us," the guitarist explains.

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Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett recently took a defensive stance towards "Lulu" collaboration record, ranking it among the band's top-quality efforts. As Hammett told the Verge, exploring the uncharted waters still comes as one of Metallica's top priorities, regardless of what the fans might think. "We're doing it for ourselves, man," he explained. "'Lulu' is a really good example. I think that 'Lulu' is some of the best stuff we've done. I mean the song 'Junior Dad' moves me to tears, and working with Lou Reed was such a cool, unique, and special thing for us." However, the axeman did agree that the album isn't exactly too approachable. "Maybe it's not for everyone," he added. "Maybe it's a challenge for our fans, but for us - Lars, James, Rob, and myself - we loved doing it and it was such a great experience. We look back at it very positively." Kirk already pointed out that fans aren't remotely close to anyone's mind during the Metallica creative process. This of course wasn't a jab at the listeners, but a way to stress how things work among the ranks of metal titans. During the rest of the chat, Hammett drew an interesting parallel between the way modern musicians make a living and how things worked in the music world a century ago. "It's ironic in that with the advent of this technology, making a living as a musician has kind of gone backwards," he noted. "You can't just make records and expect to sell them and live off that. If you really want to make a living making music, you have to go out there and play, and perform, which is just how it was 100 years ago!" As the guitarist further explained, technology is making musicians work harder, but is in a way killing the community aspect of the music. "I'm sure there’s still a lot of great art being made out there, but it's not the same," he said. "People don't rally behind it, there isn't a community behind it. How are people supposed to let other people really bond, how are people supposed to bond behind bands like they used to? It's just not there. It's all separate now, all in the name of convenience. That's just the way it is." When it comes to the new studio record, Kirk wasn't very vocal. Apart from confessing that the band would probably be half way through it without "Through the Never" 3D film, he once again confirmed that the four-piece will enter the full work mode at the beginning of 2014. Metallica recently posted an official recap video of their Rock in Rio 2013 festival performance. Including studio rehearsal footage, "Holier Than Thou" performance and more, you can check out the clip below.

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117 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Cool story, needs more wah.
    Mybe more wah in your ass, and you'll enjoy your insignificant life more often!
    Good to see a musician proud of his art. If the four of them like 'Lulu,' then that's all that counts. It was brave of them to do something original and, though I don't like it personally, it's objectively renewing.
    I agree. About 95% of the hate that Lulu gets are from people jumping on the bandwagon. Otherwise people would already respect that it was just something that the band (and Reed) wanted to do. Its the same thing with Korns Path of Totality.
    That, and Lulu was pretty ****ing terrible. The experience may have been great, but the only part the fans got, the record itself, was outright terrible.
    Some of it is probably from people who only bothered to listen to the first single or maybe even the first snippet. But i don't think it would have changed if they had listened to the album several times with an open mind, i did that and i honestly find much nice to say about it. Dragon had a nice riff until it was repeated for 12 minutes and the production was kinda neat, but aside from that? It's pretty bad, but it's nice that Metallica likes it i guess.
    reamed the album and listened to every song. every bit of it was shit. how havent people, including metallica gotten over this already
    Surely with PoT, Korn were the ones jumping on a bandwagon? At least LuLu was something different entirely.
    Am I the only one who enjoyed Path of Totality? I don't like most of Korn's music, but I really got into that album.
    I don't get all the hate dubstep gets.Okay, fine: It's not played on real instruments, but does that really change how heavy and complex the compositions can get? I don't think so. My only gripe is the live-performance aspect, and how many dubstep-performers just stand on stage and press the spacebar, while people go crazy, for some reason. THAT is a joke.
    so performing isn't the same for them as playing an instrument. but they still make music. they still compose, they still string everything together, they still produce and mix it.... it still takes creativity, it's not easy to make an epic electronic song. shitty or not. i'm not a fan of the most mainstream electronic bullshit, but i still love EDM.
    I'm a big Korn fan, I liked Path of Totality. I respect the hell out of Korn for experimenting and trying new things
    Bandwagon?? People use this lame-ass excuse for nickelback hate. The bottom line is that this shit just SUCKS.
    No I would have to say that 95% of the people actually listened to the album and realized how bad it was. It was just bad. Real bad. But if you like it then cool, you don't even have to get defensive. Be proud that you like something that is hated so much, it makes you unique in a way.
    95% of the people who don't think Lulu is pure unadultered shit are people who don't want to seem like they're just jumping on the bandwagon. See, I can pull statistics out of my ass too.
    So the fact that I listened to half the album then turned it off because it sucked means I jumped on a bandwagon? All on the bandwagon people!!!
    Precisely. Besides, that kind of an experiment would've been done anyway sooner or later, and it's better as "a Metallica fail" than something that ruined some other, less successful band's career.
    From this article's comments I can gather that barely any of you read the article and a lot of you still think putting the word wah in anything to do with Kirk is still funny.
    Arfing Thumb
    Lulu always moves me to tears, too, but in a negative way: "Make it stahp! Please, make it stahp!"
    God, people are annoying at times. It's like with St. Anger. People say it's the worst metal album ever, but what exactly is Metal? It's fast, abrasive, obnoxious, mad, insane, pisses people off, serves only the creator, and against the norm. Hmmm - sounds like St. Anger to me. I like Lulu, it's a departure. I'd rather have something new and different than hearing something I've heard before. That's boring. That's not the point of art and music. If I wanted the same thing over and over again, I'd listen to Slayer.
    At least Slayer still kicks butt. Metallica stopped being entertaining on Load, Reload, and St. Anger. I like DM a lot except for the sound quality and how long the songs are. I've never listened to Lulu as a whole but what I've listened to has been pretty boring. Nothing wrong with change as long as it sounds good.
    Change doesn't have to sound good to people who had nothing to do with it.
    I don't think the community aspect of music has disappeared, I just think it has moved to more virtual media, like this very page. You might have to search a bit more to get to it, though, which is sad in my opinion. On the other hand, you have the possibility to act within a much wider community, and you can learn and explore much easier and with many more people online, than you can by going to your local music store.
    Now i like different kinds of music, and i like weird and experimental things. I never jump on any bandwagon. But. Lulu was terrible. There was nothing musical about it. St. Anger was at least somewhat musical enough that people can argue on whether or not it was good. But lulu?
    the irony I think is, that if they had just jammed it and kept lulu between themselves as a creative thing to not share with anyone, then the whole world would have been asking to let it be released. Fuck metal purists, metallica will always do what they want and that's the way It should be.
    At least they took a ****ing chance people!!!! I'm so tired of hearing all you people burn Lulu. I mean it wasn't that great in my opinion either, but I get and like the concept. And honestly, how many bands in today's world would take the chance that Metallica did with Lulu. Personally, I bow my head, and gained a new respect for Metallica for saying, **** it. Let's try something new that no one has heard before. Good job Metallica for not staying idle and safe. You proved that you've got something left in the tank creatively and should be saluted instead of castigated by everyone for being yourselves and making music for yourself instead of your fans... That's why anyone worthwhile makes music, for themselves, not for any fans. Music loses all honesty and creativeness when you make music for anyone other than yourselves, and the good ones connect with others as well. Good job Kirk for standing your ground. Fuck all the haters!!!
    Would you feel better if I posted a video of me burning a copy of Lulu? I'll mute it so you don't have to hear it.
    I think the exploratory quality of the music is cool. It's Lou Reed who ****ing ruins it.
    Lulu had some good moments (riffs). But overall, it wasn't great.I wish Metallica would release re-mastered versions of Justice, Magnetic, and St Anger. Justice needs the bass guitar included. Death Magnetic needs to remove the digital clipping and NOT compress the entire mix so much. St Anger needs EQ modifications to the guitars, EQ modifications to the bass, increase volume of the bass in mix, and use existing drum tracks to trigger better drum sounds.
    YES! Albums that definitely do not need remastering: Black Album, Ride the Lightning, MoP, Load, ReLoad (whether you like them or not they were well mastered and mixed) Albums that definitely do need remastering: St Anger, Death Magnetic, AJfA
    Just change the name of the site to ultamate troll . com already!
    I like quite a lot of Lulu's riffs, but Lou Reed's vocals + lyrics just don't do anything for me. At one point the guy 'sings' about being spermless like a have to be Frank Black to get away with that.
    are you guys insane? i totally ****ing agree with kirk. The riffs and sounds they came up with on this album were so cool! The songs werent great because they were jammed to death and ****ed up by lou. That stuff they came up with is ****ing genus
    If LuLu was a Metallica instrumental album everybody would of loved it - the only thing that made it terrible was Lou Reed lol
    I think it would have been boring even if it was an instrumental album. There so little going on i these songs and they are very long and drawn out. The only thing that really varies is Reeds vocal delivery and lyrics, the rest is just repeated riffs ad nauseum. It has its moments, but it doesn't feel developed imo. Oh and Mistress Dread is probably the worst thing Metallica has ever recorded, even if you remove Reed, it still sounds like an angry beehive.
    Lou Reed was fine, it was Metallica's boring as **** repetitive riffs that ruined it. There were a couple of good tracks on there though, the ones it sounded like they actually put effort into.
    Lou Reed just needs to stay away from rock collaborations. It never turns out well. Just listen to KISS's "Music From The Elder."
    I agree, but it's garbage in a sea of garbage when compared to their other material.
    Now if only they'd get back to releasing albums, since they've released all of 2 in the last 15 years.
    There seems to be this misconception in pretty much every format of media that you can create any old thing, no matter how shitty, and defend it as being some kind of pretentious piece of art. It seems to me like he's really defensive about how bad it is, and covering it up by saying, "No! It's actually really deep! You just don't get it!"
    I agree 100%. If metallica would just cut the bullshit and start where they left off in the 80's (90) everything would be great. Why do they need to go into uncharted territory? We still haven't heard enough of what they're good at!
    Death Magnetic was a very good album, but I can't listen to it sometimes because of the excessive clipping and compression. Whoever mastered that album was a moron.
    Gotta say from what I could bare to stand to listen of Lulu some of the backing music that they produced for it was awesome. But I just couldn't get past Lou Reeds vocals, they sounded like garbage and the stuff about the dog penis or whatever...yeah not interested in hearing that crap.
    "I mean the song 'Junior Dad' moves me to tears" yeah I know that feel. when i hear "I AMMM THE TAAABLE!!" in the view I can't help but tear up... mostly due to uncontrollable laughter though
    I don't like Lulu. And I think "if you don't like it, you don't get it" is a lame argument.
    Yeah, good for them. I can see both sides of that. It was actually MetallicA that made me open for various stuff, listening to whatever hits me and sounds good for me, not holding to "oh I can't listen to that cause it ain't metal or has no roaring guitars" or something like that. And I do like Load and Reload, I think those are great albums. For Josh's sake, I even like St. Anger, and I can completly get where is it all comming from. I can even understand LuLu- I gave it a couple of shots. I get that, but I just don't like it . And I've been listetning to those guys for years, and from they I learned about this whole evolving stuff, trying new things, not stagnating, nevertheless let's face it. Despite their attempts they've already established themselves as they did, hard rocking metal band that came out from the garage and turned into this giant rocking monster, that such a Lulu album seems like a sudden brain damage. Huge respect for doing their stuff the way they want, but don't be surprised when it backlashes.
    Time to give it up guys. Robert admitted it now its time for the rest of you to do the same. Loulou sucked. Bad.
    Rob said that in a funny way, referring to the reaction from the fans. He clearly was not being serious.
    Even though Rob has never really said he doesn't like Lulu i would bet everything i own that he knows it's shit. He's not as out of touch as the other guys.
    Being proud of your accomplishments is out of touch?
    If you're part of one of the biggest bands ever and "accomplish" something like Lulu then yes.
    Another article about Lulu? I actually submitted an article about Fall out Boy releasing a new "punk" album. Something that's ACTUALLY news. THIS, is not "new"s. An artist being proud of His/Her art is not news. Plus, how much Lulu reaction do we need? It's been out for 2 years now.
    I agree with him. Not because it's great music or anything, but because it takes some massive and serious balls to release something like that under the name Metallica. Maybe if they do another covers album they should cover "Big Balls" by AC/DC.
    I respect his opinion and if he enjoyed it that's great, but I feel like he could have delivered a better album and enjoyed it more. Really I can't think of anything to make lulu worse, but I must be missing the point if Kirk loves it so much.
    The only thing that's bad about lulu is that lou reed is the lead vocals ... Otherwise it would have been a different album and it probably would have more appreciation.
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