Lars Ulrich: '25 Years From Now, Millions Will Claim They Loved 'Lulu' When It Came Out'

Drummer remembers Lou Reed, saying, "I think Metallica gave him strength."

Ultimate Guitar

Drummer Lars Ulrich of Metallica remembered late Lou Reed in a recent Guardian post, praising him as one of the ultimate pioneers and giving an insight on both his personality and Metallica collaboration record "Lulu." "I was half shocked and half crushed - shocked that he went so quickly and crushed over the loss," the drummer kicked off, just to focus on Reed's "standoffish" reputation. "He was complaining about how loud we were and that we were playing everything wrong," Lars explained. "Every single thing we were doing was wrong. It wasn't limited to our entire approach to music, our existence was wrong. From the day we were born, our existence was wrong. Obviously I'm exaggerating for effect here." Lars continued by saying that a solid portion of artists Lou's age are guarded and closed due to being mistreated by people from both inside and outside of the music industry. But as he described it, Metallica got on the same page with Reed through nonconformity, adding that "Lou Reed is the godfather of being an outsider, being autonomous, marching to his own drum, making every project different from the previous one and never feeling like he had a responsibility to anybody other than himself." The drummer then focused on "Lulu," praising Reed as "the most accomplished poet within the world of rock'n'roll" and the record itself for sounding more relevant and intense than ever. Lars also noted that he expected the album to receive bashing from the hard rock community, but was surprised that "more intellectual writers" ripped it as well. "A lot of people were saying, 'Oh, Lou Reed doesn't sing.' Yeah, no sh-t. What do you think he's been doing for the last 40 years? Did you expect him to sound like Robert Plant?" After pointing out that a lot of people came around over the past two years when it comes to "Lulu," singling out radio host Howard Stern, Ulrich stated that "25 years from now, you're going to have millions of people claiming they owned the record or loved it when it came out, of course neither will be true. I think it's going to age well - when I played it yesterday it sounded f--king awesome," he added. "In some ways it's almost cooler that people didn't embrace it, because it makes it more ours, it's our project, our record, and this was never made for the masses and the masses didn't take to it," he said. "It makes it more precious for those who were involved." Finally, Lars remembered Lou's fragility, naming it as one of the things he will always remember. "I felt in some way that I connected to his fragility, and identified with it. He was very open, he would say, 'Lars, I love you,' and text me a heart," he said. "It was so beautiful. The way he was so unfiltered is what I will remember most, and his fragility, and how I've never met anybody who, no matter what he was saying, he was always speaking his truth." The drummer concluded, "It never felt cerebral, it always felt like it came from some other place somewhere. When people talk, it comes from their brain; I don't know where his words came from, but they came from somewhere else. Emotional, physical, everything - it really resonated with me. I wanted to give him strength, and I think Metallica gave him strength. His being was so beautiful once that guard went away, and it was childlike." Did you get a chance to give "Lulu" a listen recently and has your opinion changed in any way? Let us know in the comments.

128 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Lars, you drum like a potato, but these words are full of wisdom.
    Picturing a potato sitting on a drum stool behind a drum kit, doing absolutely nothing, just being a potato sitting on a drum stool behind a drum kit, just made me laugh out loud.
    25 years from now,there will be still articles about Metallica defending Lulu.
    He makes a good point for once. Chances are that the death of Lou Reed will increase the popularity of Lulu, and that given time it will be considered a good album.
    Metal Machine Music aged well for some, who knows.
    Metal Machine Music is and will always be the perfect weapon to take payback on annoying neighbours... or to kick someone outside after a party.
    A shame it has to revolve around Lulu, i think Ulrich had some níce words about his departure, not as nice as Emily Haines but but still a good eulogy or whatever you call it. But i never really thought that Reed fit Metallica particularily well, there are parts of Lulu that works, but also a lot of parts that just misses the mark by miles (Mistress Dread anyone?). Doesn't help that Metallicas songwriting is subpar on the album, it's as if they didn't know what to do with all the verses, instead they just played the same riff ad nauseum. I think Sonic Youth would have been a better fit for something like Lulu. But a tremendous loss regardless, there's noone quite like Reed out there.
    Honestly, I thought Lulu was rubbish then, rubbish now and I'll probably think the same thing 20 or so years in the future. But can't blame a band for trying
    im upvoting all this crap because it seems all the points disrespecting metallica and lars are getting downvoted.....lulu was awful, hardcore music fans that can find the good in everything are the only people that say it was ok, there were aspects of good riffs and what not but if anything the fan negativity and the death threats on a chance of lulu 2 probably got to him, i bet depression played apart in him dying, no huge piece of society will ever oblige to lulu....
    Indeed, negative reception of an album is a prime cause of liver disease.
    I'm pretty sure Lou couldn't give two shits about the reception of that album. It was simply his time to go. Thanks for everything Mr. Reed!
    Real sad....RIP[Weird thing...shortly after releasing S&M, Michael Kamen Lou Reed after Lulu...Collaborations with Metallica ends in death...??They should work with Justin, seeing they're such "Beliebers"]
    ahahahahah he's either as stubborn as a mule or so selfassured that he actually thinks he poops gold
    Or both. Metallica need to go away for a while. I'm sick of seeing their freaking name on every headline every single day.
    By Metallica I think you meant Lars. UG just framed it under Metallica cause misleading the UG community is what they do best.
    Lulu was a horror, hence why I loved it. Those opening lines... **** me and they hit me not the way cannibal corpse lyrics are just grotty and disgusting it had that violence but also drama like the stage show idea its based on it sounded like an opium fueled town drunk rambling over Metallica jamming that is what's cool about it in my book anyway.
    Sorry Lars, people will still hate it. It wasn't misunderstood, it wasn't ahead of it's ime. It was pure GARBAGE. Let it go, flamer.
    Finally something that makes sense out of his mouth. To add something, I think that Junior dad with Metallica came out great, and was my favorite song of the album, I think I can say the same for James and Kirk.
    Lars Ulrich has a very precise way with words. He's always been very smart when talking about things. His drumming was never what made Metallica so special, it was their drive, those riffs and James' energy on stage. Anyone who's spent the last 30 years wondering why Lars can't drum like Terry Bozzio or somebody else more technical is missing the point.
    "I think Metallica gave him strength" Metallica doesn't give Lou Reed strength. He gave himself strength, you prick.
    i actually liked lulu. no one else has to. no one is telling anyone they have to like something metallica puts out..
    He's right, it's gonna become an obscure reference and everyone is going to love it, something weird like that
    Get a load of this wisdom, and ingest it into your brain Lars. Then maybe, your drumming will recieve some of the nutrition it has been deprived of since 1991.
    Every damn day there is a article about LULU who gives a f?! get find some real news UG!
    25 years from now, UG still reports about LULU and Metallica.
    I find it very hard to take Metallica seriously any longer because it seems that they stopped taking their fans seriously a long time ago.
    I see many comments saying that "Metallica and Lou Reed didn't fit together" - Well on one point they did: They both never gave a **** about what fans wanted, and instead did what THEY wanted to do. I think it's stupid that fans should dictate what the band should do, or not do. Metallica wanted to do Lulu, Lou Reed wanted to do Lulu, and so they did. If you want bands that blindly do whatever the fans want, go listen to Bon Jovi, or Asking Alexandria, or any other bland uinterresting band that is constantly redoing whatever made them popular...
    No, they probably won't so stop defending your ****ing retarded mistake!
    Are there egos really so over-inflated that they can't admit that something they made wasn't perfect. No band does everything right.
    While I don't overly like the album, it was a project born out of Lou Reed's passion about the subject matter. Metallica obviously felt strongly about it too. Really, what matters more to a musician or artist of any type than a passion and belief in what they are doing? If it had been a Lou Reed project without the involvement of Metallica it would have likely been universally praised.
    The album was good... go cry some where else #ItWasntThrashThatsWhyIHateit
    The album is sh*t and now its gonna be "legend" just cuz that was the last thing Reed made.
    Lulu was an embarrassingly bad album created by musicians who are/were decades past their prime. #ItWasTrashThatsWhyIHateIt
    hashtags are kinda pointless on UG. At least they don't have that mistake on their record.
    Decades past their prime yet Metallica's live shows today are up there with the ones commonly said to be the prime: Live Shit.
    Truly, it would be a scientific wonder to go through the mind of someone who thinks Lou Reed's worst vocal performance to date over Metallica riffs that, at their best, sound like a crap mixture of Saint Anger rejects and half-assed Stoner/Doom throw-aways is somehow equivalent to being good.
    No doubt that Lulu is not the best work of either artist. When Lulu was announced, I was kind of excited, being a fan of both artists. When I first heard "The View," my reaction was "WTF is this shit?" Much like everybody else. Then the album came out and was universally despised, more particularly so amongst Metallica fans. But once I gave it a chance and really listened to the whole album, it is a beautiful thing. Not a masterpiece. But a strange and intricate album with more than a few awesome moments. Of course if what you were expecting was another Metallica album, you're going to hate it. If you were expecting another Lou Reed album, you might hate it. But if you remove those expectations and listen to it objectively, I think you'll get some enjoyment out of it. The people calling it the worst album ever because it didn't meet their expectations are ignorant. You don't have to like it, and that's fine. But in a world where "artists" like Insane Clown Posse, Nickelback, Justin Bieber, and a whole slew of shit artists exist, you want to proclaim this the worst album ever?
    Stop reading and started crying at: 'The drummer then focused on "Lulu," praising Reed as "the most accomplished poet within the world of rock'n'roll"'
    When Lulu came out I was one of the loners who actually thought that it was a good record. When I listened to it a few days ago after acknowledging Lou Reed's death, I realised that the record is not just good but brilliant. The perception of it certainly depends on my mood at that moment. Overall, Lulu is poetic, intellectual and diverse story that has to be listened in its entirety.
    It may have been based on an old stage play in Berlin but the message if pretty relevant nowadays... Women that would play around the hearts of men just to have fun, pseudo-relationships, betrayal, etc...
    Personally, I think Lars is full of shit.
    I think Lulu is alright, it's not a Metallica-sounding record, but can see why people like and hate it. But Lars is right, it is a common thing in this day and age for diehard fans to usually pick out any bands shittiest record and say its their favourite because that's what makes them diehard. Whether it's true or not.
    I'd compare Lulu to Bitches Brew by Miles Davis. All the jazz people castigated it because it wasn't jazz anymore but Miles wasn't even trying to make jazz music anymore. He was trying to push music in a different and positive direction and to push the boundaries of music by making something no ones ever heard before. Metallica wasn't making Lulu for metalheads, but for themselves and the bigger picture in music. Maybe someone out there will hear it and draw inspiration from it and create something totally unique and see Metallica's and Lou Reeds' vision fully. I personally think that the idea of Lulu is phenomenal, but they just didn't pull it off. Maybe down the road someone will...
    Unless the population of the earth expands to 100 trillion, I don't think millions will like it.
    Great insightful words about Lou. I always really liked Lars Ulrich. He seems like such a honest, and genuinely nice guy.
    Yeah, I'll definitely never claim to like Lulu, you can count on that
    I can agree with him, with one of lou reeds albums, i can't remember which one, it was denied by many fans and critics, but now it's a cult classic.Maybe the same will happen with lulu
    C-C Beatroot
    I'll be saying the same thing then as I said on this very site when it came out - Lou's good but Metallica were boring on it!
    Lol...leave it to Lars to give me a good laugh in the morning. Really though, Lulu is just not a good record, and I can't see many people suddenly having a change of heart in a couple decades. A turd is a turd.
    LuLu was a great album, it's exactly how Lars put it, people expected Lou Reed to sing, obviously have never heard a single Lou Reed song. The world only saw 'Metallica album' and forgot about the rest. They expected heavy Thrash with a guest singer on it.
    Well, personally, I didn't like Lulu. And even though I respect Lou Reed and his work in the music industry, I don't know where's the point of defending something really ugly as Lulu after 25 years just because someone that also worked with it just died.Lot's of good people dies and no one gives a s**t. Take Nirvana, I like only 3 songs of them "In Bloom", "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Come as You Are". Just because Kurt died doesn't mean that they're classics pieces of music... They're just good songs.