Reed and Hetfield explain they wanted to make a record no one had ever heard for the sake of challenge
Lou Reed has joked during a TV interview about his collaboration with Metallica that he asked them: “Are you ready to end your career?”
And the thrash band’s frontman Hetfield replies: “Every album!”
The exchange features in a series of brief out-takes from a European TV conversation about Lulu, the controversial record made by the outfit some are calling Loutallica.
The collaboration has drawn astonishment from many quarters, especially from Metallica fans who are concerned the move marks a permanent change in direction from the band.
But they reinforce the message that it’s not a Metallica album – and say they’re already working on the direct follow-up to 2008′s Death Magnetic.
Like Reed, they were looking for a truly challenging project which took them away from their normal output.
Hetfield tells Arte TV: “There’s different mannerisms, different languages, differing upbringings and things, but at the core of it all we’re the same. Like Lou says, we’re brothers.
“We’re hopefully the band he always wanted – and I love that.”
Lulu is based on a package of lyrics Reed wrote, inspired by the work of German playwright Frank Wedekind. Hetfield says encountering Reed’s words “opened my mind a lot more to poetry and expression – I had no concept of that.”
The 60s pop art icon adds: “I said, ‘Here’s a thing we could do that’s new, that no one’s heard except for a hundred or a hundred and thirty people in Berlin.”
Recently Hetfield told a radio station: “There will be fans that it will be difficult for them to understand. But we can’t stop being Metallica – we can’t stop exploring what we wanna do as an artist. We don’t like limiting ourselves.
“But we’re not doing it just to mess with the fans; that’s for sure. If they don’t like it, wait until the next record where we’re fully focused on Metallica, which we’re actually writing right now.”