Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich has broken the band's silence following the death last Sunday (October 27th) of rock legend Lou Reed, who passed away from liver disease at the age of 71. Metallica collaborated with Reed on the 2011 concept album Lulu, and although the disc was a commercial and critical disaster, it stands for now as the last musical work recorded and released by the former Velvet Underground frontman. Amid a flood of tributes and comments from musicians all over the world following Reed's death, Metallica did not issue any sort of official statement.
But now writing in the U.K.'s Guardian, Ulrich said that the band had last communicated with Reed in September. He was supposed to come to their Apollo Theater show in New York on September 21st, but was unable to make it because of his failing health. Ulrich said, "I didn't know it was that serious. So I was half shocked and half crushed -- shocked that he went so quickly and crushed over the loss."
- Ulrich added, "Metallica's always been autonomous, and 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. We shared kinship over that . . . We brought something to each other, and we shared a common lack of ability to fit in with our surroundings."
- Ulrich said he "wasn't surprised" when the hard rock community turned its back on Lulu, although he added, "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."
- The drummer said about Reed, "I'll always remember his fragility. 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. 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."
- Ulrich called Reed "the most accomplished poet within the world of rock'n'roll over the last four decades."
CHECK IT OUT: Read Ulrich's entire tribute to Reed at http://tinyurl.com/kl96orp
JUST OUR OPINION: No matter what you think of Reed, Metallica or Lulu, Lars' tribute to his collaborator and friend is heartfelt and moving.
WATCH: See the official music video for "The View" from Lulu:
INTERNET COMMENTS at Blabbermouth and Guardian -- agree or not?
Gregory Rhys Evans wrote: "Oh give it a rest Lars. Notice how he won't even say 'metal' any more! Metallica is now an 'intellectual' band leaving behind its 'hard rock' roots and embarking on more 'autonomous' 'outsider' ventures... *snore*."
Brent Colacchio wrote: "Now is not the time for people to be judging the Lulu album. A human being has passed away here, and respect should be given to Lou Reed first and foremost for the person he was, and secondly for his duality as an artist. I liked Lars' tribute to him. It was honest, genuine, and classy."
Umurny wrote: "'Lulu' is the worst thing either Lou Reed or Metallica have ever produced. It is unremittingly awful. Both Reed and Metallica had hoped the collaboration would mutually revitalize their waning talents but to no avail. That they thought it was worth releasing tells you much about their complete disconnect with reality."
MiddleClassHero wrote: "I think people really underrate Lulu. Sure, there are s*** moments, and the pairing of Reed's voice with such a heavy sound is jarring at first - I hated it the first time I heard it - but once I got used to the fact that a) it's metal with clean vocals and b) it's Lou Reed's voice, I liked it a lot."
Loudwire, Ultimate Classic Rock and Classic Rock
Blabbermouth reports Metallica's Lars Ulrich: once you broke the ice with Lou Reed, he was human like everybody else