By now, you're likely to have read about Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich's latest foot-in-mouth moment last week, when he chalked the extreme hatred from fans for his band and legendary rocker Lou Reed's collaborative LP Lulu up to ignorance. The quote came from an interview featured in Reed's posthumous new book entitled The Art of the Straight Line: My Tai Chi. The book was edited by Reed's long-time partner Laurie Anderson, and also includes commentary from Iggy Pop, rock music producer Tony Visconti, as well as Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett, who offered far more constructive insight into the working partnership between Metallica and Reed. At least, more than Ulrich, anyway.
"Lou taught me how to be in the moment and trust my instincts as an artist," said Hammett. "We weren't used to working that way in Metallica."
Reed was an accomplished and avid practitioner of Chen Tai Chi since the early 80s, after spending most of the previous decade living a life of decadence. In Reed, Hammett—being a regular yoga practitioner—saw a similar emotional energy and recognized how it corresponds with art and music.
"Lou taught me how to do that," Hammett continued. "[On Lulu], I would say nearly 90 percent of what I did on guitar was done that way. [In the past], I would have worked something out for three months before getting into the studio. It changed the way I approached my work.
"Lou used to go off in the middle of the day when we were in the studio, and we didn't know where he went. I went out one day to get some air and to meditate, and I found Lou outside doing his [Tai Chi] moves and forms with a sword. When you think of Lou, you don't think of [famous dancer] Fred Astaire or someone. But he was so graceful."
Far more graceful than Lars, it would seem. But, in all seriousness, despite the universal hate for Lulu—which I share—it does seem looking back years later that it was an extremely successful exercise for Metallica, as anything to loosen them up after the drama of 20 years ago is most welcome.
What's also most welcome (and hopefully drama-free) is Metallica's M72 tour which is kicking this summer, which will be here sooner than you can say "Lulu sucks!" You can check out all confirmed dates below.
Show No. 1 opened each night by Architects & Mammoth WVH, Show No. 2 by Five Finger Death Punch & Ice Nine Kills
4/27/23 – Amsterdam NL – Johan Cruijff Arena
4/29/23 – Amsterdam NL – Johan Cruijff Arena
5/17/23 – Paris FR – Stade de France (w/ Five Finger Death Punch & Ice Nine Kills)
5/19/23 – Paris FR – Stade de France (w/ Architects & Mammoth WVH)
5/26/23 – Hamburg DE – Volksparkstadion
5/28/23 – Hamburg DE – Volksparkstadion
6/16/23 – Gothenburg SE – Ullevi Stadium (w/ Volbeat in place of Architects)
6/18/23 – Gothenburg SE – Ullevi Stadium
Show No. 1 opened each night by Pantera & Mammoth WVH, Show No. 2 by Five Finger Death Punch & Ice Nine Kills
8/4/23 – East Rutherford NJ – MetLife Stadium [Tickets]
8/6/23 – East Rutherford NJ – MetLife Stadium [Tickets]
8/11/23 – Montreal QC – Stade Olympique [Tickets]
8/13/23 – Montreal QC – Stade Olympique [Tickets]
8/18/23 – Arlington TX – AT&T Stadium [Tickets]
8/20/23 – Arlington TX – AT&T Stadium [Tickets]
8/25/23 – Inglewood CA – SoFi Stadium [Tickets]
8/27/23 – Inglewood CA – SoFi Stadium [Tickets]
9/1/23 – Glendale AZ – State Farm Stadium [Tickets]
9/3/23 – Glendale AZ – State Farm Stadium [Tickets]
10/3/23 – St. Louis MO – The Dome at America’s Center [Tickets]
10/5/23 – St. Louis MO – The Dome at America’s Center [Tickets]
10/10/23 – Detroit MI – Ford Field [Tickets]
10/12/23 – Detroit MI – Ford Field [Tickets]
5/24/24 – Munich DE – Olympiastadion
5/26/24 – Munich DE – Olympiastadion
6/7/24 – Helsinki FI – Olympic Stadium
6/9/24 – Helsinki FI – Olympic Stadium
6/14/24 – Copenhagen DK – Parken Stadium
6/16/24 – Copenhagen DK – Parken Stadium
7/5/24 – Warsaw PL – PGE Narodowy
7/7/24 – Warsaw PL – PGE Narodowy
7/12/24 – Madrid ES – Estadio Cívitas Metropolitano
7/14/24 – Madrid ES – Estadio Cívitas Metropolitano
8/2/24 – Foxborough MA – Gillette Stadium [Tickets]
8/4/24 – Foxborough MA – Gillette Stadium [Tickets]
8/9/24 – Chicago IL – Soldier Field [Tickets]
8/11/24 – Chicago IL – Soldier Field [Tickets]
8/16/24 – Minneapolis MN – US Bank Stadium [Tickets]
8/18/24 – Minneapolis MN – US Bank Stadium [Tickets]
8/23/24 – Edmonton AB – Commonwealth Stadium
8/25/24 – Edmonton AB – Commonwealth Stadium
8/30/24 – Seattle WA – Lumen Field [Tickets]
9/1/24 – Seattle WA – Lumen Field [Tickets]
9/20/24 – Mexico City MX – Foro Sol (w/ Greta Van Fleet no Pantera)
9/22/24 – Mexico City MX – Foro Sol
9/27/24 – Mexico City MX – Foro Sol (w/ Greta Van Fleet no Pantera)
9/29/24 – Mexico City MX – Foro Sol