As an artist, taking a chance on anything is all part of the process. Whether that be a new paint brush, or a new sound, or a new medium, it's part of figuring out who you are as an artist. Metallica's experiment came in 2011 in the form of Lulu, a collaborative album with Lou Reed. The album was widely hated and really doesn't get mentioned much anymore. Whether that's because outside the initial dislike, there's nothing to say, or the band just doesn't want to re-open the wounds, who knows.
Despite all the hate, drummer Lars Ulrich tells Eddie Trunk he wouldn't change a thing about the album.
"There's nothing I would change. I mean, the only thing I'd change is I wish Lou was still around. It's weird being in New York and not being able to see him. I miss him. We got very close… We were very close for a year, and then, as he got sicker, we were less close. But I didn't know he was that sick.
"No matter how many people sit there and find fault with ['Lulu'], we wouldn't change any of it. And I still would dare most people, or at least most musicians, or most creative types, to sit there and go… If Lou Reed called you up and asked you to play music with him, you wouldn't say 'no' to that. And if you were gonna say 'no' to that, I would ask you to question yourself as an artist."
Ulrich adds that he loves Reed's impulsive nature while recording, and says it stood in stark contrast to how Metallica normally wrote and recorded. I think people forget that above all, Metallica are just a bunch of dudes who love making music, and to work with Lou Reed was a big deal to them. I'm not saying I enjoyed the album at all, but whatever – I've heard Metallica made a few other records that were pretty good. Still, I think our in-depth review of the album holds up.