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In a new interview with Spin, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich admitted that the band was caught off guard by the vehement reaction to Lulu, its collaborative album with legendary singer-songwriter Lou Reed. Ulrich explained, "It was more spiteful than anyone was prepared for. Especially against Lou. He is such a sweet man. But when Metallica do impulsive riffing and Lou Reed is reciting abstract poetry about German bohemians from 150 years ago, it can be difficult to embrace."
Asked whether the band had second thoughts over some of Reed's lyrics, like "I swallow your sharpest cutter / Like a colored man's d***," Ulrich said, "I understand that to some 13-year-old in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, it can all seem a little cringe-worthy, but to someone raised in an art community in Copenhagen in the late '60s, that was expected."
More surprisingly, Ulrich also revealed that he and Reed almost got into a physical altercation while making Lulu.
He recalled, "One time I had to point something out to him about how things were functioning in the outside world and he got hot and bothered. He challenged me to a street fight, which is a pretty daunting proposition because he's an expert in martial arts and is never too far from a sword. The good thing about me is I can do the 100-meter dash faster than most other 48-year-old musicians."
Metallica will headline its own festival, Orion Music & More, on June 23rd and 24th in Asbury Park, New Jersey. At that event, as well as several European festivals, the band will play its best-selling "black album" from start to finish.
Ulrich admitted that one of that record's tracks, "Don't Tread On Me," is perhaps his least favorite Metallica song, adding "(It) has that shuffle vibe. That's not my thing -- but I don't wish to erase it from 97 bazillion copies of the black album."