Metallica’s James Hetfield explains how band’s Lou Reed collaboration ‘Lulu’ came about

Band teamed up with Velvet Underground singer for unlikely collab album in 2011

Metallica frontman James Hetfield has explained the origins of his band’s collaborative album with Lou Reed, ‘Lulu’.

‘Lulu’ was released in 2011 to mixed reviews. NME wrote at the time: “You’re unlikely to play this record at your next soirée but the breadth and ambition is to be applauded. Metallica have performed way beyond what many thought them capable; they improvise freely as Reed’s musical bitch, while for him this marks his most outré offering since ‘Metal Machine Music'”.

Appearing on Marc Maron’s ‘WTF’ podcast, Hetfield said that the collaboration came about when the Velvet Underground singer yelled at his band at a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame event. “Hey, Metallica, you guys, we should do an album together one day!”, Reed supposedly shouted.


Hetfield also reveals that Skrillex once stage-dived at a Metallica concert when he was 11 years old.

Listen to the full podcast here. Hetfield discusses ‘Lulu’ at the 1 hour 18 mark.


Metallica released their tenth studio album ‘Hardwired… to Self-Destruct’ last November.

Hetfield recently talked about how album track ‘Moth Into Flame’ had been inspired by watching the acclaimed Amy Winehouse documentary, Amy.

“Just watching that movie was extremely saddening – how her life went from such a lively joyous person, to someone who was just trying to escape the reality of where she was,” he told Canadian radio’s 102.1 The Edge.

“It really hit me in the one part of the movie where she was lost in her mind, it seemed, and she was just leaving her flat in England. The press were just hanging out in front of her place all the time, snapping these pictures of her. ‘Hey, Amy, how’s it going?’ Talking to her like they know her.”