Metallica’s Kirk Hammett Thinks that “Lulu is Some of the Best Stuff We’ve Done”
At the end of this month, it will have been two years since Loutallica unleashed Lulu on the world. And while fans have managed to overcome this severe trauma thanks to help from dozens of other metal bands and repeated listens to Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets, Kirk Hammett has now come along to tear off the scab and bleed the wound afresh. In a new interview with The Verge, the Metallica guitarist says:
“I think that Lulu is some of the best stuff we’ve done. I mean the song ‘Junior Dad’ moves me to tears, and working with Lou Reed was such a cool, unique, and special thing for us. Maybe it’s not for everyone. Maybe it’s a challenge for our fans, but for us — Lars, James, Rob, and myself — we loved doing it and it was such a great experience. We look back at it very positively.”
Here’s the thing: there’d be absolutely nothing wrong with Hammett’s statement if he hadn’t said the first sentence. What merits “cool, unique, and special thing” is subjective, so if from the band’s point of view they enjoyed themselves and the whole experience meant a lot to them, well, that’s great for them. And I certainly don’t think Hammett was supposed to say “Yeah we kinda goofed on that one” (although the amount of respect I have for the guy would skyrocket through the stratosphere if he did).
What’s bothersome is Metallica’s ongoing to need to assert that Lulu is some kind of towering artistic achievement within their own catalog. (Remember when Lars Ulrich said that Lulu “makes… And Justice for All sound like the first Ramones album”? I MEAN…) There’s even an implication, when he says that the album was “a challenge for our fans,” that the work is ahead of its time, and that the fans “just don’t get it” — at least, not yet. Which is a) condescending, and b) most likely not true. I mean, yes, ultimately, history is the judge of what works of art are or are not great, and I can’t predict the future, so maybe someday we’ll look back on Lulu and realize that it was far more worthy of admiration than we initially thought.
But ten years hasn’t helped St. Anger any, so I feel fairly comfortable going out on a limb and predicting that, no, in the year 2041, we will not be looking back at Lulu as “some of Metallica’s best stuff.” Call it a hunch.
By the way: I had to remind myself which song was “Junior Dad,” and it’s the one that’s twenty friggin’ minutes long, and borrows the guitar line Metallica had only written three years prior to “Unforgiven III.” So Hammett isn’t the only person the song has moved to tears, although I think most people weep when they hear it for reasons other than the ones he had in mind.
[via Classic Rock]