Lars Ulrich on Lady Gaga Collaboration: “I knew this was going to work.”
Did Metallica’s Grammy performance with Lady Gaga work? Opinion is pretty divided: even excepting James Hetfield’s mic fail most people seem to think the performance fell short, even if nearly every piece on the matter (including Testament guitar Alex Skolnick’s) expresses the sentiment that at least they tried something new and interesting.
One person who thinks it was a success: Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. Here’s what he said in a recent interview with A/V Club:
Did it feel pretty natural when you all got in a room and ran through the song?
Listen, I knew this was going to work. I mean, Gaga is a metal chick at heart. There was no way this was not going to work. It was totally in her DNA. It was totally in her wheelhouse. This was not not going to work. The only question was at what level it was going to work.
We did one run-through. The way her and James’ voices worked, it jelled so well together we all kind of stood there like, “Huh?” It was really fucking next-level. I think we rehearsed it twice, maybe three times on Friday night. And it was just dialed. There was no sort of, “Oh, my god, what are we doing here?” This was as natural and organic as you could imagine this type of stuff being. This was a home run from the get-go.
You said that Lady Gaga was “the quintessential fifth member of this band” and this is just the start of your work together. How do you see that taking shape?
As you spend 72 hours with somebody, and there’s this connection and this intimacy, part of it is that maybe you don’t want it to end. When these moments work, you always leave them open to reconnection. So obviously, we’re not sitting in a recording studio today writing songs for a record or anything. I think that our weekend together was so seamless and so authentic and such a natural fit that the idea of revisiting this at some point down the road… As we were walking off one of the soundchecks, she said to me, “We gotta do something again together. This is just too good to leave.” And I said, “I agree with you. It’s just too real.”
The definition of whether it “worked” is relative here: Ulrich doesn’t seem to be referring to the actual live execution so much as the chemistry and the arrangement of the song with Gaga on vocals. Still, this may be best left as a one-off that goes down in history as such rather than something they try to do as a regular or semi-regular occurrence. I dunno, though, I guess the idea of a future Metallica/Gaga original track could be cool… maybe.
Read the full interview with Ulrich here.