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Metallica’s James Hetfield Says ‘Lulu’ is ‘Not Party Rock,’ Talks Anniversary Shows

James Hetfield
MTV

Metallica frontman James Hetfield sat down with Jose Mangin of SiriusXM and Headbanger’s Ball backstage before the historic Big Four show last month to talk about a host of ‘Tallica topics. The subjects ranged from the show’s soundcheck (he called the venue’s sound “crispy and fat”) to the future of Big Four Shows (“It’s done what it needs to do for now”) to ‘Lulu,’ the band’s new album/project with Lou Reed, which he states is “not party rock.” Hetfield also shared the intriguing back story on our gal Lu!

But first, about the continuation of the Big Four, if any? Hetfield was non-committal about the long term possibilities and he did indicate that the tour is laid to rest. For now. He said, “Never say never, but its run its course, in Europe and with the two shows on the coasts. Its done what it needs to do for now and we can go our separate ways, do our albums, do our things. Who knows what happens in the future? It could be the Big 10 eventually! There’s no limitations. But this has been a blast. This might be the last one for at least a little while.”

Hetfield also shared the details about who the titular character of ‘Lulu’ is, saying that Reed came to the table with all the lyrics written based on a late 1800s play. Lulu is “a siren who ends up being man’s ruin. Everyone falls in love with her and she has no regard and no soul. She is soulless, out to party. She is doing what she wants, and is out to break some hearts, but she is very captivating.” He also said the album captures a universal emotion, stating, “The feeling of being in love with something so much that you’ve lost yourself…It’s a very adult concept.”

It’s also an age-old concept, and the rock ‘n’ roll canon is filled with songs about this very topic. Lulu gets her comeuppance, though, since she is a lady of the night. As a prostitute, one of her johns is none other than Jack the Ripper. The rest, as they say, is history.

Hetfield marveled at Reed’s lyrics, deeming them “intense” and said that every day, he unearths something in the lyrics that gets the hamster wheel in his mind turning. “Every day there is a line I pull out and gnaw on it all day. It’s not party rock, that’s for sure,” he declared.

He also revealed a little nugget of news about the band’s upcoming 30th anniversary celebration, where it will play four nights at the Fillmore in San Francisco. He and the ‘Tallica crew hope to have special guests drop in and perform. He threw out names like “Lemmy,” “Ozzy” and “Tony,” and kept it open to any artists that have toured with or recorded with the band.

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Watch James Hetfield Chat With Headbanger’s Ball

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