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Robert Trujillo on Metallica’s ‘Lulu’ Album With Lou Reed: ‘It Was Definitely Something That We Enjoyed and That We Embraced’

Robert Trujillo
Amy Harris for Loudwire

Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo appeared on the Rock Talk with Mitch Lafon podcast this week (July 31), and one of the topics discussed was the oft-maligned collaboration with Velvet Underground leader Lou Reed on the 2011 project Lulu. Trujillo commented that, “It was an interesting journey.”

“One of the beautiful things about being in Metallica and being a member is to be able to take on challenging projects that I feel and I believe make us a better band,” Trujillo says. “And the Lou Reed album was definitely a project that set us off on a journey creatively. Love it or hate it, it was definitely something that we enjoyed and that we embraced.”

“Lou is Lou,” he continues. “Lou is a no-holds-barred artist, top to bottom, and he’s got a lot of fire in him. It was an interesting journey. Sometimes it was amusing, sometimes it was difficult — but in a good way; it wasn’t difficult in a bad way. I just learned so much.”

Despite the disdain from Metallica fans in response to the project, as well as the poor performance in sales, each member of the band has individually defended the record since its release. Working with Reed is always one of the high points of conversation when talking about it. Drummer Lars Ulrich said in an interview last year that he learned to be more impulsive through the union.

“I think us as a band learned a bit more about embracing spontaneity, and there was definitely some magic moments,” Trujillo says, echoing the statements of Ulrich. “There’s some stuff that happened there in the studio that kind of blew my mind — where you’re tracking and then, all of a sudden, there’s an improvisational moment. Like when James [Hetfield] and I were cutting a song — I think it was ‘Junior Dad’ — and it was all on the fly, basically on the spot: ‘press record.’ And it just kind of really lined up really well and there was this beautiful energy to it. It’s a really hard song to hear, because it ends up making people cry all the time. It’s an emotional statement.”

“Lou had been through a lot, man — between how he grew up … that song is about his father; so he really endured a lot,” Trujillo continues. “And, again, [he was] a wonderful man with a steel armor when it came to rock and roll, and just really edgy and powerful. So I always kind of try to embrace what he had and bring that spirit to life through my music.”

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