It makes absolutely no sense as a first impression, but we could be in for something quite special very soon. Rolling Stone reported earlier this evening that the legendary Lou Reed has teamed with metal icons Metallica for a series of rapid-fire studio sessions that have yielded an album "unlike any either artist has made before."
The still-untitled album was recorded at Metallica's studio north of San Francisco, and features 10 songs composed by Reed with "significant arrangement contributions by the band that suggest a raging union of his 1973 noir classic, "Berlin," and Metallica's '86 crusher, "Master of Puppets"."
What the hell does that mean?!
"A marriage made in heaven," Reed told RS from the studio. "I knew it from the first day we played together: 'Oh, man, this is perfection, right in front of me.' "
"I don't think we've ever felt this free," Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich followed. "There's nothing that's totally outside of the boundary for us, nothing that feels like 'Oh, what happens if we go there?' The strength of us" – he gestures at Reed – "is it feels like we cannot land on a wrong place.
"They're bringing Metallica, with all that power," Reed confirmed. "And because they're pretty sophisticated, wherever I go, they're still with me."
Die hards will remind us that Reed and Metallica first played together in October 2009, at the 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concerts in New York. What began as a plan to retread Reed's older material shifted focus to a record of songs he'd written for Lulu, a theatrical production of stories by the German author Frank Wedekind, directed by Robert Wilson and currently running in Berlin.
"Lars and I listened to the stuff," Hetfield said of Reed's demos, "and it was like, 'Wow, this is very different.' It was scary at first, because the music was so open. But then I thought, 'This could go anywhere.' " Metallica reportedly started arranging sections and building from vocal rhythms and electronic patterns on the demos.
"It doesn't feel like we're his backup band," guitarist Kirk Hammett claims. "It feels like we're a different band, in a situation we've never been in before." And, Trujillo notes, "it's making us a better band."
According to Ulrich, the album is "90 percent" finished, and each camp is untethered by contractual obligations. "We are free to go wherever," Ulrich says. "I'm obviously psyched for people to hear this, in whatever way we feel is right."
Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images