It was fairly intriguing if nothing else in 2009 when Lou Reed and Metallica jammed on two old Velvet Underground songs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th anniversary show at Madison Square Garden. It was revealed by Rolling Stone magazine last night that Lou Reed and Metallica went into the studio in May and cut an entire album. Lou Reed wrote the songs and then Metallica helped build arrangements.
So what is this going to be an album that hipsters buy or is this going to become a joke or what is this going to be? It may be the best move either side could make at this point. Lou Reed’s solo career had some unlistenable bad depths and Metallica are probably never fully going to get over that stupid documentary were they go into group therapy together. It might have made more so sense for them to make this seemingly arbitrary move back in the early to mid 90’s, when I was a teenager because the air waves at that point were filled with people like Jane’s Addiction, Nirvana, and Nine Inch Nails who were probably influenced by both Metallica and Lou Reed. Lou Reed hasn’t played with a band that produced that much noise since the original Velvet Underground. If nothing else the version of “White Light/White Heat” from the Madison Square Garden show is very loud. Metallica’s contemporary metal bands and in my opinion musical superiors Voivod and Celtic Frost took wild musical risks like that and had open ears to things going in punk or gothic/industrial music.
I think those people are likely to get very bored doing what they do year after year. They must. Metallica are getting kind of old Lou Reed is obviously older. They have to take risks like this or their existence becomes irrelevant even to themselves, likely.
I’ll give the new album a listen when it comes out. I’ve said here earlier I feel less and less interested in “bands” for the most part, it has to do with my moving politically to the right over recent years and a few other things, although it has been a long process of growing disdain. I have felt that Lou Reed with Metallica doing “White Light/White Heat” had a certain vitality to it. There are some interesting musical textures coming out of that collaboration-more so then some jack-ass indie rocker’s local band in Williamsburg.
We’ll hear it when it comes out, which is not clear when.