Critical reaction to 'Lulu,' Lou Reed's new collaborative album with Metallica has been tepid at best, as our roundup of quotes demonstrates. The media's arrows are not nearly as sharp and dangerous as those flung by fans of the metal band however. In an interview with USA Today, Reed admits he's not popular amongst the Metallica faithful.

"(They) are threatening to shoot me, and that's only because I showed up," Reed says. "They haven't even heard the record yet, and they're recommending various forms of torture and death." But then Reed shares what may be the most important thing to remember about this project.

"I don't have any fans left. After (his 1975 noise-rock album) 'Metal Machine Music' they all fled. Who cares? I'm essentially in this for the fun of it."

Drummer Lars Ulrich and his band mates haven't outright stated that they could care less how their fans react to 'Lulu,' in stores now. But if one reads between the lines it's clear the band did this album for them, and maybe to reach a new audience.

Ulrich told USA Today that it's a "one-off project," and explains what attracted him to Reed's original demos: "No drums, no guitars, no recognizable rhythms or keys. Just these soundscapes, incredibly beautiful. And Lou reciting these potent words. It was so deep. I called Lou and said, 'I don't know where this is going, but we're in.'"

They're in, but fans wanting for a return to the anger of 'Master of Puppets' are out. Metallica is taking a chance that there will still be plenty willing to overpay for concert tickets when they return to form with their next project. It's a risk they can afford to take.