METALLICA guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield has repeatedly expressed his dislike of the "Load" album cover and its inspiration, telling Classic Rock magazine in a 2009 interview: " Lars and Kirk [ Hammett , guitar] were very into abstract art, pretending they were gay. I think they knew it bugged me. It was a statement around all that. I love art, but not for the sake of shocking others. I think the cover of 'Load' was just a piss-take around all that. I just went along with the make-up and all of this crazy, stupid shit that they felt they needed to do."
In a 2013 interview with Revolver magazine, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich said that "Load" and "Reload" are "great records" that "are creatively on par with every other record we've made. Obviously, they're bluesier records, and at that time, we were listening to a lot of LED ZEPPELIN , DEEP PURPLE and AC/DC , and we had a different kind of foundation than records before or after," he said. "And I understand that there are people who couldn't quite figure out what was going on with the haircuts and the rest of it, and that's fine. But musically, if you strip all that other stuff away, if you just listen to the 27 songs — 'Load' and 'Reload' were intended as one double-record — it's a great collection of songs that is on par with everything else that we've done creatively." - Blabbermouth