Metallica Are A Month Into Some “Pretty Serious Writing” For Their Next Album

Lars Ulrich says Metallica are getting stuck in to the follow-up to 2016's Hardwired… To Self-Destruct…

Metallica Are A Month Into Some “Pretty Serious Writing” For Their Next Album
Nick Ruskell
Ross Halfin

They may not have been touring as planned, but Metallica have nevertheless managed to stay busy in 2020. They played a special drive-in show in August, and remotely re-recorded Blackened from their …And Justice For All album for bants. Now, Lars Ulrich has revealed that they’ve been using the time to do something slightly more conventional: getting deep into writing new music.

Speaking to folk artist and Metallica fan Phoebe Bridgers as part of Rolling Stone’s Musicians On Musicians series, the drummer revealed that the band are knuckling down to work instead of watching Netflix.

"We're three, four weeks into some pretty serious writing," he said. "And of all the shit – pandemics, fires, politics, race problems, and just fucking looking at the state of the world – it's so easy just to so fall into a depressive state. But writing always makes me feel enthusiastic about what's next. It's like, 'Fuck, there's an opportunity here to still make the best record, to still make a difference. To still do something that not even turns other people on, but turns me on.'"

Read this: Obey Your Maestro: Metallica, Cliff Burton, and metal's classical heart

Things are helped by the fact that the lads in Metallica have actually got their WiFi and computers running properly, after Lars recently commented that working remotely isn’t as easy as standing in a room yelling at each other.

"Being a rock'n'roll band and working virtually is not super-easy," Lars explained. "Time delays, all these things make it really hard. The main thing we miss is being able to hear each other. So if we're all four in a room together, we can connect with each other and we can hear each other. If I'm playing here in San Francisco, and Kirk [Hammett] and James [Hetfield], our two guitar players, are either in O'ahu or Colorado, there are significant time delays. It's very hard for us to play at the same time. If I'm doing what we call steering, which means that I'm playing a beat and they're playing to me, I can't hear what they're playing, and vice-versa. We can't all hear each other in a universal fashion. So there are some significant complications we have. Our recording team and our production team are speaking to software makers all over the world [about] how to crack the code on this. Nobody has quite figured it out yet."

It’s called Zoom, chaps. Everyone else in the world is using it.

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