Metallica Have “Over 10 Songs” Partially Written for Next Album


Metallica have been deep in “some pretty serious writing” for their next album since last November. After first floating the idea of working on new music while under quarantine last April, by June Lars Ulrich had revealed that Metallica were, indeed, in writing mode. James and Rob have both said they’ve been busy working on new songs, too, and Kirk Hammett has trumpeted the fact that he has over 600 song ideas recorded (after infamously losing his cell phone with 300+ ideas prior to the sessions for Hardwired).

Despite Lars’ proclamation this January that new material was coming along at a “glacial” pace, James Hetfield suggested in a recent interview that the writing sessions the band attempted to conduct over the internet were not for naught.

Speaking on the Fierce Firearms podcast, The Fierce Life, Hetfield explained:

“Because of COVID, just sitting at home and getting a little bit antsy and just feeling creative at the same time and wanting to get together, I started doing a weekly Zoom with those guys just to check in. And then I just told them one time, ‘Hey, I’m gonna write something. I’m just gonna play something and send it to you guys. You do whatever you want with it and see what happens and layer on to it.’ So that’s how we did a version of Blackened, 2020. I just basically played something. They hadn’t heard it before. They played on it. Then it kind of got layered together.”

“Then we started experimenting with writing on Zoom. Lars and I would get together, or Kirk and Lars, and we would get little bits of time here and there writing. It was difficult because of the delay in the sound, so we couldn’t actually play together, but we would play to a click track and watch each other play. We had our producer, who was running my computer while I was playing. He was running my computer from L.A., and I’m in Vail [Colorado]. And then Lars had an assistant running his computer from L.A. — he’s up here in San Francisco — and we were playing together, and it was pretty bizarre. We started writing. We got about — I don’t know — over 10 songs going that way. And then we finally got together. There’s only so much you can do on Zoom.”

Bands have been writing new music by sending files back and forth for the past two decades, of course, but the process is new for Metallica, who prefer to jam it out in a room together. At least there’s forward motion, though, and by now, with vaccinations in full swing and restrictions easing, I’ll bet the band will soon be able to get together (if they haven’t already).

Speaking of vaccinations, elsewhere in the same interview Hetfield said he’s “skeptical” about getting one. Vaccine hesitation and an appearance on a firearms podcast are on-brand for Hetfield, whose political views — on the rare occasions he expresses them publicly — lean conservative, in contrast to the band’s other members.

We’ll keep you updated on the progress of Metallica writing sessions, naturally.

[via Metal Hammer]

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