METALLICA Is 'One Day Closer To The Next Record Being Released Than We Were Yesterday'

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Although METALLICA hasn’t “really started” working on the follow-up to 2008’s “Death Magnetic”, guitarist Kirk Hammett tells RollingStone.com that they’re on the way. “We’ve jammed on certain bits and pieces of music and figured out this piece of music works, this works, this doesn’t,” Hammett says. “But we’re still going through that process. James [Hetfield] has 800 pieces of music. I have 400 pieces of music. Once we figure out what pieces of music are actually gonna work for us, then we’re going to start turning those pieces of music into songs and seeing where that leads us.”

“What I can say is, we’re one day closer to the next record being released than we were yesterday,” drummer Lars Ulrich adds. “Unless there’s what’s called an ‘Act of God,’ I would hedge my bets that ‘201’ would be the first three digits in the release year. And I don’t know much beyond that. We’ve been jamming along. We’ve been putting in some time.”

METALLICA will emerge this spring for a tour of South America and Europe on which each night’s set list will be chosen online by fans attending the gig.

The band’s traditional 18-song set will include the 17 top voted songs along with a brand new track.

Pressed for a song title, Ulrich tells RollingStone.com: “Are you kidding me? That’s six weeks from now. We played two new songs on the 2006 tour, right when we were writing and getting ready to record ‘Death Magnetic’. At those gigs, they were very, very eloquently entitled ‘New Song 1’ and ‘New Song 2’. You can’t fuck with that.”

Ulrich acknowledged in a recent interview with U.K.’s Kerrang! magazine that the band’s next studio album is unlikely to arrive before 2015 at the earliest. The drummer explained: “Obviously, there are a lot of people asking where the next record is. We’re going to make another record, but like I said before, we don’t really feel this kind of… what’s the word? I guess ‘responsibility’ is probably the right word. We don’t feel this inherent responsibility to just churn out records whenever people want them. [Adopts a sarcastic voice] ‘I’m sorry! Let me slap myself on the wrists and go make a record for you!’ We’ll get ’round to it again.”

Asked about a possible release date for METALLICA‘s next CD, Ulrich replied: “Actually, we know the date… no, we don’t! If I was betting on this, I would say 2015 — that’s where my money is. So if you think of the actual age of this planet, if it’s been 75 billion years since dinosaurs walked the Earth or whatever, then one year is basically a blink of an eye, right?”

Ulrich also spoke about METALLICA‘s mindset going into the songwriting phase for the band’s next album. He explained: “The only thing I can tell you is that there seems to be a consensus in the band that [2008’s] ‘Death Magnetic’ was a really good record that we’re proud of, that had good legs on it — meaning that it still sounds really rocking five years later. And I can tell you that with most of the previous METALLICA records, I found any faults, I had any issues with them way, way sooner than five years. So the stuff that we’ve been jamming on is certainly not a million miles removed from where we left off from ‘Death Magnetic’. But two years from now, when I sit and talk to you about the new record, it’ll probably be a different story from the six-year-old looking for the ice cream shop.”

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