Metallica's Hetfield on New Album: 'It's Quality Over Quantity'

Band taking a different approach than during "Load"/"Reload" era, frontman explains.

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Metallica frontman James Hetfield recently discussed the band's upcoming album, pointing out the desire to present quality over quantity.

Explaining once again how the group has accumulated well over 800 fresh riffs, James told Live 105:

"We are constantly inspired by stuff - not just books or movies or thing like that but life happenings, being parents, things that happen in life. Lyrically, especially, comes from within. We've all learned a lot in our lives this past six years. That will show up in there."

Asked on whether the copious amounts of new material might result in separate records released in a similar manner to "Load" and "Reload," Hetfield replied (via Blabbermouth):

"No, I don't think so. 'Load'/'Reload' was more like overload. There were a lot of songs and what are we going to do with all these. We can make a lot of songs pretty good. I think we learned a little bit of a lesson from that why not focus on eight to ten really good ones.

"It is quality over quantity," the frontman noted. "Not that they weren't great songs, but it seemed a little much to bite off and chew. And making the fans wait even longer and ourselves, frankly ... waiting longer to release something. We are going to be focusing on a single album."

Finally, James discussed the future of Orion festival, which he had previously dubbed "a disaster financially." The musician wasn't too certain about the matter, saying, "I don't know if it will happen in the States ever again. Who knows what will happen with that? Other things like going to Antarctica, playing in China for the first time, and continuing to do festivals and writing a new record. That is what is on the agenda."

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    How to make the next record by Metallica not suck: 1. Produce it cleanly (the Dio covers was vintage Metallica production and tone--that was a good start) 2. Find inspiration... stop compiling riffs and calling them a song. 3. Replace Lars or get him in shape to do dat bass drumming again. 4. Replace Kirk or hire the best of the best to mentor him to stop relying on wah pedals and predictable scales. 5. Do not, at any point, in any song on this record, claim to be a table.
    Who here has seen Metallica live recently to see Lars can still drum the old shit perfectly? I HAVE! I HAVE! His "dat bass drumming" is fine.
    "...the group has accumulated well over 800 fresh riffs..." Lol please. I'm willing to bet that fewer than two dozen of those are worthy of being on an actual record.
    One of my friends was trashing on Load/Reload without ever hearing it lol. Those are two of the best albums of all time imo, excellent melodies, no fillers, every song could potentially have been on the radio from Hero of the Day to The Outlaw Torn to The Unforgiven II to Fixxxer. So many classics.
    No jokes about how their albums as mastered so badly it spoils the sound quality? I'm surprised.
    Dear Metallica fix your guitar tones and make it sound heavy again please. Some of newer tracks are good but guitar just feels weak. Metallica guitars are supposed to kick your ass!
    I honestly have no idea why Metallica fans constantly cut the band slack year after year. I won't argue that their material from Kill 'Em All thru ...And Justice For All still hold up as some of the greatest and most timeless metal albums ever recorded but seriously - what have they done since? What other band could be great for 7 or 8 years and then be uneven to horrible for 25 years and still have their fans on the edge of their seats waiting for new material? When the late 90's rolled around and Metallica still hadn't gotten their sh*t together I couldn't help but give up on them. That's how much I love their early albums... but 2 and a half decades of weak music? It's just too much. I'll check it out but I'm not holding my breathe for what will almost certainly be sorta ok mediocre at best hard rock-ish stuff. There are WAY too many amazing metal bands making great music these days to be worried about Metallica.
    2 decades of weak music? The Black Album is one of the most groundbreaking albums of all time, do you know how many people became metal fans because of that album? Load/ReLoad had some real gems like Unforgiven II, The Outlaw torn, Bleeding Me, Fixxxer, Low Mans lyric, Mama said, Until it sleeps, the house that Jack Built, and Where the wild things are, but because it's not a metal album per se, people don't go looking for those gems. St Anger was more of a therapy album, they were going through a lot of shit at that point, James was in rehab, Jason had just left, Lars and Kirk weren't sure if the band was going to continue or not, there was a lot of uncertainty, fear and anger during that time and St Anger reflects where the band was at during that point in time. Death Magnetic just kicked ass, the only problem with Death Magnetic was how compressed the whole album was, but other than that, it was a very solid album.
    "Prince Charming" is still one of my all time favorites!
    I can't seem to edit my original comment, but yes, I can't believe I forgot that song! I agree, I'm not a normal metal head in the sense that I prefer 90's Metallica to 80's Metallica, I love Metal, rock and blues, and I honestly think Load/ReLoad have better songs than anything they did in the 80's, not in terms of guitar work, but in terms of lyrical content, the music in Load/ReLoad are a lot more in depth and emotional and you can connect with what James is singing about a lot more than you can if James were to sing something off one of their 80's albums.
    A lot of people love Metallica's post-AFJA music but I've just never been one of them. I became a Metallica fan in 1988 shortly after Justice was released and they've done nothing but disappoint since. The Black Album is a great hard rock album but it just always sounded too safe and boring for me. History has shined a pretty favorable light on the Black Album for what it did for Metallica's career but back in 1991 I was one of MANY fans who were seriously let down and it only got worse with each following album. "Bleeding Me" and "No Leaf Clover" are honestly the only Metallica songs that I can even appreciate a little out of all of their post-Black Album material. By the time Load was released I had already moved on as far as my taste in music and it was literally depressing to hear. I'll never get tired of the classics though!
    If you think the Black album is Metal you have to rethink your outlook on the album, hate to say it but at best it's hard rock. While you are right Metallica gained a lot of fans because of the softer feel of that album; however it also cost them a lot of fans that were deeply in love with Metallica's earlier heavier sound.
    I will agree with most of what you said. Their first 4 albums were great! I also love the 90s period as well. I remember waiting, digging for anything on new music from 92-96. Finally! I heard Load in it's entirety on my local radio station (they played full albums on Sunday night, still do to this day). I had a lot of qualms about "Until it Sleeps", and a few of the other fillers in the middle. Then Re-load was right after it! A few of the album tracks from those 2 are still in my favorites rotation! It was their most creative time and I was eating it up! Of course, St Anger was next. Bah! I still don't listen to that album at all. Death Magnetic? A few tracks here and there. I want a return to old, but I don't want Puppets again.
    I have high hopes for the new album. I felt like Death Magnetic and the Beyond Magnetic EP weren't phenomenal records but that the band was heading in the right direction. I agree with the other posts saying that the band has definitely lost some edge over the years but that seems to happen to most acts that have been playing for as long as they have. They reached such a high peak earlier in their career. It's hard to hold them to that same standard for every record. I enjoyed Death Magnetic, the Beyond Magnetic EP, Load, and Reload. I don't hold them in as high a regard as I do their older albums but they aren't as bad as people make them out to be. They all contain some really good songs.
    I kind of agree. All they do is beat around the ****ing bush nowadays, and that's quite annoying. Apparently, they have time to put out a movie, play in Antarctica, write books and work with Lou Reed, but don't have the time to sit down and try to make songs out of the 600 riffs that Hetfield claims to have written. And ffs, it took them 13 years to come up with two mediocre albums filled to the brim with binary riffing, shit drumming and uninspired lyrics (St Angen cough cough Death Magnetic cough cough). I do like Load and some songs from ReLoad, though. But damn, Metallica have become lazy as of late.
    A day in the life of a UG editor: Wake up, roll over, rehash metallica new album story, roll back over.
    I hope by quality over quantity he means not just making two albums, but also that the songs aren't unnecessarily bloated by repeating riffs too many times. On Death Magnetic, they kind of hit the reset button at certain point in the songs and started the whole thing over again. Too much repetition, so you get bored with it after a certain point. The biggest problem with new Metallica records, I feel, is that they're 74 minutes long. Keep that shit tighter, 50-60 minutes is more than enough. You don't have to make 8+ minute songs just because you made some in the 80s.
    "I don't know if it will happen in the States ever again. Who knows what will happen with that? Other things like going to Antarctica, playing in China for the first time, and continuing to do festivals and writing a new record. That is what is on the agenda." This tells me that OUR metal market is DEAD!
    It wasn't a metal festival, though. It was just a festival put on by a metal band.
    "It is quality over quantity," says the band with 800 riffs and zero songs. Less riff-making, more song-making guys!!
    Sorry but If "Lords Of Summer" is a "quality over quantity" song... then wow...I'll not be looking forward to the album.
    It really was mediocre. Obviously that won't be an entire song on the next album, they'll pick apart the riffs that work and build off of them to create a few songs, they've done it before, and Lords of Summer just sounded like a mashup, not a polished Metallica song. Been a die hard Metallica fan for years and they released Death Magnetic when I was in the middle of highschool, and now I've graduated from college and still no follow-up, I don't think that's acceptable in this day and age with how quickly a record can be produced with stream-lined DAW's, and not having to fiddle with tape, although I'd be interested in them approaching the new album with a Dave Grohl/QOTSA mentality and try analog recording one more time, might help with the feel and tone of the record, tape just has a life in itself that digital recording can't reproduce
    This is the same f-ing article that is on here every day, just from a different member everytime..PLEASE STOP!!!! Like i've said numerous times, i'm a metallica fan but this is annoying as hell.
    They will add a octave to their usual power chords hmm hmm. Much innovation, very quality, so bear hunting...
    I really, really wanna get hyped about this. Then I remember Hetfield's table manifesto