Monday Fresh: Metallica Discuss New Album

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone drummer Lars Ulrich has expressed the band's wish to continue trying new things to keep their music fresh.

Monday Fresh: Metallica Discuss New Album
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In a recent interview with Rolling Stone drummer Lars Ulrich has expressed the band's wish to continue trying new things to keep their music fresh. "I still don't feel we've challenged ourselves enough. We can do whatever we want with our music. We've hidden a new Metallica CD in each ZIP code in America. Go find it! There's nothing but options." One thing to notice is that there are 43,191 area codes in the current US ZIP directory. But even if that idea doesn't come to life, Ulrich insists there's plenty more to be done by the 30-year-old metal band. And he's still glad they recorded controversial album Lulu with Lou Reed, despite its receiving hugely negative response. He says: "I don't want to be that band that just does record, tour, record, tour. I will say to my dying day: Who wouldn't want to make a record with Lou Reed?' "They're adventures, uncharted territory places where you do more than just use muscle memory. I want to get away from that model: that the sole reason for a band to exist is to make another record." Ulrich also talks about Metallica's playing their Black Album in its entirety on the current tour: "I've been sitting with [the songs from the 'Black' Album] for a month now, listening to them while I'm driving, immersing myself before we play them: 'Why did we go one key up there? Why did we repeat that thing four times instead of two?' I was thinking about it again today. There was a moment in 'Sad But True' with that half-chorus in the middle. Then it went back to the guitar solo, and then there was a little break before it goes into the third verse. "I couldn't help thinking, 'Why was it put together like that?' Maybe we can slightly borrow that?' If you can't rip yourself off, what's the point? It will be interesting to see, once we take this album out to people in different countries, what we'll come back with for the writing sessions in the fall." In the same interview James Hetfield, when asked about the current status on the new album, responded: "I only have 846 riffs. In iTunes, you can see how many things you've got. And that does not include the soundchecks, the stuff we goof around with here. You plug in an amp. Suddenly it makes you feel good you come up with a riff. 'Dude, did you get that?' You can't get away from being recorded here." Kirk Hammet added: "We've known for at least two years that we have to start writing songs. It feels like I'm standing on the side of a hill: There's this big boulder at the top that I know is going to start rolling one of these days. And when it does, we won't be able to stop it. But it hasn't started rolling yet. "It's on everybody's mind. When we finished [playing the 30th-anniversary shows] at the Fillmore [in San Francisco] last year, I thought, 'A year from now, I'm going to be 50. At this rate, does that mean I have two albums left in me? Three?' But if we run at a different rate, who knows? Five? The one thing I've learned is you can't be too prophectic in this band, because something happens, and things completely change." Commenting on the actual amount of material ready for the new record, bassist Robert Trujillo says: "I have about 20 ideas that I feel really good about, whereas on 'Death Magnetic' I had one or two. But one of them ended up being 'Suicide And Redemption'. Hetfield he's a writing machine.Kirk has over 300 ideas. There's so much stuff from the tuning-room jams, from all those years of touring. I like to think I have 20 ideas I believe in."

72 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Metal-pro
    So many wise words. I respect Metallica fot what they are saying and doing!
    Mikethespud
    Can't wait for this album, I'm hoping it will be out late this year or very early next year
    courageous93
    I write tons of riffs, but I'd say only 1 out of 10 are good. Considering how great James is at riffing, I've read this as "the next Metallica album will have 84.6 badass riffs."
    Maestro1600
    joshuahughes34 wrote: so where is the top story about Bee Gees singer Robin Gibb who sadley died today? i would have thought his death would have got into UG news?!? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-... 0862
    As influential as the Bee Gees have been, articles about them just don't lend themselves to Mustaine/Lulu/Axl bashing. So no use for UG.
    Abacus11
    Geldin wrote: I'm honestly OK with them ****ing around with their sound and style. They'd be boring if they'd stuck strictly to thrash metal (as AJFA showed us all).
    I think AJFA was their most interesting album. It was as heavy as the few records before it but also brought in an almost progressive element. I don't think that there was anything boring about it at all. Just saying.
    iommi600
    I'm really hoping that Kirk will put some more effort on the solos here. All the badass riffs needs some justice!
    Ibeanez
    Geldin wrote: They'd be boring if they'd stuck strictly to thrash metal (as AJFA showed us all).
    What AJFA showed us all was how good Metallica can be.
    THE76GOAT
    Mikethespud wrote: Can't wait for this album, I'm hoping it will be out late this year or very early next year
    Keep dreaming. they haven't even started recxording yet let alone having completed any songs. Don't expect a new album to be out untill late next year to early 2014.
    Slashiepie
    Mouloudo wrote: if you think you have hundreds of good riffs and ideas, it's not a very good sign... the best albums have been made in a couple of months or even less, like BOOm there goes a song, next! not noodling for 6 months over a riff variation and making crap
    where the hell did you hear that crap ? what do you consider "best almbums" im sure 50 cent gets his beats done like boom, but... great ideas although they spark quickly take lots of hard work to build them up.
    Skiny boy89
    It's great that they're not just releasing a new master of puppets every 3 years, that'd just be boring and suck. I have a lot of respect for these guys just being able to do these things even when so many people disagree with it, I love these guys. Can't wait for the new album! Keep it coming!
    metallica-#1
    Oraznatac wrote: How is this more important than Black Sabbath playing their first reunion show.
    When it's actually the origina l Black Sabbath, and not Ozzy and Friends, people will care
    Geldin
    I'm honestly OK with them ****ing around with their sound and style. They'd be boring if they'd stuck strictly to thrash metal (as AJFA showed us all). There's only one option - diversify. If the results are unbelievably terrible, don't worry. You've tried and you're not giving up on trying to keep evolving. Even if they're never successful, the idea should resonate with people: never get stuck in a rut. Keep trying everything you can possibly think of just to see how it turns out.
    Ryan_Good1
    courageous93 wrote: I write tons of riffs, but I'd say only 1 out of 10 are good. Considering how great James is at riffing, I've read this as "the next Metallica album will have 84.6 badass riffs."
    Right so you just compared yourself to James Hetfield. You basically said, well I can do 1 in 10, and James is so good that I bet he can also do 1 in ten
    Shornifier
    Yes, Metallica isn't the old Metallica. But this isn't necessarily a bad thing; it's pretty cool and totally understandable that they're experimenting with new stuff and really exploring. And after decades of chugging the E string, I think I'd wanna try something new too. They're seasoned musicians who've played major roles in shaping heavy metal; I respect their choices and am totally supportive of it. Rock on Metallica, f*ck age!
    Ballsweat
    Lars says this:
    Theyre adventures, uncharted territory places where you do more than just use muscle memory
    Then subsequently contradicts himself with this:
    Maybe we can slightly borrow that?' If you can't rip yourself off, what's the point?
    Metal-pro
    sickassfoo wrote: Metallica. just stop. I used to be a die hard Metallica fan but now i am fed up with their crap
    Doesn't sound like a real Metallica fan for me.
    Slashiepie
    Ibeanez wrote: Not bashing, I haven't listened to them in a long time, but this whole "846 riffs" thing is such B.S. Either 700 of them are just throw-away turds, or he's just full of it.
    We all know that Power Chord + Blue scale with wah is classed as a Riff for Kirk.
    qrEE
    Geldin wrote: I'm honestly OK with them ****ing around with their sound and style. They'd be boring if they'd stuck strictly to thrash metal (as AJFA showed us all). There's only one option - diversify. If the results are unbelievably terrible, don't worry. You've tried and you're not giving up on trying to keep evolving. Even if they're never successful, the idea should resonate with people: never get stuck in a rut. Keep trying everything you can possibly think of just to see how it turns out.
    AJFA was their best album, and their worst was everything after it. If they wanted to experiment, they got it right with AFJA - experiment with song structure, not with genre. They can stay Thrash and be great, which is evidenced by the fact that the first 4 albums are almost undisputed as their best 4.
    BwareDWare94
    They never blended genres as well as they did on Justice. Study that album, dammit. People hate on it for no legitimate reason when it's Metallica's best work to date. On a side note, I really don't care about Metallica anymore until they release their new album. There are more bands out there, not to mention better bands. Give us something fresh to read, please.
    moyaklopez
    Maestro1600 wrote: joshuahughes34 wrote: so where is the top story about Bee Gees singer Robin Gibb who sadley died today? i would have thought his death would have got into UG news?!? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-... 0862 As influential as the Bee Gees have been, articles about them just don't lend themselves to Mustaine/Lulu/Axl bashing. So no use for UG.
    You forgot to mention those Courtney Love Vs. Dave Grohl "News"
    SirWurscht
    Peranthus wrote: Yes Lars, you can do what you want, but enough with experimenting new territories. You've been experimenting for 15 years, that's enough, just do what you're good at.
    And what would that be? Tennis?
    darthbuttchin
    I read this as their way of saying they're gonna do a hip hop collaboration with jay-z and kanye west next.
    RiffsanBridges
    You can say many things about Lulu - it certainly was a horrible album - but I agree with Lars
    I will say to my dying day: Who wouldnt want to make a record with Lou Reed?
    It is a huge honor to play with Lou Reed, it is completely understandable that they want to make a record with him. The fact that it turned out as bad as it did, was sad.
    kartikc11
    am i the only one who got a very determined and powerful feel from what they are saying.. like they are focused! haven't seen them like this since st.anger... yes, st.anger was brilliant...
    Ibeanez
    Not bashing, I haven't listened to them in a long time, but this whole "846 riffs" thing is such B.S. Either 700 of them are just throw-away turds, or he's just full of it.
    wildinferno2010
    6-String_Madman wrote: Second Rate wrote: Maiden95 wrote: Ibeanez wrote: Geldin wrote: They'd be boring if they'd stuck strictly to thrash metal (as AJFA showed us all). What AJFA showed us all was how good Metallica can be.I agree, but I think his point was that if we kept getting AJFA every couple years Metallica would be boring. One Justice is enough, its my favorite, but its enough haha Allow me to respectfully disagree. I think they should have kept running in the direction of "...And Justice for All." It was the closest they ever came to "perfection." All of the things that they started messing with on "Master of Puppets" were finally brought together without the slight choppiness of that album. Don't get me wrong, there are many many metallica songs in the post-justice era that i like, but nothing they have done since has come close to touching Justice and they're so far removed from it now that they never will come close. Is Death Magnetic the next AJFA?
    hell no
    StarSaber666
    I was reading a copy of classic rock the other day that had a picture of Metallica from '86 and I thought to myself.... Damn these guys used to be wicked, lets just hope that this new album gets them back on track.
    kartikc11
    Wisthler wrote: "We've known for at least two years that we have to start writing songs. It feels like I'm standing on the side of a hill: There's this big boulder at the top that I know is going to start rolling one of these days. And when it does, we won't be able to stop it. But it hasn't started rolling yet. At the rate you guys **** arround the studio than actually write or record songs you should be glad if you manage to make 1 more album before you retire and do a favor to the guitarrists comunity.... Also anyone who wants to flame me, go on, in my opinion this guy is a horrible guitarrist and James rules.
    ummm, why all the hate for a pretty awesome band man? they have made some great music over the years for a variety of people and they have done it well! and the guitaring is pretty good too man... i know its ur opinion and stuff, but still, show some respect
    LostKeys
    Ibeanez wrote: Not bashing, I haven't listened to them in a long time, but this whole "846 riffs" thing is such B.S. Either 700 of them are just throw-away turds, or he's just full of it.
    Well, like James said, nearly everything they do is recorded. Can you imagine all of the tracks that have been recorded between him and Kirk? Hundreds at least. Hell, at one point, I had 200 something riffs on record before we released our first album. There's just so many ideas that can run through your mind in four years.
    Dr_Stein250
    Lars Ulrich: I will say to my dying day: Who wouldnt want to make a record with Lou Reed? I for one.
    Absurder22
    CommanderMeaty wrote: Wouldn't that be fun if they get in the funk influenced territory for some songs just to take use of Trujillo's talent?
    dear god no
    onetonryan
    Despite Load/Re-Load, S&M, St.Anger & Lulu, still one of my favorite bands ever. A legendary band with such a long tenure are afforded a few mis-steps. I am always eager to hear what they do next.
    tom-the-lawn
    Is it just me or has their been 9999 articles posted about Lars saying Metallica don't want to do the whole album/tour routine? This article just had the same thing in new words with a misleading title lol
    Minivirus2
    Honestly, I'd like to see them go back to the very beginning and make a bare bones thrash record again. Sure, DM was in tune with AJFA and MOP, but ever since RTL they've had drawn out compositions and elaborated songs. I found the best song on DM was My Apocalypse, because it was the shortest and strait to the point. They've made one barebones thrash album, why not make it two? Throw in newer influences, but keep it short, sweet and simple. Like a previous post stated: Quality over quantity.
    Maiden95
    Ibeanez wrote: Geldin wrote: They'd be boring if they'd stuck strictly to thrash metal (as AJFA showed us all). What AJFA showed us all was how good Metallica can be.
    I agree, but I think his point was that if we kept getting AJFA every couple years Metallica would be boring. One Justice is enough, its my favorite, but its enough haha
    CommanderMeaty
    Wouldn't that be fun if they get in the funk influenced territory for some songs just to take use of Trujillo's talent?
    Second Rate
    Maiden95 wrote: Ibeanez wrote: Geldin wrote: They'd be boring if they'd stuck strictly to thrash metal (as AJFA showed us all). What AJFA showed us all was how good Metallica can be.I agree, but I think his point was that if we kept getting AJFA every couple years Metallica would be boring. One Justice is enough, its my favorite, but its enough haha
    Allow me to respectfully disagree. I think they should have kept running in the direction of "...And Justice for All." It was the closest they ever came to "perfection." All of the things that they started messing with on "Master of Puppets" were finally brought together without the slight choppiness of that album. Don't get me wrong, there are many many metallica songs in the post-justice era that i like, but nothing they have done since has come close to touching Justice and they're so far removed from it now that they never will come close.
    Ibeanez
    Maiden95 wrote: Ibeanez wrote: Geldin wrote: They'd be boring if they'd stuck strictly to thrash metal (as AJFA showed us all). What AJFA showed us all was how good Metallica can be.I agree, but I think his point was that if we kept getting AJFA every couple years Metallica would be boring. One Justice is enough, its my favorite, but its enough haha
    I wouldn't argue with your point, but that wasn't what he said at all. He called AJFA boring, or else he has no functioning knowledge of the English language.
    OxMxGxTACOS
    I don't think i've ever been impressed with something Ulrich has said until now..
    xulapostasy
    I don't care what anyone says, james' voice hasn't been good sinve '93. After '93 his voice lost it's "growl" that defined him on their first 5 albums. now a good word to describe it would be "shot"
    HavokStrife
    Geezer has more stage presence than most of these kids in these new bands that are like a third of his age..
    Mouloudo
    if you think you have hundreds of good riffs and ideas, it's not a very good sign... the best albums have been made in a couple of months or even less, like BOOm there goes a song, next! not noodling for 6 months over a riff variation and making crap
    cwkornfan
    Lars: If you can't rip yourself off, what's the point? Me: Well, Lars ol' buddy. The point here is, by not ripping yourself off, you get to be creative and come up with new and refreshing ideas. I know this concept is difficult for you to comprehend (your belief is reflected through your drumming, which is not very creative and diverse at all), but you should realize at some point that new and innovative ideas never come around if you look for excuses to "rip yourself off". Just want to note that I'm a huge Metallica fan, but not much of a Lars fan at all.
    Skuzzmo
    The more that they've experimented the more I lost interest in them. I think it would be fair to say that my enthusiasm for this band has flat lined. However.... They have had a long history and all their success is deserved and I hope they will (and the fans) get great joy from their future efforts. I still listen to the new stuff when it comes out. I'm usually disappointed but at least I have hope... lololzzzz