Metallica are exciting to be starting on their next record - but it could take until 2014 before fans get to hear it.
Speaking at a press conference at the weekend, James Hetfield said he can't wait to get stuck in to the project:
"I've been itching to write for a long time - all of us have - so there's lots of ideas," he said (via Blabbermouth). "There's been lots of little things that have kind of jumped up and gotten in the way of writing. So we're pretty excited to get writing again. It could go very quick, it could take a long time; we have no idea. That's the beauty of the artform."
Lars Ulrich is more wary of saying the writing could wrap up soon when they have projects like their Orion Music Festival and 3D concert film to work on.
"I wouldn't use the word 'close'. I mean, obviously, in the context of, say, the age of planet Earth, we're pretty close. But in the context of, say, other things, there may be one or two football seasons, or one or two baseball seasons, or one or two hockey seasons," he told Vancover radio station The Fox (via Ultimate Classic Rock).
Can Ulrich put a date on the album release? "I would say late 2013 or early 2014... I think even late 2013 may be a bit optimistic. I would say hopefully we can realistically get a record out probably about a year and a half from now, so maybe early 2014."