Kirk Hammet On Next Album: 'The Riff Bank Keeps Getting Bigger and Bigger'

Metallica axeman reveals details about "Death Magnetic" follow-up making process.

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Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett spoke to at this past weekend's Orion Music + More festival about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's long-awaited follow-up to 2008's "Death Magnetic," tentatively due in 2015.

"We do have a lot of musical ideas, we have something called 'the Riff Bank,' and the Riff Bank keeps getting bigger and bigger, still, to this day," he said (via Blabbermouth). "I'm writing stuff, Rob [Trujillo]'s writing stuff, James [Hetfield] is writing stuff, Lars [Ulrich] is writing stuff, continually expanding the Riff Bank. So, it doesn't look like we're going to be putting out an album any time soon this year, it would be an amazing stroke of luck and grace if our album came out next year. I think it's a more sober statement to make to say that the album will probably come out in 2015. That's a sober, realistic thing ... but we're psyched about it.

He continued: "It's too early in the game to tell you it will sound like 'Death Magnetic'. I mean, we have a lot of ideas but no actual finished songs, so it's hard for me to give you an accurate description. But we're looking forward to making it as heavy and as high-energy as possible, because that's what we want."

Hamett also spoke about Metallica's movie, "Through the Never," which will open on IMAX screens in the U.S. on September 27, with a wider release following on October 4.

The movie stars Dane DeHaan has a member of the band's road crew who is sent on a mysterious mission while the group headlines a concert at an arena. The film is said to mix a conventional storyline with concert footage.

"'Through The Never' is not exactly your typical concert film; it has a narrative weaving in and out of the concert footage," Kirk said. "You won't see, like, interviews with the band members backstage, or anything like that. All you'll see is raw footage of us onstage, and then narrative, with the story that weaves in and out. It's taken us on a pretty unique trip, because we're not in the movies industry, we're in the music industry. We've learned a lot about movies in general, and the business in general ... we just have to nail down a few things here and there, but we're excited about it."

Previously the band drummer Lars Ulrich told Channel 24 that the next Metallica record may take until 2015. Also, rumors say that Rick Rubin, the "Death Magnetic" producer, can head the band's next album making process.

63 comments sorted by best / new / date

    "The riff bank"... remember when Metallica wrote great songs instead of smashing a bunch of riffs together and singing something over that? The riffs on Death Magnetic were good but the songwriting sucked. You could take any riff from any song and put it into another one, people would hardly notice.
    I personally think that songs like End of the Line, Broken, Beat and Scarred and Cyanide were just the same three songs with different riffs. But on the other hand, The Day that Never Comes, All Nightmare Long and Judas Kiss are great songs in my opinion, and I enjoy the album as a whole. It's a solid record, and certainly a turn to better.
    I couldnt agree more, its the same thing with St. Anger. Heck, even Lulu sounds like it was constructed from riff tapes. Oh yeah, and it will take them atleast 2 years, what the hell??
    EXACTLY . I pretty much came here to say this. Ever since I heard Death Magnetic, it's always sounded to me like a riff compilation. There is absolutely no progression to the songs. What the band used to do (by their own admission) was basically take a riff and build a song around that riff, altering it and making it fit to different parts. But now they're just compiling riffs and singing over them... I think that's why all their songs are so long, because they come up with a million riffs, and then try to condense them into 7 or 8 minute songs. Even St. Anger, to me, sounded cohesive. It was cohesive crap, but at least the songs sounded whole.
    I agree for the most part. I think there's another problem though. I think Metallica is suffering from the same problem that a lot of major talent faces (i.e.: actors, musicians, directors, authors, etc.), which is that when you get to a certain level... two things happen: first, morons become so enamored by the idea of you that they will make themselves like anything you put out, simply because you put it out. That mindless acceptance fosters creative laziness. Second, when you're a king, you're surrounded by flattery. Everyone close to Metallica on a personal level does nothing but blow smoke up their ass. I guarantee you. Either they don't want to hurt feelings or they stand to make too much money. Whatever the motivation, I promise you, no one is telling James Hetfield, your voice sounds like shit on this track, or this riff is weak. Everything is "awesome" and "epic." And it's unfortunate, because the band is too close to their own work, and now they have nobody willing to say do better.
    sadly when the new record is about to come out, you will hear them say stuff like, this is the best record we've ever made! they're going to become "that band"
    This is just any other regular album, don't even bother man. We were best when we made Master of Puppets, why don't you just buy that one again? .... hmm I dunno, doesn't look like a good marketing strategy. Although a little bit of a humble attitude would serve them well I gues
    that was just your life is pretty amazing and one of the best metallica songs ever
    That's nice, Kirk. It sounds like you have more than enough saved up in the bank. So how about you guys try investing in some actual songs now? They might mature into a new album sooner than you expect...
    Picture this: Its like having 5million in the bank n buying a ferrari its boring might turn some heads but its like so what? I want to see them empty out the bank n thrash the shit out of a 3 cyl daihatzu cherade that will make me stand up and go **** yeh those guys are sick. Empty out the bank and go for broke!!
    ok cool, i want to hear some new metallica now damnit
    Haha considering all the hype this website gave "Like Clockwork" got before it's release, do we think we can handle 2 years worth of daily hype for the next Metallica album?...Sadly, I will probably still read every article.
    I love metallica, really, but im sick of hearing, "we have about 1,000 new riffs" 2015? 7 years since DM? that's pathetic. seriously, write a new record already and quit touring. and when you do tour, how about touring in the US for once? you're and American band and all I ever see is. "new shows added in bejing(insert foreign place)!" the last time you guys came to boston was 09....09!!!!! c'mon man
    Metallica is like blizzard. (Game company) 12 years for something new. xD When its done its done. hahhah
    Face R1pper
    Oh I get it now! Beyond Magnetic was the DLC for the music that should have actually been on the original album three years earlier.
    Meanwhile Dream Theater is releasing it's 3rd album this summer in the same time period and probably will have a 4th by the time this crap comes out. Ugh. To me it seems like these guys can't write together anymore. Instead they all write stuff on their own, then eventually get into the studio to try to edit it all together in Pro Tools. What a terrible approach to song writing.
    Great riffs mean nothing. What we want is a great thrash album!!!
    One of my beefs with the last two albums are the sterile Hetfield vocals. At least throw some reverb on them to give some depth.
    he had a great voice back in the day, but in all honesty, when I hear him sing now I cringe. theres no growl. he sounds terrible
    I wish I had a schedule like theirs....
    Yeah, me too. "CoreysMonster, when are you going to turn in your assignment?" "I know it's due tomorrow, but, realistically and soberly, not until 2015."
    Lars and Kirk are writing stuff? This is going to be fun.
    Yeah, because the likes of Creeping Death, Dusposable Heroes, Trapped Under Ice, Enter Sandman, Damage Inc and Dyers Eve, where Kirk contributed in the writing process are such horrible songs, right? As for Lars, he has been directing how the songs are formed ever since Kill Em All along with James, both guitar-wise and through his drum parts. Being somewhat impatient about the album taking so long to come out is understandable. Talking such nonsense though not so much. Death Magnetic had its problems, in sound, cohesion of songs, short solos, creatively implementing ideas, etc, but the absence of good riffs was not one of them.
    Remember when bands would churn out classic albums in a few days? I'm not saying they should rush, creativity shouldn't be, but seven years (not counting beyond or lulu) seems like aeons..
    I am a huge Metallica, seen them 3 times, once while they were recording their movie that's coming out, but for the love of god, just make a new album.
    ' The movie stars Dane DeHaan has a member of the band's road crew who is sent on a mysterious mission while the group headlines a concert at an arena.' I honestly had to re-read that 6 times.
    Dr Unkillable82
    I Think Its Bullshit They Take Their Precious Time To Make An Album And Its Been That Way Since The Black Album Came ... Shit It Wasn't Like That In The 80's But Thats Metallica For You The Older They Get The Longer It Takes Them To Make An Album And They Should Know By Now They Got Alot Of Impatient Fans And They Never Make Their Minds Up On What Its Gonna Sound Like Cuz Lars Said At First "Its Gonna Sound Like The Black Album But Heavier" And After That He Said "He Wanted It To Sound Like Death Magnetic" Like Make Your Fucking Mind Up Already
    I just think they're pulling a quick one on us; it seems like they're purposely stressing 2015, maybe to surprise the fans or to take pressure off of themselves to meet a certain deadline. It would be worse if they set a certain date and miss it, than if they set a yet-far- off date and finish the album before. Just my opinion.
    All this is more teasing.I like metallica but why do we have to hear the same statement from each band member?Get in the studio and be more productive.
    It makes sense if it comes out 2015... Just think of it: From 1 to 9 the they have albums to celebrate in: 91-Metallica; Beyond Magnetic(2011) ?2-nothing (so we should expect Album in 2022 xD) 83-Kill em all;St.Anger (2003) 84-Ride the lightning ?5-nothing (SO HERE IT IS SPACE FOR NEW ALBUM 2015) 96-Load 97-ReLoad 98-Garage Inc.; Death Magnetic (2008); ...and Justice for all (1988) 99-S&M (not an actual studio album so we can expect Album in 2019 xD) It makes sense for me xDDD Whatever I hope it'll come out earlier and I'm wrong xD
    I think I get it, but I also think it makes no sense. Two Metallica albums in four years ? Impossible
    Errr anyone can come up with riffs, it's how you implement them. The main riff on "That was just your life" was Enter Sandman backwards : P