Metallica: 'We Have to Start Working on New Album'

Band spent too much energy on other projects, Kirk Hammett admits.

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Discussing the massively anticipated new album, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett admitted that the band has spent too much energy on other projects, stressing the importance of kicking off the writing process.

Chatting with Kerrang magazine, Kirk noted, "We cannot think of any other reasons to procrastinate; of any other things to put on the calendar to push back [the start] date [for the new album writing sessions]."

Hammett then once again pointed out the massive amount of fresh riffs the group has at disposal. "We're kind of backed up into the corner now, so yes, we have to start working on the album. And I'm excited. James [Hetfield] has, like, 800 riffs. I only have 400, but there's not going to be any shortage of ideas. It's going to be interesting to see how it turns out," he said (via Blabbermouth).

Adding that writing and recording an album within a year would be a challenge he's "f--king up for," the guitarist added, "We did it with Lou Reed, but that doesn't really count, does it?

"We don't have any songs yet," he continued. "We have little bits and pieces of music earmarked to become songs, and really, that's all I can say about it. We're pretty psyched about it. We're only procrastinating because we love being at home with our families, but we really do love writing songs together and making an album."

Directly asked if Metallica has spent too much time and energy on other projects, Kirk replied, "It appears that way. We definitely have gone down a few different creative avenues that we didn't expect to do since the release of 'Death Magnetic.' That is a really, really long gap, but we've been busy pretty much the whole time throughout that.

"It remains to be seen whether or not we've taken too long. It seems like Metallica's bigger now than we've ever been. I only say that because last year we went to a lot of far-flung places that we rarely go to, and we sold a s--tload of tickets. From what we can gauge from ticket sales - and you can't really gauge this from record sales anymore, you know the whole story of declining sales for everyone - it seems like Metallica is bigger now worldwide than it ever has been. That tells me there are still fans out there who care about us."

Hammett concluded by explaining how Metallica became much more than a music band in the past decade, successfully managing and turn into a global brand. "In the past few years, Metallica has somehow morphed into not so much four guys in a band playing loud music, but more of a platform to do creative things under the Metallica banner. We've gone down so many creative avenues in the last eight, nine, 10 years," he said.

"We all like that position. We don't feel pigeonholed to be just a band. We've proven to ourselves - and that's the most important thing - that Metallica can be a way to express ourselves in a lot of non-musical ways, and for me, that's a great place to be. When we've been successful creatively, it feels like we've climbed another mountain. It really is a healthy thing for us. It shows that we're multifaceted, it keeps us stimulated and hopefully it serves the music on the backhand, consciously or subconsciously."

92 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Mkorn
    "We cannot think of any other reasons to procrastinate" dont worry you'll find one
    alex94kumar
    I like the transparency they're giving everyone in this situation. Hell, they could've just lied through their teeth and said everything's going fine.
    Mata121
    What if they ARE lying and everything is actually going fine?!?!?!
    joplambrix
    Everything IS fine, and they have no reason to lie. If the long wait will be rewared with an epic album, then who are we to complain?
    UniformRecon
    It appears that Metallica has found a new way to procrastinate making an album: doing lots of press about how they need to make an album.
    codyjt5150
    "Kirk Hammett admitted that the band has spent too much energy on other projects, stressing the importance of kicking off the writing process." He didn't even have to admit that. That's like if God admitted that the sky is blue.
    metalme31
    The sky's supposed to be blue??? Thank god you told me that, I thought they were always supposed to be black and grey!
    codyjt5150
    Can I have the shrooms that you ingested?
    Dannym95
    That's like if I admitted that I use the word "bellend" a lot.
    bevski208
    Never stop. Ever. I know the UG community is hugely bipolar to you but don't give in.
    Downfault
    You know Danny; I really appreciate your comments when you actually have something say. I like hearing people’s opinions, especially when it is intellectual and has regards to the topic like yours occasionally do. But to be honest friend, I quite don’t care for your tired and stale attempts of humor and attention seeking particularly when you use the phrase “Bellend”. Please just be yourself and write more comments that matter ok.
    Skillet_Panhead
    God: "Okay, guys. Yep, you caught me. I guess you could kind of in a manor of speaking say that the sky MIGHT be some particular shade of the color blue. Maybe." *whispers to self*Was really hoping they wouldn't catch on to that one...
    gorkyporky
    When did it become fashionable to brag about how many riffs you have written? Every article i read about a band starting working on an album they are liek "We have 150 riffs written!" That just tells me that 140 of them suck.
    HitmanJenkins
    A lot of the time this is definitely the case, the only exception that I can think of is Rob Pollard of Guided By Voices.
    BjarnedeGraaf
    It's so weird that in almost every article, a band member makes it seem like they are making excuses NOT to make this album.It's like they feel they HAVE to make it for the fans, instead for themselfs. Makes the think this might be one of the last metallica albums to come out.
    DrunkInThTrunk
    if not the last ever... I was honestly surprised when death magnetic came out. maybe this will be like a GnR chinese democracy situation, the next metallica album will come out in 17 years, when they're in their late 60's
    ivanvillanueva
    Think about how many lp studio albums they released 80s they released 4 albums: KEA, RTL, MOP, AJFA 90s they released 3 albums: Black album, Load, ReLoad 00s they released 2 albums: St. Anger, DM 10s they will probably release 1 album 20s they will probably release 0 albums 30s they will probably disband since i doubt that james will be able to sing the classics and Lars will be to old to be playing classics
    Maiden95
    I agree 100%. I think that the only thing that keeps Metallica going musically is, like Kirk said, their world wide popularity (which apparently does not apply for the United States anymore). I don't see a farewell tour coming very soon, but this is going to be their last record, or second to last record. I can almost guarantee that.
    Democrab
    I think they literally have just gotten caught up with touring and their other projects. If you want an example of where the band isn't really working musically now, look at Tool...It's not procrastination and new project after new project as a band, it's them doing separate things (Puscifer, Volto!, etc) and doing a tour each year with announcements that we'll get a new album soon every few months as opposed to Metallica where they're doing so much stuff as a band apart from the new album.
    Rimfrost
    It really doesn't sound as if they want to make this thing, they keep talking about making excuses. I know from myself that if i'm feeling creative, i can't stop working on something, while Metallica seems to be in a position where they have to force themselves to do it, doesn't sound like they really want to.
    lemmyisgod97
    I thought they will be playing a new song at that "Metallica By Request" tour that starts in like 2 months, and they don't even have one written.
    GenerationKILL
    Can we get 10,000 more news headlines about metallica "wanting to record new album" and "metallica is going to record new album" and also "metallica still going to record new album" ??? Because you know, I don't think the bi-weekly updates on metallica going IN to the studio are enough, I could really use more. Infact can UG just create an app that just constantly bombards me with messages about Metallica's desire to record a new album????
    Downfault
    Metallica; quit talking about it and do it already. Though I got to say I'm not really anticipating anything spectacular. The reason for that stated is because from the way they discuss the new album, they have no idea or no direction for what they want to do. It's almost like they don't want to do it but have now run out of reasons not to. With that attitude it sounds like they are just going to force something out just for the sake of pleasing the masses.
    sca.smith
    I don't know why people are demanding that Metallica work on an album right at this minute - When you rush an album, it usually sucks, so I'd rather they took their time with things they actually want to do before returning to an album so that all they have to do is write an album. So I say; do other projects if you want. The movie was alright and the Orion music festival is a cool thing to run. I'd rather they go back to a record with fresh heads.
    drag1e
    Yeah, they should take their time writing, that's why they need to start putting riffs and stuffs together right now, so they don't just rush out an album some decades later
    kurt_cobain9
    If I had a dollar for every time UG posted an article about how Metallica is "working" on their new album, I'd have enough to buy their entire discography at least twice before this new one came out. Can't wait to read the same articles for the next two or three years.
    axelgarcia1
    same thing when System Of a Down said they'd do a new album... later on... who knows when. yet they made an article about it like once a week.
    Shavyi
    They push it back because they fear. It's quite understandable, they didn't get in studios for originals since 2008 and everybody is putting them under a lot of pressure. Plus it is maybe the last ever Metallica album and they don't want to end with a false note.
    METAL JEFF
    I doubt this will be their last cd or album.i see them touring less as they get older and actually spend more time putting out music.I also see James doing some solo stuff too if that counts.I can see a James solo project that is half counrty and half spaghetti western acoustic type stuff.
    KnibbHighFB
    This is like the 4th article posted about Metallica saying they need to get started. So, you know, get started.
    thesilentreacti
    I hope they take their time, with the amount of riffs they have suggested to having, it would be a shame not to try the majority out, and not to pick them out of a hat to rush an album out.
    B_Pan
    Come on guys, don't rush them, they might end up doing a Megadeth and releasing a 'Best of' album.
    JTMcFarland
    1200 riffs between James and Kirk sounds like a lot, but how does that compare to the album: And Justice for All? Speaking of that album I'm hoping that the new album will resemble their older style of music!!
    kiba56
    I thought they already knew they needed to start working on a new album..?
    Jakinov
    no please God no, just don't make anything new and just stop. For the love of God
    METAL JEFF
    Call me a 44 year old fan boy.I don't care.If it were not for Metallica or Iron Maiden or Sabbath I never would have picked up a guitar and stuck with it for 30 years for the most part.Metallica can take their time,I do love how Megadeth keeps putting out good stuff just about every year or every other year though.There are tons and tons of great metal out here to be heard ,so I'm in no hurry for the bay area bashers to put out a new cd.
    jeretx2
    Making a album is a very long and hard working process. Just imagine the pressure they're under - Second album post-St. Anger - Death Magnetic was pretty damn good, but that was written over 6 years ago. They have to start fresh. I'm totally fine with them taking over a year to work on it. Do it, and make it great!
    Izzy-Sweet
    That's fine and all, and I agree for the most part, but they've had over SIX years to do another album, not one.
    Irwin Navarro
    I know many or probably all might hate me for this but dont you think its time for Metallica to retire and simply pass the torch to other bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, etc?,, Metallica has already made a lot of accomplishments and have already cemented their name as one of the pioneers of heavy metal. Peace
    MrWeatherHead
    Not hating coz it's your opinion but I disagree. I think if a band is good enough (and I think Metallica are) they should continue to be a band as long as they FEEL like doing it. If a band starts to not enjoy writing or performing thats when it goes downhill, however Metallica seem to still love doing that so in me eyes that have no reason to retire.
    sca.smith
    Indeed, artists tend to finish because they're bored (Phil Collins) or because of conflicts (Oasis); Metallica aren't bored of what they do and they've got tight relationships with each other.
    Shavyi
    The problem is (and I have seen them live 2011, with a lot of other huge bands) nothing can really take that torch !
    link no1
    I don't like this idea that they should HAVE to retire just to give new bands a chance. They'll retire one day, when they're ready. If new bands want to 'take the torch' then they don't have to wait for the 'legendary' bands to retire, they can do it right now. They have to earn that 'torch'.
    Swizzlestix
    The Stones are still around, i see NO reason Metallica should quit any time soon, they're not even that old, and compared to today's metal they aren't nearly as heavy, they're not playing Lamb of God songs in their shows
    stereosmiles
    SHUT UP ABOUT DOING IT AND DO IT! The more someone tells me how excited they are to start an album, the more I realise that they must have been really bored before. Most people get excited about the material they come up with, not the getting excited about the thought of getting excited... Yet another grindingly slow news day here on UG.
    BealeStBlues
    Metallica has always been more interested in the live show than the studio album. If I were them i'd write an albums worth of songs and go play them at a few small venues and record a live album. They can then go in later and record the true album if they feel like it. Seems like they could make a better album that way. Make every song a "live show" song. My two cents.
    The Spoon
    Is it me, or does it sound like writing another album is just "part of the job". They keep trying to embellish their statements with "But we're really excited about it!" but every statement they make makes it sound like they're just doing it because it's time to do it, rather than really wanting to do it. They've been doing this for a while too...it must be hard to find inspiration to write music in one genre when you've been doing it for so long.
    rich420
    I don't suppose this album will be that good really. It'll stick to a formula, a bit like Death Magnetic did. None of those songs are particularly memorable, not like the songs from their prime. I don't think they know how to go about writing the new album. Sounds very much like they're writing an album for the sake of it, not because they have something to play. I'm calling it now: it won't be very good and Kirk will play wanky wah scales for every solo.
    narizee
    didn't they said before that they have thousands of riffs already?
    crippler240
    okay, so now that we know that you guys are done with your other projects and theres nothing else and have atleast 1200 riffs at their disposal... FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS METAL PLEASE GO INTO THE STUDIO ALREADY!!! STOP PROCRASTINATING!!!!