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."