Metallica: 'We're Recording Stuff Here and There, But It's a Pretty Slow Process'

Guitarist Kirk Hammett gives an update on the new album recording process.

Ultimate Guitar

We could easily say that Metallica has been one of this year's busiest bands so far. Making a 3D movie, organizing the second Orion Music Festival, concerts around the globe, the metal icons have it all covered. Or at least all except the new album, as the new release may take even longer than expected.

In a recent interview on Gulf News, guitarist Kirk Hammett didn't seem too sure on whether the new album will arrive during 2014 as previously announced.

"That's what we're hoping would happen. Whether that's a reality, we'll see. We're recording stuff here and there, but it's a pretty slow process."

The guitarist showed great excitement regarding the upcoming "Metallica Through the Never" 3D movie, calling the genre itself the thing of the future. As for the movie itself, it's gone well into the production stage and should be ready for the August 9 premiere.

"There's going to be a point when most movies are going to be released in 3D. The genre is just beginning, and we feel that it's going to be the future. There's very little behind-the-scenes footage, and there are no interviews with the band," says Hammett. "It's a concert performance and there's a story narrative that weaves in and out with the footage. It's interconnected in a way. It's very unique in that you don't have duality in it - it's intertwined that it becomes one entity. We're very excited about it, because we feel nothing like it has been done before."

"From the footage we've seen, it looks pretty amazing. It is a trip seeing yourself in 3D, that's for sure! Actually, it's a trip seeing yourself on a 25-feet cinema screen to begin with. The 3D aspect makes it all that much intense."

Hammett also talked about Metallica's longevity, naming the chemistry within the band as the main driving force.

"With us, chemistry is everything. And there's certain chemistry in the band that allows us to function, at a certain frequency. That frequency is a lot more unique than the frequency a lot of other bands have."

130 comments sorted by best / new / date

    They need to release one soon before they're reduced to a nostalgia act, because they're slowly but surely becoming one.
    How is it Megadeth can record a solid album in 2 months but 'tallica haven't released anything except beyond magnetic since 2008.
    Wasn't beyond Magnetic just a few tracks that didn't make the cut at the time? Granted, they are pretty bad ass. But in my mind, the last thing Metallica did was 100% Death Magnetic. I can't wait for the next phase and hope they don't end up with death Magnetic 2. and I'm sure i'll be persecuted for this but that producer makes metal sound so digital, I hope they don't use him again, but I'm sure they will as he's probably best friends with Rick Rubin. Bah.
    Holy sh*t, already with Megadeth... I hope it turns out good for 'tallica boys.
    Metallica isn't getting any younger. They need to start releasing more albums FAR more quickly. Since 1997's "Reload" they've released a total 2 studio albums of original material (St. Anger & Death Magnetic), so not counting Garage Inc., S&M, & the Lulu collaboration. A waste of talent...let's go boys!! You don't even have to do a full tour to support every release, just make us some music!
    Their touring schedule is clearly not just time consuming but life consuming. I disagree with you, I'd rather wait another 5 years and have an amazing record (even if it's the final chapter) than them rush 3 records out over the next few years via Rick Rubin and that digital producer, just to make music for the sake of it. They don't need the money. They have nothing to prove. Why would they rush into anything if they're constantly touring. Megadeth clearly don't work like that hence the fact they'll soon be 2 records ahead of Metallica since Endgame and DM came out at a very similar time. But as stated by about 50,000 people in a previous UG post, no matter what or when Metallica release their new cd, after a few months the new tracks will be replaced with the classics again on stage because no one seems to want to hear a "Sweet Amber" or a "Suicide & Redemption" cus they're all waiting for Battery. Fuck it anyway. NEW STUFF = YES PLEASE.
    Exactly, and then I feel like maybe the hype created when the new album IS officially coming out will just lead to disappointment.
    Maybe that means Megadeth creates another mediocre record
    Well they released Endgame as well before that which was one of the better metal albums of the 00's and are about to release another record. Just seems like 'tallica are having trouble coming up with something.
    maybe their just too busy doing tours as much as they can ... have you watched quebec magnetic :? james still nails shouting short verses but when it comes to long ones his voice falls short
    Devin Townsend, who is constantly on tour, and a solo artist, finished an album 2 months after his last album came out and while on tour.
    Well a mediocre album with a few solid songs is still better than no albums at all... Atleast you know that you only have to wait a short while until the next one, which might be better. Though i havent really been dissapointed by any Megadeth records, i think most of them are pretty solid though i didnt like a lot of the rockers on Thirteen, just didnt work as well this time around i guess, but there was still the rest of the album which was pretty amazing imo.
    even speaking as more of a metallica fan than megadeth, megadeth's recent albums have been better than death magnetic
    Th1rt3n was a good album, when metallica trys to make a album fast it is terrible. ever hear of lulu?
    Yes and I purposely didn't mention it because 1. I'm sick of hearing about it 2. It's not a Metallica record.
    Yeah that Lou Reed project that he invited Metallica to be a part of. That record that isn't a Metallica release and was probably made in respect of Lou Reed from 4 fans of his actual vintage good music. I don't think James wakes up thinking "Jeez, Lulu didn't quite match up to Master of Puppets". Although, he is a table. So who knows :|
    Here we ****ing go again for the last time! LULU IS NOT a ****ing Metallica album! It's Lou Reed FEATURING Metallica.
    You're wrong. It's not "featuring" Metallica, where did you even get this from? Lulu is a an equal collaborative project between Lou Reed and Metallica. Go to the official website: The website clearly says "Lou Reed & Metallica" everywhere, never says "featuring". The album credits say: "All Songs by Lou Reed & Metallica. All lyrics by Lou Reed. All Songs 2011 Lou Reed Music (BMI)/Creeping Death Music".
    Th1rt3en was pretty mediocre, there's only two or three songs on there which I would actually still enjoy listening to
    I'd disagree with you, but I even liked risk, so I'd just get flamed.
    Who doesn't get flamed. 13 to me wasn't that great or memorable, but Endgame blows Death Magnetic out of the water. I look forward to it anyway, new stuff is always good.
    Josh Reubenking
    Lulu is NOT a Metallica record! It's Lou Reed's FEATURING Metallica! Do you people not ****ing get it?!?!?!?
    Where are you morons getting "featuring" Metallica? READ THE FREAKING OFFICIAL LULU WEBSITE!! It's officially a "Lou Reed & Metallica" album. THE ALBUM IS BY "LOU REED AND METALLICA". It's written right on the friggin album! Jesus you idiots!!! Next you're going to tell me it's "Simon FEATURING Garfunkel" or "Hootie FEATURING The Blowfish"?
    Josh Reubenking
    Everyone in the Metallica camp said they only wrote the music for it and FEATURED on it. They said it's NOT a Metallica record. It's not the follow up to 'Death Magnetic'. So you are one of the many idiots who think it's a Metallica record.
    matteo cubano
    I mean, whether you keep wanting to debate it, the music kicked some ass even though it was repetitive, which it had to be in order not to distract people. Lou Reed and that shitty story made it suck so much.
    Not trying to force it as a Metallica record, but after all the bashing the album received what you're saying would be something that a band would say to set themselves away from such failure.
    F*ck I get sick of this... Lulu is NOT a Metallica album in any way, shape or form!
    Cuz Megadeth focuses on getting money for really mediocre stuff. while Metallica wants to build there road to keep rockin.
    Because Metallica have the most stupid roundabout writing/recording process ever. In Megadeth, Dave writes a bunch of songs and shows them to band and they record them. In Metallica, James and Kirk write like 1000 riffs, record them all, go through picking what they like, then they discuss everything as band to arrange songs and just have this really long winded process that's kind of pointless...
    How exactly is that bad?
    writing a F*K-ton load of riffs makes it difficult to choose which one to use and that slows the process. If you have 1 song and like 3 riffs you can either only use 1 or you can try to mix it up into one big cake
    link no1
    That's because Metallica is a band and they still try to write songs yano, together like yano, a band. Megadeth is pretty much a Dave Mustaine solo project where he writes the songs and everybody else learns them. It's easier to get an album out quick with basically one guy making the decisions.
    First encounter with the word "yano" and I have to say, I'm not a fan. That said, you have a point there.
    ye lets face it, its never going to take as long Guns'n'roses (sorta) and be a massive let down after all that time!
    That's because Megadeth has a definitive leader Mustaine who is the main songwriter and organizer in the band, so he can get a new record done pretty quickly. Metallica on the other hand does things differenty. Hetfield end Ulrich compose the songs together and then pass them to Kirk and Rob. This approach is probably more time-consuming and less focused.
    Metallica still has the potential to make another masterpiece, that is what everyone is waiting for
    god damn it, i wish they didnt focus so much on a 3D movie and just focus on making music instead. Im sure every fan wants new music but come on.. at least an ep or something. its been 5 years since death magnetic. I love metallica with all my heart and soul but whats the point of making a movie about a perfomance with all the songs we know like the back of our hand? I mean there was the dvd quebec magnetic, I think thats already enough and also the ep beyond magnetic was pretty awesome but oh well, I cant hate on on tallica, lets see how this turns out
    Well I have the feeling that if they are keeping themselves so busy about their 3D movie, it may be because they are facing a lack of musical inspiration..but hey, if I have to wait two more years for another Metallica album, I have no problem with that. I hope I'm wrong though!
    Hopefully it's worth the wait but I doubt it will be :/ Sorry to all the die-hards, just my opinion. Boobs rule.
    I'm a die-hard fan and I approve of this. It's just been way too long! They need to look at Megadeth, they're releasing good records at a reasonable time! I really think 'Tallica needs to work on their timing and work on the record more.
    Woahhhhh ... the Metallica news is NOT on the top of the news widget!
    funnily enough their best albums were recorded when they were constrained to a small place with very short deadlines. laziness tends to lead to complacency I think so I'm not holding my breath for the next one, hope I'm wrong though.
    I don't think taking it slow is a bad thing, but maybe they could release a single, at least?
    idk if anybody has watched That Metal Show before, but Lars even said its not a Metallica album, all that shit was written way before Metallica was even asked to play on it. Metallica just did there part, that album is a play.
    The hype of 3D is already dying... missed the bus on this one 'tallica
    Probably gonna get slammed for bringing this up, but Metallica can't say they're the busiest and can not get it done. Look at Dave Grohl. He's had Wasting Light in 2011, toured it for a year and a half, made the Sound City movie, made the album, recorded drums for the new QOTSA album, and is already in the process of recording a new Foo album. Metallica has had plenty of time on their hands.
    link no1
    But it's Dave Grohl. I sometimes wonder if he even has a life outside of career.
    Of course, why would it be different from metallica? life forbid them from actually being serious while working on new material.
    I highly doubt there is going to be a point where most movies are released in 3D.
    link no1
    Most movies are already released in 3D.
    As a person who goes to the movies a lot, and I switch between three in my area, I would def disagree with you cordially, because most theaters don't want to deal with monetary issues surrounding a lot of 3D options, thats why most have 1-3. Least that what I read about.
    Probably not, because by the time that rolls around, the movie theater business might not exist anymore.
    Slow is an understatement. Nirvana may put out another album before Metallica.
    So lets see. In THIS day and age, where record sales don't mean $#!T to the bottom line, and filling arenas is the way to pay the bills....we expect Metallica to quit touring and playing shows so they can write an album that won't make much, if any money. They should do this WHY?!?!?! In the digital age, where you don't really sell albums anymore (and if you do, people steal them on the internet....thanx jerks) why would you take a lot of time off what IS paying you well to make an album? awesome as they are, do NOT pull the kinds of crowds Metallica does. They aren't cutting into the bottom line as much as Metallica would need to in order to record one.
    Because it doesn't actually take A LOT of time to write songs and share idea if you and your bandmates Sit in a room, pick their instruments and start jamming ideas. Im talking from the experience, you can easily do a complete base of a full song that you can later work on in a single day. Even KISS doesn't take that long to make albums and THEY are a band that was made entirely to make money.
    Yeah man, from experience it's true, just get up and go with it. But when you've done this for like 40 years and hitting 50+, it doesnt work that way anymore. You grow out of it. I bet they could write some killer clean and bluesier songs, but metal (at least 80s tallica) just wont come back to them out of nowhere, they dont have it in them like they used to
    Artists make albums because they like to write/create music. Metallica doesn't need anymore money, even though they'd likely disagree. They have the freedom to do whatever they want. I'd expect real rock musicians to want to create new music (albums) and play live shows.
    link no1
    Maybe they just get a bigger kick out of being on stage rather than creating new music these days. It's not unusual for people to just enjoy being on stage and if that's what they ultimately want then they are one of the few bands capable of doing that without having to write that much and still sell out gigs.
    Each band takes different amounts of time to make songs they think are quality. If your band makes their best stuff in a 2 hour jam session, great! Betting these guys just want to be able to take as much time as needed to put out the best stuff they can....and right now, they have better things to do.
    Having seen Metallica recently, and having heard a setlist almost entirely of their first 5 records, i'd say the nostalgia band comment is correct. They didn't even play one song off of their past 3 records, and to be honest i didn't want to hear anything off of them anyway. Need good new shit soon dudes.
    Although I don't have very high expectation for their new album when it does come out, I am thankful for all the great music that they gave us in the 80's
    Metallica already said they liked the style of Death Magnetic, and that they'd go for that sound again. Not terribly excited about it.
    the last 3 or 4 megadeth albums have been good!with some great songs and moments. I can listen to the last 4 recors all the way through! can't say that for metallica after and justice for all.Now with that said...Megadeth is not top 40 metal,like metallica was and still tried to be.That may be why megadeth/metal doesn't appeal to people who have been listeing to metallica.They have a very commercial metal sound always have.They are the most pop sounding metal from that era. exodus,anthrax,testament and slayer have all released good metal rtecords too!
    No hype for this. I mean look at them... I doubt they can release something good.
    Wow, if it's taking you guys to write the same old binary riffing of Death Magnetic (a.k.a. drop D tuning and |--0-1-0-1-0-0-|)... Then I just don't know what to say. I hope there's some creativity on this album FFS.
    That only occurred once on the album, and not for very long either. I would hardly use that example to portray the album as a whole because there are some really good riffs in Death Magnetic
    there was some good riffs on dm. but there were also sme riffs that screamed. IMMMM ALLLLL OUT OF IDEAS!!!!! and kirks solos.....(barf)
    Um... All Nightmare Long, Cyanide, The Judas Kiss, That Was Just Your Life... That's more than once. But I'll give them credit for My Apocalypse and Suicide and Redemption, which shows they're still capable of writing non-binary riffs, but choose not to do it for **** knows why. EDIT: and I'm not even mentioning the solos... *WOW, so this is a pentatonic scale? I'm thrilled, now just STFU and give me my wah!*
    "drop D tuning and |--0-1-0-1-0-0-|" "All Nightmare Long, Cyanide, The Judas Kiss, That Was Just Your Life..." Not a guitar player, eh?
    I'm actually pretty good at guitar, which is probably why I realized that.
    ???? Really? You must be terrible if you noticed that Cyanide, The Judas Kiss, That Was Just Your Life are in Drop D and consist of riffs such as |-0-1-1-0-1-0-1|, because they are in E Standard, and contain almost no binary riffs
    Yes, they are in standard, I put the drop D thing there because the first one that came to mind was All Nightmare Long, my mistake, but the point about binary riffing stands still. Anyways, I argued with stubborn fans of all kinds of bands on this website before, so I know not a day of discussion would stop me from getting downvoted or shat at. So, good day.
    No, you are on a guitar site so do yourself a favor, after reading this, scroll up the page, type up the songs you claim to contain binary riffs, and look at the tabs. You may notice that there is little, if any, binary riffing in the rest of the songs.
    Josh Reubenking
    For somebody who says they're good on guitar you don't even know the difference between Drop D and Standard tunings? Try going back to basics. I've been playing for 10 years.
    "I put the drop D thing there because the first one that came to mind was All Nightmare Long, my mistake" Thanks a lot for reading, @Josh Reubenking. About the binary riffing: I can notice one by ear, but I checked "That Was Just Your Life" tab just to confirm my point, and... e|-----| B|-----| G|-----| D|--2-----2---2---3----| A|--2----2-2--2--2-----2---1---3----| E|--0----0-0--0--0---- -0---0---1----| e|-----| B|-----| G|-----| D|-----| A|----- | E|--000--0-0-0-0-0-0--000--| ...I rest my case. But once again, I'll just get out before someone thinks I'm trolling or some immature shit like that. NOTE: UG messed up a bit with the tab, but it's still comprehensible.
    You have the tab completely wrong my friend, you cant claim it to be 'binary' if you don't show the riff correctly. As for the zeroes, that is just basic thrash metal, find me a thrash metal song that doesn't use |--000-(followed by whatever filler you wish, whether it contains 1 or not)-000-000--| and then we will talk. Also, based on your concept of 'binary riffing' most thrash metal would be considered 'binary', yet it is not, its thrash metal.
    There are no stubborn fans here, I simply disputed your previous claims because they were false (for the most part because All Nightmare Long does contain a little bit of binary, but not enough to say the song is really simple and stupid)
    There are lot more than 1's and 0's in most of those "riffs" you mentioned. Learn to criticize constructively.
    All Nightmare Long is the ONLY song on the album that is in Drop D tuning and has binary riffing longer than a minute. Everything else is in Standard (you should probably check your facts before you make a fool out of yourself). You are entitled to your opinion about the solos, yes they could be better, but that are not bad (in my opinion)
    Could they just combine a binary riff of |--0-1-0-1-0-0-| to make a 2-0 riff?
    Meh who cares. I bet it's going to suck just like Death Magnetic. Just enjoy their first 4 records.
    Got that right. I just can't get into anything beyond AJFA, but I do enjoy Garage Inc.
    megadeth are realsing album after album because they're not as busy metallica. They need to be behind the scenes fllowing the making of their movie, they have a ****ing festival to plan, they have shows around the world, the guys in megadeth only go to the studio studio, record and album and go on tour after it. metallica is way more busy these days. They're not only musicians anymore, they are now in a whole new level of entertainment, and I think the fans, like me, should be more than happy they are putting that musch effort into new things. The album will come, just wait for it.
    matteo cubano
    concerts around the globe? they have 10 dates right now to play, so technically it's true's a little misleading to include that in explaining how they're busy.
    According to Megadeth's album release schedule, they should have another album by 2015, the same time as Metallica. So, basically, Megadeth will have released 3/4 albums by the time Metallica releases one.
    For whatever reason, since the Black Album it takes Metallica longer than the average band to record an album. They aren't John Frusciante who can churn out a record in a studio in 10 days and have it be brilliant. Metallica hims and haws and fine-tunes their songs over and over again until they're the best they think they can be. I've heard early versions of songs from Death Magnetic and many of them sound like sh*t. It probably takes James 15 takes these days just to get his voice to not sound like a pitchy piece of a$$ on any given part. But I think most agree that 6-7 years between albums is ridiculous.
    at this point Metallica want to write for themselves and themselves alone. at this point megadeth write because after they write an album they can tour it and make money. by no means is Mustaine a sell out, but there have been times in his life where he toured simply to make a living. Dave NEEDS to write whereas Metallica are doing what they want and have no reason to give ****s about a new album. They have already done what they came here to do...