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Metallica are Writing New Music!

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Metallica, like so many bands, are making their best of their current time in isolation by doing pretty much the only thing a band can do while stuck at home: writing new music.

Drummer Lars Ulrich first indicated they were looking at working on new material in a live chat in late April, talking about the weekly Zoom calls between band members and saying there was “a very good chance” they’d work on new music if the quarantine continues for “six months or a year.”

It hasn’t even been two months yet, but the combination of cabin fever and the clarity that this situation won’t be changing any time soon has led the band members to begin hammering away at new songs remotely, which isn’t their their typical working process.

Speaking to Swedish talk show host Fredrik Skavlan, Ulrich provided some information about the band’s new creative process: 

“We’re just starting, in the last four weeks maybe, we connected again. We’ve been obviously connecting [even before that], but we [have now] connected creatively, and now we’re sort of in discovery mode, I think is a good way to say it. We are sending ideas to each other via e-mail and via Zoom and [trying to] make music in these unusual situations.”

Later on in the chat he added:

“We have a weekly Zoom connect. We’ve been doing that basically since [the lockdown] started in America, 10, 11 weeks [ago]. So we get together once a week on Zoom for a couple of hours and catch up. The good thing about that catching up is we just talk about how we’re doing, and what we don’t sit and talk about is Metallica for hours and hours. But now that we’ve started exchanging some ideas, it’s great. It’s nice to be in touch, it’s nice to be part again of that group, and I look forward to the creative opportunities that lie ahead of us.”

On the differences between the band’s usual writing method and swapping files via the internet:

“So far, at least, the sonic side of it and the practical elements are in surprisingly good shape, actually. So now we’ve just gotta figure out how much we can create without being in the same space.

“The difference, obviously, between bands like ourselves and people that are still bands, like the U2s of the world or the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Coldplay or Iron Maiden or whatever is that you really are bands, and you rely on the group format to really move everything forward. So unlike if you’re a solo artist and it’s just you and your guitar or whatever. So it’s a different thing.”

Knowing the deliberate pace at which Metallica typically write, fans shouldn’t be getting their hopes up for new music any time soon; I’d say late 2021 at the absolute earliest. Still, something to look forward to, I guess? Hopefully Kirk Hammett is dusting off those triple-backed up riffs he’s been recording.

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