Lars Ulrich says that "it's way too early" to talk about a new METALLICA album.
The 57-year-old drummer touched upon a possible follow-up to 2016's "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" while speaking to SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" last Thursday (September 9).
Asked if there is a new METALLICA LP in the works, Lars said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We're on that path. I don't know if it's cohesive enough to call a record, but we're dipping our toes. We've been trying to stay busy. We did the drive-in thing last summer. We did an All Within My Hands event in November. We did '[The Late Show With Stephen] Colbert'. We're doing '[Jimmy] Kimmel [Live!]' tomorrow. We're engaged. And we are creating at some level. It's way too early to talk about a record or a timeline or anything. But we're staying busy. And it's exciting to just think of the possibilities. Right now we're so rejuvenated and just ready to get back in."
Earlier this year, METALLICA frontman James Hetfield told "The Fierce Life" podcast that he and his bandmates had written "quite a few songs" during the coronavirus quarantine. "We'll see how many we like first, and then we'll put 'em out," he said. "We're pretty selfish that way; we like what we write as well."
Speaking about the METALLICA songwriting process during the pandemic, James said that he "started doing a weekly Zoom with those guys, just to check in. And then I just told them one time, 'Hey, I'm gonna write something. I'm just gonna play something and send it to you guys. You do whatever you want with it and see what happens and layer on to it.' So that's how we did a version of 'Blackened' 2020. I just basically played something. They hadn't heard it before. They played on it. Then it kind of got layered together. Then we started experimenting with writing on Zoom. Lars and I would get together, or Kirk [Hammett, guitar] and Lars, and we would get little bits of time here and there writing. It was difficult because of the delay in the sound, so we couldn't actually play together, but we would play to a click track and watch each other play.
"We had our producer, who was running my computer while I was playing. He was running my computer from L.A., and I'm in Vail [Colorado]. And then Lars had an assistant running his computer from L.A. — he's up here in San Francisco — and we were playing together, and it was pretty bizarre. We started writing. We got about — I don't know — over 10 songs going that way. And then we finally got together. There's only so much you can do on Zoom."
This past July, Hammett told Classic Rock magazine that he and his bandmates have been staying creative during the pandemic. "We've tried to make the most of the COVID year and a half, and we've been pretty successful," he said. "We've got together remotely and worked, and we've got together [properly] and worked. Things are moving really well. I would say that the music we're coming up with is very appropriate for the times.
"Music should bring everyone together, it should be a celebration," Hammett added. "That's what music is about. It's not about selling albums or getting Grammys; it's about putting out good music and helping the situation with that music."
"Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart, selling 291,000 copies in its first week of release.