It's no secret Metallica is working on a new album in quarantine. In a new interview with Metal Hammer, both guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo spoke about the new material and just how hard they're working on it. Hammett joked he's overcompensating with writing for the new one, considering infamously losing his phone didn't allow him to contribute much to the band's last release Hardwired to Self Destruct.
“There’s a lot of material,” laughs Kirk. “I know I have tons, because I totally overcompensated. You know, last time around, it was a real shock to my system losing all those musical ideas [Kirk lost a phone with more than 300 pieces of music on it during the creative process for Hardwired…]. So, I was very determined to try and make up for lost time. I also felt that, creatively, I have so much more to offer this time around.”
Trujillo added he feels the new album is very collaborative, and of course vouched for Hammett's creativity.
“I’m not gonna speak on behalf of the other guys, but to me, it feels like this could be a very collaborative [writing process],” offers Rob. “And for me personally, I love that. I love that we are in that headspace to be more collaborative, and I think that’s very exciting for where we’re at now, the journey we’re about to take, the fact that those doors are opening like that.”
“Kirk has so many ideas. It’s funny because sometimes it’s literally him in the kitchen and he’s cooking, and at the same time he’s playing you a riff, or you’re sitting on the toilet and he’s playing you some ideas. But when we started to understand that [the lockdown] was gonna happen, it was like, ‘Hey, let’s be creative’, you know? Let’s just get on it. A lot of times, when there’s a band that’s been around as long as Metallica has, you find that one of the biggest problems is, ‘Man I can’t come up with a riff, I can’t come up with any good lyrics, it’s just harder to write songs’, but that just doesn’t seem to be the problem with us. Not taking anything away from any other bands, but sometimes our worst riff might be another band’s A-List riff.”
During a recent SirusXM Town Hall, frontman James Hetfield noted he's written "tons of material" while sitting at home.
"For me, and I don't wanna sound ungrateful, 'cause I know there's a lot of people out there that are struggling because of this COVID… Where I live, it's all service industry. And, obviously, the music industry, it's tough — it's taken a big hit. For us, we're road dogs — we've been out on the road forever — so you're either on the road or you're writing. So the obvious thing is, 'Well, we're not on the road. Start writing.' So, [I've written] tons of material. And I'm sure there's lots of musicians out there that are just, like, 'Okay, what can I do? I'm gonna write and just get into that,' which I love doing."
Lars Ulrich noted in April during an interview about the possibility of a new album, "So, will there be a Metallica quarantine record? I can't tell you, because, again, I don't know how long the quarantine will last. But if you and I and the rest of the world are sitting here six months from now or a year from now, I'd say there's a very good chance."
Right before that, he said "How do we make art? How do we share it with this new paradigm that's happening? What can it look like on the other side of the new normal? Even if you bring it into our world, the people that make all the software and all the stuff that all use to record are sitting right now trying to figure out how Lars and James [Hetfield] and Kirk [Hammett] and Rob [Trujillo] can make a Metallica record from four different locations in four different states. And that's something that we're obviously circling and very excited about… A lot of that will, obviously, have to do with how long stay-at-home orders stay in place. A lot of that will have to do with if there's a second wave of the virus. Who knows what our world will look like six months from now? But, obviously, the one thing that you can depend on with creative people, for better or worse, is that they can't sit still for very long. And I can tell you that on these weekly Metallica Zoom sessions, we are talking about how we can just be a band again. And there are many different phases to being in a band, but the most basic one, and certainly where it started 37 years ago, is to just have four guys playing music together. The fact that it ends up being shared all over the world and connecting with millions of people, that's much later and a whole different thing. But at its core essence is just four guys in room, or connected via Zoom, making music together. And I can tell you that all four of us are really excited about what that could look like.