That’s despite having notched up several hundred ideas that they felt were at least worthy of consideration.
Drummer Lars Ulrich has said that, prior to writing sessions for the follow-up to 2008’s Death Magnetic, he went through a total of 1600 ideas to identify the strongest ones.
Now Hetfield tells La Viola: “Once an album is finished the box of riffs is thrown away. We use the best.
“There’s no reason to save it if it’s not good – we’ll write new stuff. I’m very interested in moving forward.”
He adds: “It was difficult, having 800 riffs on my phone or my computer, and all I wanted to do was, ‘Let’s write a new one now. Let’s just do it.’
“There’s something magical that happens when Lars and I get together and I plug into a loud, crunchy guitar sound. It moves me and I can create riffs.”
Hetfield recently admitted to Metal Hammer that he and Ulrich had fallen out over the drummer’s approach to writing, saying: “We were in the studio and it was like, ‘Hey, I’m the guitar player – I like this part. I wanna play it.’
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“He’d be like, ‘This part is better,’ and I was like, ‘Since when are you the riff police?’ At that point it was, ‘I’m done for now. I have to leave.’”
But now the frontman reports of their relationship: “It takes a lot of work, and you have to be honest with each other. You have to communicate, or else.
“We love each other, we hate each other, and everything in between. We’ve done so much life together.”
Metallica continue to add dates to their WorldWired tour, which is expected to run for at least two years. They’re the cover stars of the latest edition of Metal Hammer, on sale now in print and via TeamRock+.
Metallica tour dates 2016-17 so far
Nov 29: Toronto Opera House, Canada
Dec 17: Oakland Fox Theater, CA
Jan 11: Seoul Gocheok Sky Dome, South Korea
Jan 18: Beijing Le Sports Centre, China
Jan 20: Hong Kong AsiaWorld-Expo, China
Jan 22: Singapore Indoor Stadium, Singapore
Feb 03: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Feb 05: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Feb 07: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Feb 09: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Mar 01: Mexico City Foro Sol, Mexico
Mar 03: Mexico City Foro Sol, Mexico
Mar 25: Sao Paulo Interlagos Racetrack, Brazil
Mar 31-Apr 01: Buenos Aires Hippodrome San Isidro, Argentina
Apr 01-02: Santiago Parque O’Higgins, Chile