Metallica have written more than 10 new songs in lockdown

(Image credit: Anton Corbijn)

Metallica have written more than 10 new songs for consideration for their next album according to frontman James Hetfield.

Speaking on the Fierce Firearms podcast, The Fierce Life, Metallica’s vocalist/guitarist revealed that the quartet began collaborating over Zoom calls, before assembling at Metallica HQ more recently to work on the new songs, which may or may not end up on the follow-up to 2016’s Hardwired… To Self Destruct. “This time was a little different, for sure,” Hetfield acknowledged.

“Because of COVID, just sitting at home and getting a little bit antsy and just feeling creative at the same time and wanting to get together, I started doing a weekly Zoom with those guys just to check in,” Hetfield explained. “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 [Ulrich] and I would get together, or Kirk [Hammett] 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.”

Asked if Metallica might get back on the road this year, Hetfield admitted “I have no clue”, adding, “It’s not up to me, it really is up to the safety of everyone.”

The full interview with Hetfield can be heard below. 

Metal Hammer

Founded in 1983, Metal Hammer is the global home of all things heavy. We have breaking news, exclusive interviews with the biggest bands and names in metal, rock, hardcore, grunge and beyond, expert reviews of the lastest releases and unrivalled insider access to metal's most exciting new scenes and movements. No matter what you're into – be it heavy metal, punk, hardcore, grunge, alternative, goth, industrial, djent or the stuff so bizarre it defies classification – you'll find it all here, backed by the best writers in our game.