It’s not as though Metallica have just been sitting on their asses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The band hosted a livestreamed acoustic show, released their S&M2 video via PBS, and all the while gave away a buttload of money to help those in need. Now, it appears they’ve been hard at work creating their new album, too, as a new interview with drummer Lars Ulrich reveals that Metallica are about a month into the writing process.
Speaking to singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridges via Rolling Stone, Lars said, “We’re three, four weeks into some pretty serious writing. And of all the shit – pandemics, fires, politics, race problems, and just fucking looking at the state of the world – it’s so easy just to so fall into a depressive state.
“But writing always makes me feel enthusiastic about what’s next. It’s like, ‘Fuck, there’s an opportunity here to still make the best record, to still make a difference. To still do something that not even turns other people on, but turns me on.'”
Lars also commented on the constant circulation of information about Metallica that has come with the digital age. In his eyes, it’s the most stark difference between now and when the band started — a sense that suddenly everyone’s knowledge and judgment of your music is on blast at all times/
“The difference now, compared to back in the day, is that everybody’s got an opinion,” said the drummer. “In the mid-to-late Nineties, it was like, “We played a show four days ago in Bumfuck, Somewhere, and the set list is posted online. The whole Napster thing 20 years ago, when we woke up in the middle of that shitstorm, was the first time where we were not universally the good guy. That’s when I conditioned myself to stop paying attention [to online commentary].”
More information on Metallica’s new album as we know it.
Words by Chris Krovatin