When METALLICA came to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in 2011, Basel Anabtawi, the self-proclaimed No. 1 METALLICA fan, campaigned to meet his idols and the concert organizers stepped in and gave him an experience to remember. This year, they went one better and set up a call between Basel and METALLICA's lead guitarist Kirk Hammett ahead of this week's show at du Arena in Abu Dhabi. Listen to the chat below to get some insights on METALLICA's next album, Kirk's favorite solos and what we can expect from the April 19 show.As previously reported, Hammett told the United Arab Emirates' GulfNews.com that the band hopes to release its next album in 2014, but that actually making headway on the project is "a pretty slow process." Although band members have said in other interviews that they're aiming for the follow-up to 2008's "Death Magnetic" to come out next year, Hammett explained, "That's what we're hoping would happen. Whether that's a reality, we'll see. We're recording stuff here and there, but it's a pretty slow process."
Drummer Lars Ulrich told The Pulse Of Radio that these days METALLICA prefers to break up its time between projects instead of concentrating on just one: "If we had to sit there and, 'Okay, boys, now you write for the rest of the year and then you spend the next year after that recording' — I would pull what seven hairs I have left, I'd pull those out and rather just stab myself in the eye with nails or whatever. I just, I couldn't do it. I mean, we love the position that we're in to be able to come and go between all these different projects. That's what keeps us alive." Hammett also said that METALLICA's upcoming 3D feature film, "Metallica Through The Never", is "kind of taking precedence over anything else at the moment. We want to make sure that this movie gets our full attention and it turns out the way we want it to turn out." He added, "From the footage we've seen, it looks pretty amazing. It is a trip seeing yourself in 3D, that's for sure! Actually, it's a trip seeing yourself on a 25-feet cinema screen to begin with. The 3D aspect makes it all that much intense." "Metallica Through The Never" is due out on August 9. Next up for the band is the second edition of its annual Orion Music + More festival, which is scheduled to take place on June 8-9 in Detroit. Interview (March 2013):