LARS ULRICH's Assistant Talks About Upcoming METALLICA Album

Virginia Fuel, Virginia's local chapter of the Metallica Club (the official METALLICA fan club), has published an interview with METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich's longtime assistance Steven Wiig. An excerpt from the chat follows:

Virginia Fuel: Have you had a chance to listen to the new stuff that METALLICA is working on for the new album?

Steve Wiig: "I hear it all of the time. I can't get away from it. (laughing) I'm usually in or around the studio with them. There's some fast stuff, heavy stuff, slow stuff. There's some stuff on there that sounds a little bit closer to the "Fade to Black"/"Sanitarium"/"One"-style of song... the clean guitar/riff thing, a great melody... verse stuff with the heavy chorus and the ending blows the shit out of the roof. It's cool to hear them doing that kind of thing again. That's what Rick [Rubin, producer] has been saying ā€” don't be afraid of doing more of what you do really well. Don't try to reinvent the wheel. Just make a really good METALLICA record."

Wiig added, "So far ā€” as far as I know ā€” James [Hetfield] is doing all of the lyrics himself, and not necessarily like what was done for "St. Anger" (the group effort). Iā€™d imagine Rick would want James to go off into his own world and tap into his own things and get lyrics that come from the heart. Myself, I've written songs (for bands that I've been in) both ways (alone and collaboratively) and they both have their own strengths and weaknesses. I think James' track record has definitely shown he is capable of coming up with some deep shit (lyrics) when he taps into it on his own. I'm anxious to hear what he digs up lyrically."

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Lars Ulrich recently spoke with Revolver magazine about the band's upcoming album, which is expected out later this year and will be its first all-new effort since 2003's "St. Anger". Ulrich told the magazine that the group's new material "is certainly a lot more dynamic and a lot more varied than the last couple of go-rounds," adding, "There's a lot of light and shade in these songs. There's heavy, fast, nutty stuff, and then there's some slowdowns and musical interludes." Ulrich also said that the album has more in common with some of the group's '80s releases than more recent offerings like "St. Anger" and "Load".

Ulrich wouldn't agree that the yet-to-be-titled disc is a full-blown return to the past, saying, "I hate to be that specific, because six months from now people are gonna go, 'What the fuck? Lars lied to us!' But it feels that way to me."

The drummer also revealed that producer Rick Rubin, working with the band for the first time, wanted METALLICA to use classic efforts like "Ride the Lightning" and "Master of Puppets" as "reference points" for its new songs.

There's no word yet on an exact release date for the new METALLICA CD, although a late summer/early fall release is likely.

METALLICA is among the confirmed artists for the the 2008 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. The seventh annual four-day camping and music festival will be held on June 12-15 on the same beautiful 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee, 60 miles south of Nashville. The final Bonnaroo 2008 lineup will total over 100 bands and over 20 comedians performing on 13 stages over four days.

Lars Ulrich talking about METALLICA's participation in Bonnaroo:

(Thanks: Virginia Fuel)

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