METALLICA Bassist: We Almost Have Too Many Great Songwriting Ideas

3 News pop culture reporter and METALLICA fan David Farrier conducted an interview with METALLICA guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield and bassist Robert Trujillo prior to the band's September 21, 2010 concert at the CBS Canterbury Arena in Christchurch, New Zealand. You can now watch the full, uncut 17-minute chat at this location. Also available below is official Metallica.com footage from the Christchurch concert — including clips from the pre-show meet-and-greet the actual performance.

When asked by 3 News whether METALLICA has commenced the songwriting process for the band's next album, Hetfield replied "Well, we always have 'the riff' — it's based on the riff."

He continued, "All of [2008's] 'Death Magnetic' was written on the 'St. Anger' [2003] tour in a [backstage tuning/jam] room like this, on the road, and we've been kind of doing the same thing on this tour. . . I mean, we won't together and go, 'Hey, OK. Ready? Let's write.' I'm jamming and all of a sudden, you've got a great sound and 'Whoa!', a riff just appears. There's a vibe.

"We've got lots of material. We don't dare start going through it, because that just starts the unraveling of it all — it's like, 'OK, which is the best riff? We start with that one,' and blah blah blah.

"We want to get to a place of rest and chill after the tour and then we start writing.

"Every album we wanna write the best stuff we can. And that's the thread between all the albums. It might sound really extremely different, every album, to the fan that's out there that doesn't see what we do from 2010 to 2015, or whatever it's gonna take... And by no means am I saying it's coming out in 2015. [Laughs]

"Five years is a lot of time between the last record and the next record — between touring and the writing and the [whole] thing. A lot things happened in our lives, and we just want to make the best one possible. We don't know who the producer'll be even or anything."

Added Trujillo, "One thing I can say is... It's amazing because when we get into a jam environment [at] our little headquarters out in California, it's like the minute everyone puts on their instruments, you just start having fun. I mean, it's kind of like being a teenager again, and that magic is still there. Whereas most bands, as they get into a certain place in their careers, they almost lose that drive and that motivation to create, to where sometimes they even have to hire outside writers. But that's completely nonexistent in this band; it's almost like sometimes there's too much great stuff, which is a great blessing to have that, a good fortune. But it's very exciting for us. I almost feel — at least for me personally — that 'Death Magnetic' is kind of a launchpad into what we can be doing and what we will be doing. 'Cause stuff, to me at least, is already sounding good. This guy right here [turns to Hetfield], he plugs in his guitar, turns the volume knob and he's got an insane riff. It's that easy for him. [Laughs]"

Hetfield: "It's not coming from me, man. It's powers elsewhere. I'm just the messenger, man, bringing the metal message. [Laughs]"

Meet-and-greet in Christchurch:

Christchurch performance:

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