METALLICA Frontman: 'We're Pretty Excited To Get Writing Again'

The four members of METALLICA held a press conference yesterday afternoon (Saturday, July 28) prior ot the opening show of their eight-concert run at Palacio de los Deportes (Sports Palace) in Mexico City, Mexico. You can watch video footage of the question-and-answer session below. A few excerpts follow.

On why METALLICA chose to debut its new stage show in Mexico City:

Lars Ulrich (drums): "We have had a longstanding love affair with all things Mexico, starting back in '93 when we came down here and played five shows at the place we're playing tonight, which resulted in the 'Binge & Purge' box set, which was fantastic. We came back in '99 and played at Foro Sol and did another three nights at Foro Sol a couple of years ago. So when we wanted to do the world premiere of this crazy new show, which is the first new show that we've done since we did 'Death Magnetic' four years ago, we couldn't think of a better place to do it than right here in Mexico City. And obviously, also, we have so many friends here, so many fans, a lot of people who come from Latin America and from a lot of different places. So we figured parking ourselves in Mexico City for a couple of weeks and playing all these shows and premiering this stage and kind of getting the Mexican fans to be part of the initiation of this new stage, we couldn't think of a cooler place to do [it in]. And this whole thing, obviously, as some of you know, is the beginning of the METALLICA 3D movie project, and so that's kind of what we're gonna be spending the next six weeks on. So that culminates up in Vancouver at the end of August, where we're gonna be shooting a movie and playing the last couple of concerts."

On METALLICA's plans to enter the studio in September to start putting ideas together for the follow-up to 2008's "Death Magnetic":

James Hetfield (guitar, vocals): "I've been itching to write for a long time — all of us have — so there's lots of ideas. There's been lots of little things that have kind of jumped up and gotten in the way of writing. So we're pretty excited to get writing again. It could go very quick, it could take a long time; we have no idea. That's the beauty of the artform."

Robert Trujillo (bass): "[There are] lots of riffs to jam on, and that's pretty exciting for us. But, like James said, there are a lot of little walls and barriers we've gotta get through, and then we'll be writing like crazy."

On whether METALLICA's collaboration with Lou Reed ("Lulu"), which was recorded in only 10 days, will affect the writing and recording process for the band's next album:

James Hetfield: "I think everything we do affects the next thing somehow. We don't know how that will show up. That is another way of writing. And I think it gave us confidence that we can go in and trust a little more of the moment. There's another side of this that is complete obsessive and perfectionist. So finding a balance is key to doing a METALLICA record."

On how Hollywood has been treating Lars Ulrich following his recent forays into acting — first in the 2010 Russell Brand comedy "Get Him To The Greek" and then again earlier this year in the HBO drama "Hemingway & Gellhorn":

Lars Ulrich: "I think those are two isolated situations. I've always been incredibly interested in film. I've always been incredibly interest in the creative process, whether it's film or music or painting or sculpture or writing, so being around creative people is always fascinating. So when there people call up and say, 'Come and do this for three days,' or 'Come and do this for a couple of weeks,' it kind of perks up my interest. I think the word 'career' is certainly not applicable. I don't have an agent, I don't have anybody. I can tell you that in the wake of the 'Hemingway' movie, [which] was premiered about two months ago, I've gotten this many phone calls [showing a zero sign, using his index finger and thumb] — zero. So there you go; this may be the end of it. But I'm always interested in just different creative outlets and experiences, and as long as they sort of fit in and don't get in the way of anything METALLICA. But film has always been my passion and when I'm not with my family or with METALLICA, I park myself in the film world and I see film and I read about film and I study film. It's always been kind of my great escape. Those were two interesting experiences, but it's not anything that I'm pursuing in relation to a career or any bullshit like that. If I was ever gonna be involved in film, I would probably be more interested in writing or maybe producing. Acting — sitting around in a trailer for eight hours a day for you to get called — it's not exactly my dream gig. But I think writing or producing would be interesting at some point. But acting is not a huge thing."

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