METALLICA frontman James Hetfield has admitted that making fans wait eight years for the band's latest album was "a mistake."
Last year's "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" marked METALLICA's first release since their 2011 collaboration with Lou Reed, "Lulu", and their first album of new, original material since 2008's "Death Magnetic". In the meantime, METALLICA toured the world relentlessly, even logging a 2013 Antarctica stop that made them the first band to play all seven continents. They also dropped the artsy concert film "Through The Never", which reportedly cost $32 million and made less than $4 million at the box office.
Speaking to The Straits Times, Hetfield said that perhaps waiting so long to make the new album "was a mistake" and reassured fans that "it won't be" another eight years before a follow-up effort sees the light of day.
The METALLICA frontman also offered his views on remaining relevant — and even being invited to play this year's Grammy Awards — in an industrial climate that is thriving on the past.
"Music comes in trends and what not, but we haven't gone anywhere," he said. "If we're still popular enough to play the Grammys, that's cool.
Hetfield added that he didn't put much thought into how METALLICA managed to stay on top when so many of their peers have fallen by the wayside or lost their mojo.
"I don't want to figure it out," he said. "What we have to offer is honesty and we love what we do. We're writing songs we want to hear and that's important.
"We're not trying to recreate something that worked before or try a different genre or do some other crazy thing that's not us."
METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich recently told Apple Music's Beats 1 that making "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" was "such a good experience" that he was willing to predict that it was not going to take another eight years for the next METALLICA record to arrive.
"Hardwired... To Self-Destruct" came out in November. The effort consists of two discs, containing a dozen songs and nearly 80 minutes of music.
METALLICA has shows booked in Denmark, Mexico and South America over the next three months, but has yet to unveil its full 2017 tour plans, including its first North American tour in eight years.
The band's sole North American date so far is May 21 at the Rock On The Range festival in Columbus, Ohio.