METALLICA spoke to BBC 6 Music 's Matt Everitt about the band's forthcoming album, "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct", which is scheduled to arrive on November 18. Asked what is different about this record, drummer Lars Ulrich said: "I'm still kind of tripping on the sonics. It just sounds really good and really rich and really full.
"The last record [2008's 'Death Magnetic'], as it went along, it kept getting bigger and bigger. The songs got longer endings and that type of stuff. This record was quite different. The songs got tighter and leaner and a little more concise. So when I hear this, I feel this is METALLICA at the leanest we've been for a while. Maybe even the leanest we're capable of."
Ulrich also talked about the source of METALLICA's aggression. He said: "The old cliché is 'turn it up to 11.' I guess we turn it up to 12 or 13. But as I get a little older, I realize there's a slight element of getting into character. You're up on stage, you're in the moment, you're with your bandmates — and you turn into a little rock gnome or something. I'm not quite like that at 7:15 in the morning when I'm trying to get kid number three to finish his fruit bowl."
Added frontman James Hetfield: "I've come to terms with it [aggression] being a part of me. I'm able to identify it and use it. Sharpen it at times, use it in the right places and otherwise you just shut the box on it for a while and try to be normal."
James addressed the lyrical themes covered on "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct", explaining: It's dealing with fame — and for everyone's that's their goal: 'I want to be famous!' And there's also the topic of, 'Man, are we really doing this right?' In the timeline of history, man has been around for a nanosecond and [I'm asking]: 'Are we done now? Have we had our time?' There's a lot of polarization going on in the States, and I see it other places as well. But it just seems like you have to get more extreme to balance out the other extreme. We've got to find some balance in the middle here somewhere."
He continued: "We stay away from politics [and] from religion. That just seems to polarize people even more. We all have our own beliefs, but at the end of the day, we're trying to connect with people and it seems like political views don't do that as much as music does."
Instead of a previously announced bonus disc of demos, the deluxe edition of "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" will now feature a number of cover tunes that the band has recorded over the past few years, including a medley of Ronnie James Dio songs, IRON MAIDEN's "Remember Tomorrow" and DEEP PURPLE's "When A Blind Man Cries".
The deluxe version will also feature a live set recorded at Rasputin's in Berkeley, California on Record Store Day 2016 and a concert version of the song "Hardwired" recorded last month at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.