METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett has told the Artisan News Service that the band have "about fifteen songs" written for the follow-up to 2003's "St. Anger", which they hope to release in early 2007. In a short interview conducted at the MAP MusiCares MAP Fund concert on May 12 honoring Hammett's METALLICA bandmate James Hetfield, Kirk admitted the band is really hitting the song writing groove, even busting out two to three new songs per week."It's pretty early in the process," Hammett told the Artisan News Service. "We have about fifteen songs or so and we're just going to keep on writing songs until we feel we have the best dozen songs and get those into the studio. That's when I think Rick (Rubin) comes in and does his thing. But it's really really early still, we're just writing the music and that's going along really well. Sometimes we're writing two or three songs per week, which is great. It's just us four in the studio, which is really different now." [Watch a Windows Media video clip of Hammett talking about working on the new METALLICA album at this location.] James Hetfield also stopped by to talk to the Artisan News Service about working with the legendary producer Rick Rubin on the new CD — the group's first album to be helmed by someone other than Bob Rock since 1988's "…And Justice for All". "We have Rick Rubin working on the next project and Rick's reputation is true," Hetfield said. "He's not showing up every day at the studio. He's there when needed and we are there flying on our own. It's very different from the last record. 'St. Anger' was hours and hours of talking, talking about what was going on, what's going to happen, what will happen — all of that and going in and having coaches here and there. This one we're pretty much on our own and it does it feels really free and really nice. There's no pressure. It feels good. Sometimes it's a little unfocused so we kind of have to crack the whip every once in a while to get everybody in there." [Watch a Windows Media video clip of Hetfield talking about working on the new METALLICA album at this location.]
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