METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett tells Billboard.com that the band will start working on the follow-up to 2008's "Death Magnetic" "in a couple of weeks. When we start, that's going to be our main priority, and we're pretty excited about it because we've been saying we need to start working on this album, but we've been procrastinating greatly with it," he says. "We've pretty much come up with every sort of excuse we can not to start work on the album, but we've run out of excuses, so we pretty much have to start work on it now."According to Hammett, there is no shortage of ideas for METALLICA's next CD, with the guys reportedly having met up twice in the last few months to cook up some tasty riffs in the studio. "We're a band that never has a shortage of ideas," Hammett says. "You hear about these bands that are sitting in the studio and they don't have any songs, what are they gonna do? That's not METALLICA. METALLICA's problem is the total opposite. We have too many ideas. James [Hetfield, guitar/vocals] has, like, 800 ideas. I have 400. Those number alone are just crazy. That's formidable." METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich acknowledged in an interview with U.K.'s Kerrang! magazine that the band's next studio album is unlikely to arrive before 2015 at the earliest. The drummer explained: "Obviously, there are a lot of people asking where the next record is. We're going to make another record, but like I said before, we don't really feel this kind of… what's the word? I guess 'responsibility' is probably the right word. We don't feel this inherent responsibility to just churn out records whenever people want them. [Adopts a sarcastic voice] 'I'm sorry! Let me slap myself on the wrists and go make a record for you!' We'll get 'round to it again." Asked about a possible release date for METALLICA's next CD, Ulrich replied: "Actually, we know the date… no, we don't! If I was betting on this, I would say 2015 — that's where my money is. So if you think of the actual age of this planet, if it's been 75 billion years since dinosaurs walked the Earth or whatever, then one year is basically a blink of an eye, right?" Ulrich also spoke about METALLICA's mindset going into the songwriting phase for the band's next album. He explained: "The only thing I can tell you is that there seems to be a consensus in the band that [2008's] 'Death Magnetic' was a really good record that we're proud of, that had good legs on it — meaning that it still sounds really rocking five years later. And I can tell you that with most of the previous METALLICA records, I found any faults, I had any issues with them way, way sooner than five years. So the stuff that we've been jamming on is certainly not a million miles removed from where we left off from 'Death Magnetic'. But two years from now, when I sit and talk to you about the new record, it'll probably be a different story from the six-year-old looking for the ice cream shop."
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