METALLICA is scheduled to enter the studio later this month to begin recording a yet-to-be-revealed new project, which guitarist Kirk Hammett described to RollingStone.com as "more a recording project than a bona fide METALLICA album."In a brand new interview with U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich was asked to comment on the band's recording plans. "Ooh, boy. Yeah, I… What would you like me to say?" he replied. "Obviously, I can't talk about it. If I could talk about it, I would — you know me. It's… We'll see… It's something… We'll see how it plays out. If there's something, you'll be among the first to know, trust me." When asked if the project involved "something new," Ulrich paused before replying, "Er… something new? Um… not necessarily. It depends on where you look at it from. I wouldn't call it something new. You guys will be right there when we're ready to share it with somebody. Right now there's nothing to say, and Kirk's been… er… He's been given 10 push-ups! And not kid push-ups! Kirk is doing 10 push-ups every morning 'till rehearsal." Regarding whether there have been signs of any new material, Ulrich said, "James [Hetfield, guitar/vocals] told me in Australia that he had over 700 [new] riffs. That was slightly overwhelming. When I spoke to him yesterday, he told me that he'd been playing guitar again in the last couple of weeks. And listen, when James tunes his guitar, he comes up with three to five usable guitar riffs. It's kind of frightening. James is not allowed to play guitar without being recorded. Literally! There are also hours and hours of jams and tuning-room shindigs. After the ['Big Four'] gig [in Indio], we're gonna sit down and wade through two and half years' worth of riffs and jams and hopefully a lot of the seeds for the next METALLICA record will be in that. When you're just jamming instead of — quote — 'writing,' things have a tendency to be more organic and flow a little more. We can use the rest of the riffs for ringtones or… I don't know. Set up a web site: SpareRiffs.com." METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillo told Palm Springs, California radio station KCLB-FM that the band will work with producer Rick Rubin again on the follow-up to 2008's "Death Magnetic" album, Rubin's first collaboration with the group. METALLICA decided to work with Rubin on "Death Magnetic" after making five albums over 15 years with producer Bob Rock. Speaking about METALICA's "return" to its metal roots with "Death Magnetic", Ulrich told Metal Hammer, "Obviously, the key element in this whole thing [goes back] to playing 'Master Of Puppets' in its entirety [in 2006], which was something that 10 years ago I'd have not thought we would ever do. Revisiting 'Puppets' while we were writing the next record certainly put a stamp on 'Death Magnetic'. We'd never allowed ourselves to be inspired by our past. And Rick Rubin encouraged us to be OK with revisiting 'Ride The Lightning' and so on. Then came the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame — which brought another kind of nostalgic thing. So there are these highlights over the past 10 years, these triggering points. The side of METALLICA that we are having a lot of fun with right now is the harder, faster, more manic, more out-of-control stuff than, say, the 'Load'-'Reload' British blues stuff. Playing a lot of the full-on metal stuff like 'Dyers Eve' and 'The Shortest Straw'. We played 'The Call Of Ktulu' in Australia. Bringing out 'Trapped Under Ice' again… It's just been cool to feel comfortable about embracing that side of METALLICA."