METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich recently spoke to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates' The National about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's long-awaited follow-up to 2008's "Death Magnetic".
"We'll always make another record," he said. "We're certainly not avoiding making another record. We've been fiddling around a little bit when we have a week here, a week there, but we realized the other day that this ['Metallica Through The Never'] movie will take up realistically the next four or five months. But I hope we will get to another record when this movie is over."
Asked what the secret of the band's longevity is, Ulrich replied: "Somewhere along the line we learnt to get along and somewhere along the line we learnt we'd rather be in METALLICA than not be in METALLICA. I think we have tremendous respect for whatever it is METALLICA means. I've never known anything else. This is the only band I've ever been in, since I was 17. So ultimately, you want it to survive, and you figure out what works, what doesn't work, and what's best for the band. Somewhere along, you just figure it out and you pray you have more good days than not."
Ulrich acknowledged in a new 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."
According to Lars, there is no shortage of ideas for METALLICA's next CD, with the guys having met up twice in the last six months to cook up some tasty riffs in the studio.
"We have more riffs than we know what to do with," Ulrich said. "We talked about setting up a special riff thing, where maybe we could share some of these riffs with others, like an eBay kind of thing for leftover riffs. Some of them are actually quite decent, but we won't be able to use all of them."
METALLICA has been touring for the past couple of years, in addition to launching two editions of its Orion Music + More festival and filming its new 3D IMAX movie, "Metallica Through The Never", which opened on September 27.
Meanwhile, Ulrich told a San Francisco radio station last month that the band has something coming up in December that will surprise fans, calling it "another frontier . . . which we're very excited about."