METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich joined Kara Swisher at the CNBC Evolve Summit on November 10 to explain how the music industry has changed over his career and how the band incorporates cutting-edge technology to take the fan experience to new heights.
Asked if METALLICA is working on a new studio album during the coronavirus pandemic, Lars said: "I would say theoretically, we always have another album coming out. And so we have been trying to do as much as we could in the last seven months, trying to make a difference with our foundation and with our music and with connecting to people. And so we have been working the last six [to] eight weeks virtually.
"Being a rock and roll band and working virtually is not super easy," Lars continued. "Time delays, all these things make it really hard. The main thing we miss is being able to hear each other. [Laughs] So if we're all four in a room together, we can connect with each other and we can hear each other. If I'm playing here in San Francisco, and Kirk [Hammett] and James [Hetfield], our two guitar players, are either in O'ahu or Colorado, there are significant time delays. It's very hard for us to play at the same time. If I'm doing what we call steering, which means that I'm playing a beat and they're playing to me, I can't hear what they're playing, and vice versa. We can't all hear each other in a universal fashion. So there are some significant complications we have. Our recording team and our production team are speaking to software makers all over the world [about] how to crack the code on this. Nobody has quite figured it out yet."
In early May, the four members of METALLICA overcame social distancing to record a new version of their song "Blackened", with each member separated in his own home. The split-screen video was posted to the band's social media channels. That same month, Ulrich told Swedish talk show host Fredrik Skavlan that he and his bandmates were "sending ideas to each other via e-mail and via Zoom and [trying to] make music in these unusual situations."
In August, METALLICA broadcast a show to hundreds of drive-in and outdoor theaters across the U.S. and Canada, as part of the "Encore Drive-In Nights" series. The concert was filmed nearly three weeks earlier, on August 10, at the Gundlach Bundschu winery, about a 30-minute car ride from the band's headquarters in San Rafael, California, and was subsequently edited and mixed by the band's award-winning production team to the highest standards possible.
METALLICA's "Live & Acoustic From HQ: Helping Hands Concert & Auction" will be streamed live from the band's headquarters on Saturday, November 14. The special acoustic show starts at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time and will benefit METALLICA's All Within My Hands foundation. If you are not able to watch the show live, your ticket will allow you to watch the show as many times as you like within a 48-hour period once you start the stream.