METALLICA's Lars Ulrich recently joined Zane Lowe on Apple Music to run through his "At Home With" playlist. During the chat, the drummer was asked how the songwriting sessions for the band's follow-up to 2016's "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" album are coming along. He responded (see video below): "Between you and I and nobody else, we have a call at two o'clock today, the four of us, to talk about what's next, after spending the two weeks in the bubble [rehearsing for the METALLICA drive-in concert] and having the best time ever reconnecting. We're looking forward to what's next.
"We've spent a few of the summer months trading riffs, trading ideas, throwing creative thoughts back and forth through Zoom calls and through other technologies," he continued. "And we're looking forward to getting to it. [There is] lots of material to share with the world. And it's just a matter of the practicals and being able to sort of figure out how to get it going as quick as possible."
Ulrich added: "We are trying to find any possible ways to connect with our fans and with the METALLICA family. And I think that a positive coming out of these five dark months is that it's forcing you to just rethink what you know and what we're so used to. So a new world order calls for new experimental times and shenanigans. So let's see how it plays out."
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."
Asked what the differences would be between making a "normal" METALLICA album and a quarantine album, Ulrich told Skavlan: "So far, at least the sonic side of it and the practical elements are in surprisingly good shape, actually. So now we've just gotta figure out how much we can create without being in the same space. The difference, obviously, between bands like ourselves and people that are still bands, like the U2s of the world or the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS or COLDPLAY or IRON MAIDEN or whatever is that you really are bands, and you rely on the group format to really move everything forward. So unlike if you're a solo artist and it's just you and your guitar or whatever. So it's a different thing."
Late last month, 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 has been largely out of the public eye since last fall when the band canceled an Australian tour and announced that frontman James Hetfield was returning to rehab for the first time since 2002 to battle his addictions.
"Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 album chart, selling 291,000 copies in its first week of release.