Lars Ulrich says that METALLICA's "looser" approach to making albums nowadays has contributed to the delay in getting the band's new disc, "Hardwired...To Self-Destruct", completed and ready for release.
"Hardwired... To Self-Destruct" will arrive next month, marking the band's first full-length collection of new material in eight long years, with "Death Magnetic" having launched in 2008.
Speaking to MTV VJ and current KFOG San Francisco morning show host Matt Pinfield, Ulrich stated about the "Hardwired" writing and recording process: "I guess it was about two years ago, we started slowly kind of getting to listening to some riffs and connecting some dots and writing some songs. But the thing about METALLICA nowadays, which is really different from back in the day, is back then, it used to be very insular — you'd write a record, and the only thing you were doing for three months, or six months, or whatever, when you were writing that record was writing that record, and then you'd go into the studio and then you'd be in the studio for six months or whatever. But now all these lines are completely blurred. We'll write for a little bit and then we'll go play a festival or go do something. And then there's this or that or 'Metallica By Request', or somebody calls and says, 'Come play some cool shows in China,' or whatever. So the whole model now is really different than it was back in the day."
He continued: "It was about two summers ago [that we] started kind of grinding through some riffs and connecting some pieces of music together and slowly started writing some songs. Then we still played a Super Bowl show here in San Francisco six months ago and we did Lollapalooza last year. But, you know, it's been about a year and a half in and out of the studio.
"We decided to make this record all here at [the METALLICA headquarters in the [San Francisco] Bay Area, where 'Death Magnetic' was primarily done in L.A. with [producer] Rick Rubin. But we wanted to stay local, close to home, for this record. So [producer] Greg [Fidelman] came up here, I guess, fifteen months ago and has been holed up here ever since. And we started tracking and doing some different things and getting it together."
Ulrich added: "Making records nowadays, at least for us, is a much more sporadic undertaking than it used to be. And listen, certainly the great thing about being home is that you get to sleep in your own bed and see the kids and do kind of your home grind. Obviously, when you're in another city, you grind fourteen-, sixteen-hour days or whatever, which is fine, but when you're at home, usually you drop the kids at school in the morning, come down to the studio at nine or ten, and then kind of work or record or grind or whatever until school pickup around three or four and then get into family mode. So it's kind of a different management of time when you make a record at home rather than when you go somewhere else, but I wouldn't change any of it. But it just sort of puts a different kind of focus on the record. But I'd like to think that the looser kind of approach has also helped the record sound a little less manic and precise and perfection-based, and we've got a good mix of some cool sonics and some cool, little-looser-around-the-edges and some kicking songs. So we literally just finished it this week. Greg ran screaming out of the 415 yesterday, basically, and the last couple of tweaks were done on the mastering and stuff literally yesterday, and he bolted out of here before we came up with something else for him to do. So it's basically signed, sealed and delivered and about one day old now, so there you go."
"Hardwired...To Self-Destruct" is scheduled for a November 18 release via Blackened Recordings. The long-awaited follow-up to 2008's "Death Magnetic" consists of two discs, containing a dozen songs and nearly 80 minutes of music.
Instead of a previously announced bonus disc of demos, the deluxe edition of the album will now feature a number of cover songs that the band has recorded over the past few years, including a medley of Ronnie James Dio songs, IRON MAIDEN's "Remember Tomorrow" and DEEP PURPLE's "When A Blind Man Cries".
The deluxe version will also feature a live set recorded at Rasputin's in Berkeley, California on Record Store Day 2016 and a live version of the new song "Hardwired" recorded last month at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
METALLICA will appear at Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit in Mountain View, California on October 22 and October 23.