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Metallica seems to be taking a page out of Tool's playbook these days by offering vague or even contradictory statements about the status of the band's next studio album. Although drummer Lars Ulrich and bassist Robert Trujillo seemed to have indicated in recent interviews that at least some writing for the album had taken place, frontman James Hetfield has a different take.
Hetfield told Abu Dhabi's That's Entertainment, "We haven't even started writing it. We're going through riffs. We have, like, 800-and-something riffs we're going through -- lots of ideas. We're really excited about it, but doing concerts here and there, trying to get back in the studio and get some stuff done, it's all really exciting. But it gets done on Metallica time, which is not really scheduled. When it's done, it's done and when it's good, then it will be done."
Ulrich said recently that he would be surprised if the album came out before 2015, while guitarist Kirk Hammett agreed in a separate interview, "We're recording stuff here and there, but it's a pretty slow process."
Bassist Robert Trujillo told us a while back that he thought the band's next album could be even better than its last, 2008's Death Magnetic: "I have a feeling that this next record is gonna be really cool.Death Magnetic, as great as it is, I think it's, to me it was like establishing ourselves as a creative team with this unit, and you know, also reuniting with that thrashy element which is apparent in a lot of the material."
Asked in a new interview with Revolver about the next album, Ulrich said, "We're in the early stages of writing, and all I can say is there are some good things lurking," adding, "2014 is a bit optimistic for the album to come out, so '15 is more realistic. But listen, there's no rush. It's gonna take what it takes. I don't feel stressed about it, but that doesn't mean we don't care."
Metallica fans can next see the band headlining their own festival, Orion Music + More, on June 8th and 9th in Detroit, and then wait for the September 27th release of Metallica: Through The Never, an IMAX 3D feature film that combines concert footage with a fictional narrative.