James Hetfield says Metallica have written "quite a few" new songs

Metallica frontman James Hetfield details the band's lockdown writing process – and teases that "quite a few songs" have come about.

James Hetfield says Metallica have written "quite a few" new songs
Emily Carter
Tom Barnes

While Lars Ulrich previously called Metallica's progress on a new album "glacial", James Hetfield has given a recent update on the follow-up to 2016's Hardwired… To Self-Destruct that'll have fans feeling much more optimistic.

Speaking on The Fierce Life podcast (via Blabbermouth), the frontman says that the metal titans have written "quite a few songs" at this point, and that they'll hopefully take the form of a new full-length.

"Well, hopefully a new album," Papa Het says. "Whatever you call it these days – I guess it's an album, a CD, a group of songs, a collection, whatever, a stream or however you get your music now. But, yeah, a bunch of songs. We wrote quite a few songs. So we'll see how many we like first, and then we'll put ’em out. We're pretty selfish that way; we like what we write as well."

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Detailing how Metallica have gone about writing throughout the pandemic, James explains that he "started doing a weekly Zoom with those guys, just to check in".

"And then I just told them one time, 'Hey, I'm gonna write something. I'm just gonna play something and send it to you guys. You do whatever you want with it and see what happens and layer on to it.' So that's how we did a version of Blackened 2020. I just basically played something. They hadn't heard it before. They played on it. Then it kind of got layered together.

"Then we started experimenting with writing on Zoom," he continues. "Lars and I would get together, or Kirk [Hammett, guitar] and Lars, and we would get little bits of time here and there writing. It was difficult because of the delay in the sound, so we couldn't actually play together, but we would play to a click track and watch each other play.

"We had our producer, who was running my computer while I was playing. He was running my computer from LA, and I'm in Vail [Colorado]. And then Lars had an assistant running his computer from LA – he's up here in San Francisco – and we were playing together, and it was pretty bizarre. We started writing. We got about – I don't know – over 10 songs going that way. And then we finally got together. There's only so much you can do on Zoom."

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