Lars Ulrich says Metallica are making "glacial" progress on their new album

"There's a little bit of movement" with the new Metallica album, says Lars Ulrich, but the band seemingly aren't finding it especially easy in the pandemic…

Lars Ulrich says Metallica are making "glacial" progress on their new album
Emily Carter
Anton Corbijn

While we very much expected that a new Metallica album would arrive in 2021 given that it's been five years since Hardwired… To Self-Destruct and the band were writing fresh material in 2020, Lars Ulrich has revealed that progress on the record has merely been "glacial" lately.

"These are the craziest of times and nothing is letting up," he tells Diamond Head's Brian Tatler of how new music is coming in quarantine (via Classic Rock). "There’s a little bit of movement [in that direction], but it’s hard to do a lot when we’re not together."

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The drummer has spoken about the challenges of writing remotely before, too, telling Phoebe Bridgers last November that being in a room with his bandmates is pretty key for Metallica.

“Being a rock’n’roll band and working virtually is not super-easy,” he explained. “Time delays, all these things make it really hard. The main thing we miss is being able to hear each other. 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.”

He did add, though, that he still felt a buzz of enthusiasm and energy about the idea of a new ’Tallica record – so hopefully that means this "glacial" progress is still ongoing…

“Writing always makes me feel enthusiastic about what’s next,” Lars enthused. “It’s like, ‘Fuck, there’s an opportunity here to still make the best record, to still make a difference. To still do something that not even turns other people on, but turns me on.’”

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