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Metallica confirm they’re working on new material

The metal titans eye their next studio release as they celebrate 30 years of The Black Album

By Joe Goggins

Metallica perform live
Metallica (Picture: Alamy)

Lars Ulrich has confirmed that new Metallica music is on the horizon.

Speaking to Zane Lowe on his Apple Music 1 show, the veteran drummer suggested that the fresh material remains in its fledgling stages.

“There’s nothing cohesive. There’s not a story. There’s not really anything to back it up yet,” he said when asked about a potential follow-up to 2016’s ‘Hardwired…to Self-Destruct’, which topped the album charts in the US and reached number two in the UK.

Joking about the usual soundbite clichés, Ulrich continued: “It’s going to be the best album we’ve ever done! It’s the heaviest thing, it’s the coolest…”

“But all kidding aside, if it wasn’t because we thought that the best record was still ahead of us, then why keep doing it? In Metallica, we love the creative process, and it’s hard for me to imagine that we’ll ever stop making records.”

Now into their fifth decade as a band, the thrash metal titans returned to the stage in earnest this summer with a handful of US festival shows, after two years of touring turmoil caused first by frontman James Hetfield’s 2019 rehab stint, and then by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ulrich and his bandmates were in conversation with Lowe to mark two major milestones in 2021; it’s 40 years since the group formed and 30 since the release of their iconic self-titled record, better known as ‘’The Black Album’.

The group assembled an eclectic cast of more than 50 artists to cover the record’s songs for a special release, ‘The Metallica Blacklist’, which dropped last month. Musicians featured range from Mac DeMarco and Phoebe Bridgers to IDLES and St. Vincent.

According to Ulrich, though, they have their eyes fixed firmly on new music. “James said earlier, celebrating the legacy of this record and so on is… It’s kind of cool, but still it’s a little like,  ‘OK, well, what about the future?’”