Kirk Hammett on Metallica albums taking forever to arrive: “It’s just the way we work, the way it is, the way it works as a band.”

The band’s last studio album, Hardwired...to Self-Destruct was released six years ago.

Kirk Hammett has apparently come to terms with the amount of time Metallica takes to come up with new records, saying it’s just “the way it works as a band.”

The guitarist touched on the band’s rather slow album-making progress during a recent interview with Goldmine magazine, remarking that “it’s not getting any quicker, too.”

“It’s just like, we have a way of working. We have a process that unfortunately takes a long time. It’s just the way we work, the way it is, the way it works as a band. And I’ve grown to accept that.”

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Earlier this year, with the pandemic putting a pause on things, Hammett had the time to put out his debut solo EP, Portals, which he says “is great for me because it kind of frees me up from that schedule.”

“I can come up with a few tracks, record them and put them out, and I can do it on a completely different time schedule from the band,” he explains. “And that’s great because it doesn’t seem to get in the way of the band’s schedule because, like I say, we move at our own pace.”

Elsewhere in the interview, the guitarist also spoke of the band’s songwriting process, saying “When I go in and create Metallica stuff, I give it my full creative energies. The way I look at it is, all the notes are already there. You just have to find them. I’m serious. They’re already there. You just gotta friggin’ find them.”

“And so there’s that but also a reliance on spontaneity, on real in-the-moment creation. I think that’s where I’m most effective. It’s like, any time I sit down to try and compose something that should be spontaneous, it ends up sounding composed. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I think catching yourself in a spontaneous moment is just much more exciting and much more honest,” he adds.

The band’s last studio album, Hardwired…to Self-Destruct was released in 2016, nearly a decade after 2008’s Death Magnetic.

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