Lars Ulrich has revealed that Metallica are about a month into some “pretty serious writing” for their follow-up to 2016’s Hardwired… to Self-Destruct.
The 56-year-old drummer made it known back in June that the band had begun work on their 11th studio album over virtual sessions while in lockdown. In a conversation with Phoebe Bridgers for Rolling Stone, Ulrich shared that the band have since set to work proper – though it hasn’t been easy.
“We’re three, four weeks into some pretty serious writing,” he said. “And of all the shit – pandemics, fires, politics, race problems, and just fucking looking at the state of the world – it’s so easy just to so fall into a depressive state.”
“But writing always makes me feel enthusiastic about what’s next. 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.’”
In a different interview, Ulrich posted that progress on the new record would be going a lot smoother, if not for “time delays” plaguing the band’s virtual jam sessions.
Latency is a universal issue faed by most music-makers trying to jam over online platforms such as Skype or Zoom. Ulrich assured, however, that Metallica’s recording and production team were on the case – speaking with “software makers” about solving the issue for good.
“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,” Ulrich explained to CNBC. “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.”
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