In a new interview with Steffan Chirazi of METALLICA's fan-club magazine So What!, Lars Ulrich was asked to reflect on the band's latest album, "72 Seasons", which came out in April. He said: "I think every METALLICA record has its own journey, its own story, its own path forward. They're all unique, and I think you accept all of them. The one common thread between all the METALLICA records is that they're done with the best intent, the purest intent, and always an attempt in that moment to write the best songs to create the best collection of songs. Then there's a set of practicals that play a role in that at some level. So obviously, now with '72 Seasons' being out a couple, what, four or five months, the record's still very fresh to me. I like what I'm hearing. I don't listen to it very often, but just six weeks ago, when we started the North American run in New York, there were a couple more songs that we wanted to learn. So I listened to those songs and listened to the record. I don't think I'd heard it in six weeks, but it still sounded very fresh, weighty and cohesive.'
He continued: "You know, I've said this many times: there's what I call the 'honeymoon period,' which is when you make a record and finish a record, you put that record in your back pocket, and then you go off into the world. And at some point, you listen to that record again, and at some point, you start having some questions about the choices that were made. [For] different records at different times, that honeymoon period can be short, can be long, whatever. So, four to five months later, I still don't have a lot of questions. I'm happy with what I'm hearing, I'm appreciative, and I like the choices that were made.
"The interesting thing about this record is also — and this kind of dawned upon me as I was doing interviews for '72 Seasons' in the spring — that every record, through no choice of your own, is always related to the previous record. If you like the previous record, that affects where you're going with the next record. If you don't like the previous record, that affects where you're going with the next record. So, in terms of the lineage of the records, the next record is always tethered to the previous record in some way, shape, or form.
"I have made no secret of the fact that 'Hardwired[... To Self-Destruct]', certainly for the most part from '16/'17 forward, has been a record that, in my ears, has aged really, really well. So, when we started the process of what became '72 Seasons', there was no radical attempt to alter the course forward because 'Hardwired' felt like a really good jumping-off point. Obviously, the parameters were different in that we were in lockdown. There was a lot of uncertainty; the band was trying to figure out its place. And how do we pick the pieces up again? That's already been talked about a little bit with 'Blackened 2020' [reimagined version of the 1988 classic 'Blackened']. And then, during that awful and unprecedented time in lockdown, how do we make music? How do we connect to our fans and to our friends and family out there? How do we make a difference as METALLICA? And that eventually led us to start writing songs and to do the stuff remotely and through computers and Zoom sessions, etc., etc., etc. Then, ending up here at HQ [METALLICA's headquarters in Northern California], masked and under many Covid restrictions. Eventually, as things got more and more 'along,' the process became more and more normalized, whatever that means in the context of making a record. So, in hindsight, now the record's been out for five months, I'm happy with it. We've played eight of these songs live, [and they're] super fun to play. I think all eight songs that we played live are connecting with the audience, with the fans, maybe a few of them slightly at a deeper level than others. We're digging what we're doing, and as I said, the easy way to sum it up is that there are no radical red flags."
"72 Seasons" sold 146,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in its first week of release to land at position No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. It marked METALLICA's 12th Top 10-charting album, of which eight have reached the top two.
"72 Seasons" had the biggest week for any rock or hard rock album since TOOL's "Fear Inoculum" arrived in September 2019 with 270,000 equivalent album units.
"72 Seasons" was released on April 14 via METALLICA's own Blackened Recordings. Produced by Greg Fidelman with guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield and Ulrich, it is METALLICA's first full-length collection of new material since "Hardwired…To Self-Destruct".
In the seven years since the arrival of "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct", METALLICA has reissued some of its classic albums, released a second live album with the San Francisco Symphony, commissioned a covers album featuring the likes of GHOST, VOLBEAT, WEEZER, Corey Taylor and THE HU, and landed on the Billboard songs chart with "Master Of Puppets" after a prominent placement in the hit Netflix show "Stranger Things".
METALLICA's "M72" world tour launched in late April in Amsterdam. The trek sees the band playing two nights in every city it visits — with each "No Repeat Weekend" featuring two completely different setlists and support lineups. The "M72" tour features a bold new in-the-round stage design that relocates the famed METALLICA Snake Pit to center stage, as well as the "I Disappear" full-tour pass and the debut of discounted tickets for fans under 16 years of age.
Opening acts include Floor Jansen, EPICA, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, ICE NINE KILLS, MAMMOTH WVH, PANTERA, ARCHITECTS, GRETA VAN FLEET and VOLBEAT.
METALLICA promises fans who purchase a two-day ticket that they won't see the same song twice for a total of over 30 songs spanning the band's 40-plus-year career.