METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich spoke to Humanity magazine about the musical direction of the band's long-awaited follow-up to 2008's "Death Magnetic", tentatively due in the fall. He said: "It definitely sounds like METALLICA. It's probably a little less frenetic than the last record. The last one [producer] Rick Rubin really encouraged us to for the first time be inspired by our past. It was the first time we sort of looked in the rearview mirror. This time around it's a little bit of a different thing. We're not working with Rick, we're working with the engineer from the last record, who's producing, Greg Fidelman. So there's some of the same production elements at play, but we're expanding a little bit on the sonics. It's probably a bit more of a diverse record than the last one. It's exciting, but I don't have quite the perspective yet."
Ulrich also addressed the gap between the new METALLICA album and "Death Magnetic", which is the longest in the band's history. Asked if that "hiatus" has given the group a different perspective about how they approached the new record, Ulrich said: "It's funny you say that because when I think of the last six or eight years, the word 'hiatus' is not that applicable in my view of it. METALLICA's busier than METALLICA's ever been. But we also have a different set of balances now in our lives, which is vital to keeping the band healthy. We prioritize our families and our kids. When we tour, we tour in two-week increments and we go home every two weeks. We found a new model for us, but we play probably two to three dozen gigs a year even in off years just to kind of keep the momentum going and keep ourselves connected and invested in the band."
He continued: "I think what's happened is our families and our domestic responsibilities are so important to us now, so we just have a new model. We're sort of constantly doing something but never to the point of the needle going in the red, but METALLICA really hasn't sort of shut down since around 2005, and it's a model that works for us. We never work at 110 percent to the point where we drive ourselves nuts, but are sort of constantly working at two-thirds, you know — when we make the record we're writing and we're recording, but we're doing it incrementally. There's always stuff going on. It's the way we like it. It keeps us engaged."
METALLICA worked on the new disc on and off over the past two years, in between other projects.
The band has been recording at its headquarters in San Rafael, California.
METALLICA in 2014 released a new song, "Lords Of Summer - First Pass Version", on iTunes via Blackened Recordings. Ulrich told Rolling Stone that the track, which was first performed in March of that year at a concert in Bogota, Colombia, was "fairly representative of where our creative headspace is at right now."