After months of discussing the challenges the pandemic has posed to the crafting of Metallica's eleventh studio album, drummer Lars Ulrich has confirmed that the band has finally made some progress.
With all four members isolated in separate locations for most of the year, Metallica has had no luck in its typical writing paradigm — jamming as a group — via video calls.
The band has reconvened at least a pair of times during the pandemic, but COVID regulations initially meant the band couldn't make extra time to write together.
During the summer, Ulrich spoke about the possibility of creating an NBA-style 'bubble' around Metallica to facilitate the band's writing process. While it's unclear what the band ended up doing, Ulrich indicated in a recent conversation with Louder Sound that there was a breakthrough at some point.
Speaking of the new music, the drummer joked that the follow-up to Hardwired...To Self-Destruct would be "the heaviest thing, the coolest. But all kidding aside, if it wasn't because we thought the best record was still ahead of us, then why keep doing it?"
Indeed, Metallica has certainly had to jump through some hoops to make possible whatever sessions have gone down so far. Ulrich says the band's creative process is one of the most gratifying things about it.
"Writing always makes me feel enthusiastic about what's next," he told Rolling Stone this past fall. "It's like, 'F---, there's an opportunity here to still make the best record, to still make a difference."
Photo: Getty Images