If you're a geologist, Metallica is making progress on its new album. If you're anyone else, the album sessions are at a virtual standstill.
Drummer Lars Ulrich said this fall that the band had made "significant progress" on the follow-up to 2016's Hardwired...To Self-Destruct. But that was also around the last time all four band members were together — for the band's 'Helping Hands' virtual benefit in November.
"[It's been] glacial," he said. "These are the craziest of times and nothing is letting up. There's a little bit of movement [in that direction], but it's hard to do a lot when we're not together."
Ulrich said numerous times last year that the band was struggling mightily to advance new song arrangements without being able to play together. He said he had even been in touch with friends in the tech world to try and solve lag issues that prevent people from playing music in time together over the Internet.
"Being in a rock and roll band and working virtually is not super easy," the drummer said. "Time delays, all these things make it really hard. The main thing we miss is being able to hear each other. [Laughs] So if we're all four in a room together, we can connect with each other and we can hear each other."
Metallica had discussed creating a 'bubble' environment, in which band and crew could isolate together, safe from COVID-19, and work on the new album. For now, it seems like the band members are determined to forge ahead virtually.
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