With the band's touring plans mostly canceled until there's a breakthrough in the fight against the novel coronavirus, Metallica has begun work on the follow-up to 2016's Hardwired...to Self-Destruct.
Drummer Lars Ulrich told Swedish talk show host Fredrik Skavlan in late-May that the four band members had recently begun exchanging song ideas.
"We have a weekly Zoom connect," Ulrich said. "We've been doing that basically since [the pandemic lockdowns] started 10, 11 weeks [ago] — since it started in America. So we get together once a week on Zoom for a couple of hours and catch up. The good thing about that catching up is we really just talk about how we're doing and we don't sit and talk about Metallica for hours and hours. But now that we've started exchanging some ideas, it's great. It's nice to be in touch, it's nice to be part again of that group, and I look forward to the creative opportunities that lie ahead of us."
Don't expect the new Metallica album to come anytime soon. Ulrich pegged the band's progress has being in "discovery mode."
Metallica is accustomed to composing and recording more or less simultaneously at its headquarters in California's Bay Area.
Ulrich says he's surprised at how well the process is going so far. There is some uncertainty, he admits, on how far the band will be able to get without being in the same room. Metallica has always relied "on the group format to really move everything forward."
The band has also been keeping fans entertained with Metallica Mondays, live-streaming an archival concert each week. Each show serves as a virtual fundraiser for a different nonprofit organization.
Fans are also voting each day for their favorite Metallica songs via the band's official Facebook and Instagram profiles.
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