Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich was in New York this past weekend to induct Deep Purple into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but he’s a guy that likes to talk, so it stands to reason that he might want to chat about stuff other than DP, like his own band. He opened up to Billboard about the forthcoming box sets for Kill ’em All and Ride the Lightning, and of course, no interview would be remiss without the interviewer asking for a progress report on the next Metallica album. Their management last week said that an album was probably coming out this year, and their drummer agreed:
I think it’s going to get wrapped up soon. Unless something radical happens it would be difficult for me to believe that it won’t come out in 2016. That’s what we’re going for. But obviously, the way we do things now is very different than the way we did things back in the days of Kill ‘Em Alland Ride the Lightning. Nowadays we like to do so many different things — we like to write and record but we also like to be Record Store Day ambassadors and put out deluxe reissues and go play at Rasputin’s and AT&T Park and all these other things. So, you know, writing and recording is now something that is part of the bigger picture rather than something that happens exclusively. And when it really comes down to it, the new record may actually have been written and recorded faster than the last one [2008’s Death Magnetic]. It’s just been spread out over a longer period of time, with these gaps in recording. Which is fine. I’m certainly not complaining about it. It’s just the way we work now. But anyway, the record — it’s definitely coming along. Nearing completion. Should be done soon…hopefully. [Laughs] End quote!
Lars also says that while there are quite a few tidbits like live performances on the two box sets, there’s not much actual unreleased material. “We’ve never really written or recorded things that didn’t make any of our releases,” he says. “Basically, Kill ‘Em All is the first 10 songs we wrote and recorded and Ride the Lightning is the next eight. That’s it.”