Wondering why it’s taking so long (7 years in September!) for Metallica to release a follow-up to Death Magnetic? In an interview with the “Groove – The No Treble Podcast,” bassist Robert Trujillo gave a handful of excuses reasons why it’s taken so long. In short, he says that while they’re writing and jamming on new ideas, they’re “nurturing the arrangements.” In addition, working with Lou Reed on Lulu, and putting out a 3D movie that not that many people saw also took them away from working on the new album. Here’s what he told

We’ve been jamming on lots of new ideas — frameworks, so to speak. And, you know, James is getting into working up melodies and experimenting on that level. But it’s really, like, kind of, you work out parts, a process of elimination, and then you jam ’em out. We jam’ em out and get ’em into your system, make ’em a part of you.

For us right now, we’re basically in a kind of scenario where we’re nurturing the arrangements. And everything, really, is nurtured. It’s like the transitions… trying everything you can try. That’s just how it is. And I think that’s what makes Metallica’s  music great and special. Because it’s that kind of pride, and, really, you’re working on art piece. And it’s gotta be right. And what does that mean? That means exploring. James always has a handful of words for one possible word. Maybe this word doesn’t work out. Let’s try these. It’s a lot of work, and it’s time-consuming, but at the same time, it’s important, and it needs to be done that way, because the end result is what we hear from Metallica,  what everybody loves. 

Okay, so they’re working on arrangements. But what’s this about Through the Never and Lulu taking away from the next album?

I think about the film Through The Never, the 3D movie we made… I guess it would have came out [in 2013]. But that’s… in a lot of ways, it’s a creative adventure. I mean, we oversaw the narrative, for the most part, and the stage production and a lot of that. And it took a couple of years out of our lives, and those were a couple of years that we really needed to be writing, you know. I mean, a lot of the fans have been waiting for a new album. Now it’s been, I think… it must be about five years or something. I can’t even remember. Put it this way: in the time that we made Death Magnetic, as far as creating and writing the songs to the time that we finished touring it, there were five children born amongst us. It’s kind of crazy and wild and funny. But I think the thing that kind of throws us off is we get caught up, again, in our own creativity. So whether it’s recording an album with Lou Reed or creating a 3D film… those are creative projects, those are challenges, those are things that, I guess, we’re not necessarily supposed to be doing. In the world of rock and roll, it’s like… Working with Lou Reed, for us, was a really special moment. He was an icon. And especially for, I think, Lars and James, it was really going outside the box for them. Being in that creative bubble that Metallica has, and as writers, stepping outside that to work with an alternative icon — really, a rock and roll icon, I wanna say — and being maybe, possibly humbled by the fact that, you know, we’re not the bosses, they’re not the bosses. There’s another guy who’s gonna be the boss, and we’re gonna work with this man. So I’d say our derailment, or our sort of getting thrown off the path, was definitely based on creative challenges. 

At lest they’ve got one song done. Hopefully they’ll get their act together and come out with a new album this year, but no one seems to be holding their breath. You can listen to the whole podcast here.


[Transcription via Blabbermouth]