Metallica Write New Album On Zoom

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Metallica frontman James Hetfield revealed the band wrote 10 new song ideas on Zoom in a new Fierce Life Podcast interview.

“Well, hopefully, a new album at some point. Whatever you call it these days I guess it’s an album, a CD, a group of songs, a collection, a stream, or however you get your music now.

“But yeah, a bunch of songs. We wrote quite a few songs so we’ll see how many we like first and then we’ll put them out. We’re pretty selfish that way, we like what we write as well.”

Oh, fantastic! So how does that process go? You write a few songs and then just kind of get together, and take some parts out, put some stuff in? You get everyone’s feedback nowadays when you do that, or how does that transpire?

“Yeah, this time was a little different for sure just because of COVID, just sitting at home, and getting a little bit antsy, and just feeling creative at the same time, and wanting to get together.

“So I started doing a weekly Zoom with those guys just to check-in. And then I just told them one time, ‘Hey, I’m going to write something, I’m just going to play something, and send it to you guys. You do whatever you want with it, see what happens, and layer onto it.’

“So that’s how that we did the version of ‘Blackened’ in 2020. I just basically played something they hadn’t heard before, and they played on it, then it kind of got layered together, then we started experimenting with writing on Zoom.

“Lars [Ulrich, drums] and I would get together, Kirk [Hammett, guitar] and Lars would get little bits of time here and there writing. It was difficult because of the delay in the sound, so we couldn’t actually play together but we would play to a click track, and watch each other play.

“So our producer was running my computer while I was playing, he was running my computer from L.A., and I’m in Vail [in Colorado], and then Lars had the other assistant running his computer from L.A. – he’s up here in San Francisco – and we were playing together.

“And it was pretty bizarre. We started writing, we got about over 10 songs going that way, and then finally got together. There’s only so much you can do on Zoom. We’ve been doing this for about 100 years now so we should have it together.”

What’s one of your favorite memories from all your tour days?

“Actually, I would have to say the Russian show when we showed up at ’91 after the coup, where the country had opened up and was no longer communist.

“Doing that open airfield, we played with four other bands, and basically, for the first time it was a free concert out in an airfield, and they estimated a million, or half a million, nobody knew really.

“But just being able to play in a place that was just fresh and hadn’t heard anything like that before really, and just watching people change as the music moved them.

“There were plenty of military people that just started taking their uniforms off and started rocking out. It was a really freeing thing, so it was awesome to witness that.”

So they’re estimating there were over 500,000 people there and plus?

“Plus, yeah. It was maybe in the middle of an airfield so they didn’t keep count of people but as far as the eye could see, past the horizon, a little Russian head was bobbing around.” Ultimate-Guitar transcribed his comments.