Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich spoke to Citizens Of Humanity magazine about the musical direction of the band’s long-awaited follow-up to 2008’s Death Magnetic, tentatively due in the fall. He said, “It definitely sounds like Metallica. It’s probably a little less frenetic than the last record. The last one (producer) Rick Rubin really encouraged us to for the first time be inspired by our past. It was the first time we sort of looked in the rearview mirror. This time around it’s a little bit of a different thing.”

Ulrich continued, “We’re not working with Rick, we’re working with the engineer from the last record, who’s producing, Greg Fidelman. So there’s some of the same production elements at play, but we’re expanding a little bit on the sonics. It’s probably a bit more of a diverse record than the last one. It’s exciting, but I don’t have quite the perspective yet.”

  • Ulrich also addressed the eight-year gap between studio albums, the longest of the band’s career, by saying, “I think what’s happened is our families and our domestic responsibilities are so important to us now, so we just have a new model. We’re sort of constantly doing something but never to the point of the needle going in the red, but Metallica really hasn’t sort of shut down since around 2005, and it’s a model that works for us.”
  • He added, “We never work at 110 percent to the point where we drive ourselves nuts, but are sort of constantly working at two-thirds, you know — when we make the record we’re writing and we’re recording, but we’re doing it incrementally. There’s always stuff going on. It’s the way we like it. It keeps us engaged.”
  • Ulrich told us not long ago that Metallica no longer wants to devote large chunks of time to any one project: [“You know, Metallica, in order for it to be true and pure and honest, has to be fun. And so the days of, you know, writing for a year and then recording for a year and then going on the road for three years — those kind of endlessly long cycles — they’re just behind us. I don’t think we have the stamina to do anything for those elongated periods of time any longer.”] SOUNDCUE (:21 OC: . . . time any longer.)
  • Metallica worked on the new disc on and off over the past few years, in between other projects that included a series of short tours, a film, the restoration of some of their early albums and other projects.
  • The band recently completed recording at its headquarters in San Rafael, California and has now begun mixing the new disc, which is expected out before the end of the year.

CHECK IT OUT: Read the entire Lars Ulrich interview here

SIDE NOTES: Metallica frontman James Hetfield is lending his voice to Skylanders Academy, a new Netflix animated series based on the Skylanders video game. Hetfield joins a voice cast that also includes Justin Long, Ashley Tisdale, Jonathan Banks and Norm MacDonald. The show will debut this fall.

INTERNET COMMENTS at Blabbermouth — agree or not?

Brian Slick wrote: “Having been a past fan of them and having a respect for their classic past work. I will give this record a FAIR listen. I will then make a determination of whether or not I like it. I want to keep an open mind..this album will be the only chance to hear new music from them in quite a long time. At the rate they release music ..this could be there last attempt. I will wait and see ..then pass judgement.”

Tom Murray wrote: “Well, I for one was hoping they’d chill out on this record so this sounds like good news to me. DM was a good record but it was packed to the gills with riffs: it really needed a good edit! 8 minute song? OK, but you damn well better make it interesting! Instrumental? OK, but it should definitely have a great hook… and definitely not a B minus stock main riff.”

Robert Batrado wrote: “It’d be great if they actually did write more diverse stuff, but we all know it’s just gonna be more rewrites of Enter Sandman and boring mid-paced groove riffs stretched out to 6-8 minutes a song.”

Brian Slattery wrote: “Exact opposite of what I was hoping to read. We can always listen to their old stuff, and there’s a ton of great metal bands still releasing great albums. Next…”