Metallica’s 10th studio album, Hardwired…To Self-Destruct, debuted as expected at Number One on the Billboard 200 album chart on Sunday night (November 27th), selling 291,000 copies in its first week of release. Both of the band’s previous outings, 2008’s Death Magnetic and 2003’s St. Anger, sold more copies in shortened sales weeks. Death Magnetic moved 490,000 copies in a three-day window, while St. Anger shifted 418,000 copies in a similar frame.

Nevertheless, the overall fan reaction to the new disc has inspired the band to release its next record sooner. Frontman James Hetfield told Italy’s Linea Rock, “At least for now, we’ve booked out two years (of touring), at least. So I can’t predict the future, but . . . I would like to make some new music sooner than eight years, for sure. (You get) such a pleasure and a joy of hearing your new music and having other people hear it. So we don’t wanna wait that long.”

  • Meanwhile, Hetfield revealed in a separate interview with Metal Hammer that things got heated at one point between him and drummer Lars Ulrich in the studio while making the new disc.
  • Hetfield explained, “We were in the studio and it was like, ‘Hey, I’m the guitar player, I like this guitar part, I wanna play it.’ He’d be like, ‘This part is better,’ and I was like, ‘Since when are you the Riff Police?’ So at that point it was, ‘Okay, I’m done for now, I have to leave.’ But a week later we were talking again.”
  • Bassist Robert Trujillo told us a while back that he stays out of the way when Hetfield and Ulrich are doing their thing in the studio: [“The whole thing is, when we’re being creative, when Metallica’s creative, the last thing you want to do is interfere with the flow that happens between Lars and James, ’cause these guys bump heads and they get on a roll with things, and you really gotta let them do their thing, ’cause it is magic, and let them be productive when that’s clicking.”] 
  • Hardwired…To Self-Destruct consists of two discs, containing a dozen songs and nearly 80 minutes of music.
  • The album has already gone to Number One in 57 countries, with the album going Top Three in 75 nations and Top Five in 105 countries.

DID YOU KNOW? The members of Metallica famously fought during the recording sessions for an abandoned studio album in 2001 — with James Hetfield storming out and heading to rehab for several months. The group employed self-styled therapist Phil Towle to get them talking and working again, all of which was chronicled in the 2004 documentary Some Kind Of Monster.