Lars Ulrich recently revealed that Metallica had entered the studio to begin work on their new album, and now Kirk Hammett has offered up an update on the heavy metal legends' first LP since 2008's Death Magnetic. Speaking to Billboard, the guitarist says the band has "well over a dozen songs" in the works but Metallica still has a ways to go before completing their 10th studio album.
"We have a lot of good songs. The songs are ever-changing at this point. Nothing is etched in stone. We still have a lot of material to sift through, still," Hammett told Billboard. "We have well over a dozen songs and we still have well over two or three hundred riffs, too, so it's hard to say at what point we actually are in in the project. I don't think we hit the middle point yet. I would say we're at the 25 percent point, maybe 30 percent point. It's hard to say, but I mean we are working on it and there are songs and we're making plans to write more songs and record."
As documented in the 2004 film Some Kind of Monster, once Metallica commits to recording, they dig in fully. "Whenever we go into the studio it becomes such a huge sort of thing in our lives that it does take on monstrous proportions. It takes up a lot of space in our lives," Hammett said. "Yes, you can look at it as something monstrous, for sure – and we've made movies about it, so there you go, man."
In an interview with Rolling Stone, when asked about Metallica's new album, drummer Lars Ulrich answered emphatically "We are fucking in it." "We've got lots of songs, and we're honing them and tweaking them. It's pretty close," Ulrich said, adding that he "absolutely" hoped to premiere some new tracks live during Metallica's headlining slot at Las Vegas' Rock in Rio festival May 9th. Bassist Robert Trujillo also told Rolling Stone, "We're working on these songs and we're having a blast. We are being productive and having fun."
In addition to their 10th studio LP, Metallica are also in the throes of a massive reissue project that will kick off with a limited-edition cassette reproduction of their 1982 demo tape No Life 'Til Leather. The cassette will be released on Record Store Day April 18th before the expanded CD and vinyl editions follow this summer.