Metallica Sorting Through Nearly 600 Song Ideas

'I understand there are people waiting for a new rec­ord, and so are we,' says Lars Ulrich

Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield of Metallica perform in Detroit, Michigan. Credit: Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage

It's been nearly five years since Metallica released their last album, Death Magnetic, which means the faithful are growing restless for a new LP from the heavy metal veterans. The band knows it, too – and sympathizes, to a point.

"I understand there are people waiting for a new rec­ord, and so are we," drummer Lars Ulrich tells Rolling Stone for a story in the new summer double issue. "But I can't stress about it. It's not like, 'Fuck, hurry up and get this record out.' Hurry up for what? So we can go play gigs? We already play gigs. We'll get there." 

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One of Metallica's biggest gigs lately has been the Orion Music + More Festival, held earlier this month in Detroit, where the band treated fans to a full performance of their 1983 debut Kill 'Em All. The band has a scattering of festival slots lined up into September, ending just before the rockers are planning to premiere their upcoming 3D movie, Metallica Through the Never, on every IMAX screen in North America on September 27th.

The band filmed the movie last August, combining live performance footage from three shows in Vancouver with a narrative storyline following a fictional member of their crew, played by the actor Dane DeHaan, who's sent on a mission during a concert.

When the band resumes work on the next album, they'll have plenty of material to choose from. Ulrich estimates the band came up with nearly 600 song ideas during rehearsals in January and March of this year, many of which came from jam sessions the musicians held while on tour.

Read the full Metallica story in RS 1186/1187, which is available starting today.