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James Hetfield Says Metallica Too Distracted To Write New Shit


The new issue of Rolling Stone features a number of interviews with the members of Metallica. Perhaps the most noteworthy stuff came from James Hetfield, who, from my reading of his words, is sick of doing all the stuff involved in being Metallica…other than writing and playing music.

When asked how far into the new album he is, Hetfield says, “I only have 846 riffs. In iTunes, you can see how many things you’ve got. And that does not include the soundchecks, the stuff we goof around with here. You plug in an amp. Suddenly it makes you feel good — you come up with a riff. ‘Dude, did you get that?’ You can’t get away from being recorded here.

“But Lars, the hoarder of Metallica, is obsessed with revisiting every stone, turning it over: ‘That could be great!’ Yeah, it could all be great. But I’ve got a new one right now. That’s the Catch-22. You’ve got a riff from five years on tour that’s amazing. Do I still feel it? Don’t worry. Something better will show up.”

When asked if there are too many distractions — the shows, the Orion Music + More festival, the 3D movie — Hetfield didn’t hold back.

“Absolutely. This week is interviews, photo shoots, shooting videos for things. When are we going to start writing? ‘We’ve got to rehearse the ‘black’ album.’ I would love to sit and write without having to think of other stuff.”

Unfortunately, Lars doesn’t “want to be that band that just does record, tour; record, tour. I will say to my dying day, ‘Who wouldn’t want to make a record with Lou Reed?’ They are adventures, uncharted territory, places where you do more than just use muscle memory. I want to get away from that model, that the sole reason for a band to exist is to just make another record.”

Pick up the new issue of the mag to read all of the interviews.