The band has posted a few pictures from the studio, but this is our first strong indication that a new album is ready to go.
Ulrich told Rolling Stone, “We are fucking in it.”
“We’ve got lots of songs, and we’re honing them and tweaking them. It’s pretty close.”
“The creative elements are getting close to being done,” the drummer said. “Just remember, this is still ‘Metallica time.’ When I say we’re close to being done, it means the next month or so.
“There’s a lot of stuff going on as life continues with family and personal events…. But we are certainly down there [writing] pretty much every day.”
It seems that we’ll get a proper announcement before it arrives too with Ulrich ruling out the chance of a U2-surprise drop. “Right now, it’s not like we’re going to do one of those things where we’ll just give it to iTunes on Thursday without telling anybody,” Ulrich said.
This year Metallica will headline the UK’s Reading & Leeds Festivals and Rock In Rio in Las Vegas.
On whether these 2015 festival shows will be the first time we hear the new material from the band, Ulrich said, “I hope so. Absolutely.”
As to what the album will sound like, the drummer has offered a few clues. “In our world, there’s been a distinct difference between the creative phase and the recording phase,” he said, “With this project, we’re trying to bridge the two a little more organically and not have there be such a great divide between the processes.
“We want to see if we can bring some of the creative curiosity, the impulsive stuff that happens when you’re first playing a song into the studio.”
While the band is getting close, they are still yet to chose a producer. Their last studio album proper, Death Magnetic, was produced by the legendary Rick Rubin. It marked their first LP since 1988’s …And Justice For All not to be produced by Bob Rock.