James Hetfield said in a new interview that Metallica has written about ten tracks during quarantine for a new album.
In an appearance on the hunting podcast The Fierce Life, Hetfield said regarding writing song virtually (as transcribed by Blabbermouth), “This time was a little different, for sure. Because of COVID, just sitting at home and getting a little bit antsy and just feeling creative at the same time and wanting to get together, I started doing a weekly Zoom with those guys just to check in. And then I just told them one time, ‘Hey, I’m gonna write something. I’m just gonna play something and send it to you guys. You do whatever you want with it and see what happens and layer on to it.'”
Papa Het continued, “So that’s how we did a version of ‘Blackened’ 2020. I just basically played something. They hadn’t heard it before. They played on it. Then it kind of got layered together. Then we started experimenting with writing on Zoom. Lars [Ulrich] and I would get together, or Kirk [Hammett] and Lars, and we would get little bits of time here and there writing.”
Hetfield added, “It was difficult because of the delay in the sound, so we couldn’t actually play together, but we would play to a click track and watch each other play. We had our producer, who was running my computer while I was playing. He was running my computer from L.A., and I’m in Vail [Colorado]. And then Lars had an assistant running his computer from L.A. — he’s up here in San Francisco — and we were playing together, and it was pretty bizarre. We started writing. We got about — I don’t know — over 10 songs going that way. And then we finally got together. There’s only so much you can do on Zoom.”
Hetfield’s comments on new music were from the same interview in which he explained why he was skeptical about the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I’m not sure what that means in the future as far as vaccines. I’m a little skeptical of getting the vaccine, but it seems to be rolling out and people are getting it and I’ve got lots of friends that have done it,” said Hetfield
He added, “I’m not totally sure about it. But I hope it doesn’t come to a point where you have to have that COVID stamp in your passport or something to go everywhere. But if it comes down to that, then I’ll make a decision then. We got vaccinated to go to Africa, so it’s not like I’ve never been vaccinated before. But as a kid, I never got vaccinations because of our religion. [Hetfield grew up as a Christian Scientist.] So that was the only time I got one — when we were going on safari in Africa.”