Metallica announced their new album Hardwired… To Self Destruct Thursday, complete with a promising first single, tracklist, release date, and everything you’d expect. So you’d think the album would be finished, but Lars Ulrich tells Rolling Stone it’s actually not done yet:
Rob [Trujillo] is still downstairs right now redoing the bass and one of the verses on one of the songs. People go, “What do you think of the record?” And I don’t even know because it’s not even done yet. It’s been kind of a mindfuck this whole week.
Don’t worry, though; only one track, “Spit Out The Bone,” still needs to be mixed, so Hardwired should arrive on time. The recording mostly took place in late 2014 and early 2015. Ulrich says Metallica only played lead single “Hardwired” together for the first time this past Monday in preparation for Saturday’s concert in Minneapolis; they recorded it part by part without ever rehearsing it as a complete unit. It was the last song they wrote for the new album, which features several shorter, faster, tighter songs partially inspired by the band’s live performance of 1983 debut album Kill ‘Em All in 2013:
I can’t say that there was a magical moment where we’re listening to “Metal Militia” and wrote a song. But we did play Kill ‘Em All in its entirety at the Orion festival in Detroit in 2013. That was the first time I really got into that record. Early on, I was dismissive of that record because Ride The Lightning and Master Of Puppets may be a little more intellectually stimulating and challenging — they were deeper records — and it wasn’t until 2013 when we played it that I realized Kill ‘Em All had a cohesiveness. It had its own thing with the speed, but it’s simpler — the songs are longer but not quite as progressive. It’s a world all its own. And I think there are some elements of that that rubbed off into this. I’d say there’s a trace of residue from rediscovering Kill ‘Em All that crept into the songwriting.
Other notable tidbits: Ulrich hinted that the band is likely to debut new music in Minneapolis. The Hardwired track “Am I Savage?” is not connected to the band’s cover of Diamond Head’s “Am I Evil?” Oh, and here is a beautiful Ulrich quote about everything Metallica has done since 2008’s Death Magnetic that conveniently ignores the near universal distaste for their Lou Reed collaboration Lulu:
Originally, we wanted to continue where we left off. Since Death Magnetic, we’ve been on a roll: We did the Lou Reed stuff, a Ronnie Dio–Rainbow medley, a Deep Purple cover and obviously the movie [2013 concert film Through The Never] took two years.
Here’s the new song again: