METALLICA has announced November 18 as the release date of its tenth studio album, “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct”. The long-awaited follow-up to 2008’s “Death Magnetic” consists of two discs, containing a dozen songs and nearly 80 minutes of music.
“Hardwired…To Self-Destruct” was produced by Greg Fidelman with METALLICA frontman James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich. The band recorded the disc at its own studio and is still putting the finishing touches on the LP. Ulrich told Rolling Stone: “We have all but one of the songs mixed and done. In the last two or three days, Greg was going to mix the one called ‘Spit Out the Bone’ — working title ‘CHI’ — and all of a sudden Rob [Trujillo, bass] showed up in the control room yesterday to work on it. So what the fuck do I know? It’s pretty much done. We should have that last song mixed this weekend.”
METALLICA premiered the first song, “Hardwired”, on Minneapolis radio station 93X on Thursday (August 18) ahead of their headlining gig at the city’s new U.S. Bank Stadium this Saturday (August 20). A music video for the song has also been posted online.
According to Ulrich, METALLICA wrote most of the songs for “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct” in the fall of 2014 and the spring of 2015. The band’s initial goal with the new record was “to continue where we left off,” the drummer said. “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 [‘Through The Never’] movie took two years. Greg Fidelman has been working with us full time since then. We haven’t had time to sit down and asses what we’re doing. So it wasn’t until farther into the process that we took stock of what we were doing and asked what we were trying to say with the album. That’s when things came more into shape and became more coherent. But we didn’t work with a mission statement.”
Asked about his previous comment that the songs on “Hardwired” would sound “less frenetic” than those on “Death Magnetic”, Ulrich explained: “Most of the songs are simpler. We introduce a mood and we stick to it, rather than songs we’ve done where one riff happens and we go over here and then over there and becomes a journey through all these different soundscapes. The songs are more linear. And by ‘less frenetic,’ I mean there are certainly less starts and stops in the songs. It cruises along a little bit more than the last record.”
Lars also talked about how the “Kill ‘Em All” and “Ride The Lightning” reissues affected the making of “Hardwired” . He said: “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.”
“Hardwired…To Self-Destruct” will be issued on double CD, vinyl and digital download. A deluxe version will feature a bonus disc containing the riffs that formed the origins of the album along with “The Lords Of Summer”, which the band debuted on tour a couple of years ago.
Ulrich admitted to The Pulse Of Radio that the fact METALLICA was recording the new album at its own studio was one reason it took a while to complete the disc. “One thing I can tell you when you make a record at home, which I’ve realized in the last month or so, is that when you go away to a studio and make a record, you have to leave Sunday night at 10 p.m. ’cause the ARCTIC MONKEYS are setting up, you know, at 10 a.m. Monday morning,” he said. “Makes you finish what you’re doing. We don’t have the luxury of that. We have open-ended recording time at our own studio.”