METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich has told Rolling Stone that the band’s long-awaited follow-up to 2008’s “Death Magnetic” is “well on its way.” He added: “It may come out any century now, actually. There’s a saying: where there’s life, there’s hope.”

Asked if the new METALLICA album has been recorded, Ulrich said: “I’d say it’s mostly done. There are all these other responsibilities that have to be taken care of. Life in METALLICA these days is not only about making a record; it’s about these things and we played a show at AT&T Park and he does this, I do this. We have all these sort of different things that we turn to. But the record gets worked on where there’s absolutely nothing else going on.”

He continued: “In all seriousness, it’s actually what we like. It works for us. It’s not just record, tour, record, tour. We like to do. We’re doing the Record Store Day next week and doing all that stuff. There’s lots of stuff going on all the time, but the record is almost done.”

METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett told Alternative Press in a recent interview that the band has “pretty much” hired Greg Fidelman as the producer for its tenth studio album. Hammett said: “We have not brought in any [other] producer and it looks extremely [unlikely] we’d bring one in this late into the project.” Asked what Fidelman‘s exact role has been in the process, Hammett explained: “The title ‘producer’ itself is a bit ambiguous. It differs from person to person. If you go by the traditional term, we’re doing it with Greg, pretty much.”

Comparing Fidelman to producers that METALLICA has worked with in the past, Hammett said: “You can call Rick Rubin a producer, but he’s not the [same] type of producer as Bob Rock, who is there for every note. At the same time, Rick Rubin gets stuff done. Greg Fidelman is a different type of producer in that he’s with the engineer always looking to try and move the project forward.”

Hammett added: “Greg is a real pleasure to work with. Even though he can be a bit of a taskmaster, he listens to you. He’s super-flexible. He knows how to crack the whip without fucking pissing people off.”

Fidelman was the engineer on “Death Magnetic”, which some fans criticized for an overly loud and harsh sound mix.

But Ulrich admitted a while back that “Death Magnetic” held up for him sonically. “I think it sounds awesome and I’m happy with it,” he said. “I can tell you that there have been METALLICA records that have not lasted as long for me as ‘Death Magnetic’ has, and so that’s a pretty good sign.”

Hammett also told Alternative Press that the “hardest part” of recording a new METALLICA album was coordinating the band members’ schedules, saying, “Life has its demands. We’re trying to make an album and go on tour, trying to be a band, but we all recognize that if someone has a family situation, that takes priority over everything.”

METALLICA has not set a timetable for the release of its new album, although it’s possible that the set could see the light of day before the end of 2016.