Metallica has been writing a new album throughout the pandemic, which drummer Lars Ulrich said gave the band “an opportunity here to still make the best record, to still make a difference.” Metallica has also unfortunately run into some technological snags throughout the writing-from-a-distance process.

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So when can we expect to hear some new music? In an interview with Classic Rock, Ulrich said probably not anytime soon. He cited not being able to get into a room and jam has really held things up, and calls the writing pace of the new album “glacial.”

“[It’s been] glacial,” he said. These are the craziest of times and nothing is letting up. There’s a little bit of movement, but it’s hard to do a lot when we’re not together.”

James Hetfield said during a recent SirusXM Town Hall, he’s written “tons of material” while sitting at home bored out of his mind. So at least there’s some progress!

“For me, and I don’t wanna sound ungrateful, ’cause I know there’s a lot of people out there that are struggling because of this COVID… Where I live, it’s all service industry. And, obviously, the music industry, it’s tough — it’s taken a big hit. For us, we’re road dogs — we’ve been out on the road forever — so you’re either on the road or you’re writing. So the obvious thing is, ‘Well, we’re not on the road. Start writing.’ So, [I’ve written] tons of material. And I’m sure there’s lots of musicians out there that are just, like, ‘Okay, what can I do? I’m gonna write and just get into that,’ which I love doing.”

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