Even with touring off the table, 2020 has been an incredibly productive year for Metallica. The work continues and drummer Lars Ulrich has now confirmed that the band has engaged in some "serious writing" over the last three to four weeks.

The drummer spoke with American indie folk star Phoebe Bridgers as part of Rolling Stone's 'Musicians on Musicians' interview series. Bridgers professed to being a longtime Metallica fan and acknowledged that her passion for metal doesn't translate much within her music despite this fandom.

Throughout the interview, the two hit on time-honored controversy regarding Ulrich's battle against early 2000s music pirating giant Napster as well as the portion of Metallica's fan base who only regard certain album as "real" Metallica records.

Bridgers even engaged in some controversy of her own, declaring that the group's divisive 2003 effort, St. Anger, is a "great record."

The drummer remained supportive of that album, noting the approach of "no rules" when writing the music. Ultimately, he said, "I'm happy we did it."

Ulrich then segued from St. Anger to the current day and revealed the writing process for the presumed follow-up to 2016's Hardwired... to Self-Destruct is going well. "We’re three, four weeks into some pretty serious writing," he affirmed.

The work has more meaning that simply writing new music — it's a much-needed catharsis amid a chaotic year. Ulrich went on, "And of all the shit – pandemics, fires, politics, race problems, and just fucking looking at the state of the world – it’s so easy just to so fall into a depressive state. But writing always makes me feel enthusiastic about what’s next. It’s like, 'Fuck, there’s an opportunity here to still make the best record, to still make a difference. To still do something that not even turns other people on, but turns me on.'"

While fans await a new Metallica record, hoping they won't endure another eight-year drought that they experienced between the release of Death Magnetic and Hardwired... To Self-Destruct. Tiding headbangers over in the interim, Metallica released new versions of "Blackened" and "Disposable Heroes" as well as the S&M2 live album and concert film.

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