As many shelter themselves from the coronavirus pandemic in quarantine, the forced downtime has afforded musicians the opportunity to create new music. Recently, Metallica's Lars Ulrich floated the idea that the band could write a new album while locked down and now he's declared that he and the rest of the group are exchanging ideas for fresh music.

It was an eight year gap between Metallica's Death Magnetic and Hardwired... To Self-Destruct albums, and the band's member proclaimed numerous times that they hoped it wouldn't take as long before another record surfaced. While the group's writing process is notoriously painstaking, perhaps that premonition of a new record sooner than later will hold true.

Ulrich spoke with Swedish talk show host Fredrik Skavlan about where Metallica's recent activities. "We're just starting, in the last four weeks maybe, we connected again. We've been obviously connecting [even before that], but we [have now] connected creatively, and now we're sort of in discovery mode, I think is a good way to say it. We are sending ideas to each other via e-mail and via Zoom and [trying to] make music in these unusual situations," the drummer explained.

He went on to note that Metallica have been connecting through video conferencing since the pandemic started to hit America. Their weekly Zoom calls last a couple of hours and they typically catch up with each other rather than talk shop about Metallica.

That has since shifted toward the discussion of new music.

"But now that we've started exchanging some ideas, it's great. It's nice to in touch, it's nice to be part again of that group, and I look forward to the creative opportunities that lie ahead of us," Ulrich continued.

When pressed about the differences between writing a studio album under more typical conditions versus in quarantine, the drummer offered, "So far, at least the sonic side of it and the practical elements are in surprisingly good shape, actually. So now we've just gotta figure out how much we can create without being in the same space."

Numerous bands write new music by sharing files digitally, but Ulrich stressed, "The difference, obviously, between bands like ourselves and people that are still bands, like the U2s of the world or the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Coldplay or Iron Maiden or whatever is that you really are bands, and you rely on the group format to really move everything forward. So unlike if you're a solo artist and it's just you and your guitar or whatever. So it's a different thing."

These meetings have at least produced something new from Metallica already, even if we don't get a new record from the metal giants until the pandemic subsides. In May, the band released a new version of their classic song "Blackened," as each member recorded their parts on video, which were then pieced together in a format that has been popular among quarantine-style jams other musicians have taken part in.

All of this follows Ulrich's late April declaration that there's a "very good chance" that Metallica will write an album in quarantine.

Lars Ulrich Speaks With Fredrik Skavlan

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