- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Metallica is pondering the possibility of making a new record in spite of the coronavirus keeping its members apart, the group’s drummer and co-founder Lars Ulrich said Tuesday.

Mr. Ulrich touched on the topic of potentially recording a new Metallica album undeterred by the coronavirus pandemic during a virtual fireside chat with the head of Salesforce.

Speaking to the software company’s chief executive officer, Mr. Ulrich said that he and his bandmates — James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett and Rob Trujillo — recently started using the online conferencing platform Zoom to discuss the group’s future in the face of the ongoing global health crisis.

“All four of us are, obviously, in four different locations in four different states right now,” Mr. Ulrich said. “But one topic of conversation on these weekly Zoom sessions is, what does it look like going forward? What will the next couple of months look like? What will the rest of the year look like? And what will, obviously, say, the next decade look like in terms of how do we create, how do we write music, how do we record music, how do we share music, and how is it all going to look with the uncertainties ahead of us?

“Even if you bring it into our world, the people that make all the software and all the stuff that we use to record are sitting right now trying to figure it out how Lars and James and Kirk and Rob can make a Metallica record from four different locations in four different states,” he said. “And that’s something that we’re obviously circling and very excited about.”

Pressed further by Salesforce CEO Mark Beinoff, Mr. Ulrich said whether Metallica makes an album during the outbreak will depend on factors such as how long states will continue will enforce restrictions meant to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the highly contagious and potentially deadly respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

“A lot of that will, obviously, have to do with how long stay-at-home orders stay in place,” he said. “A lot of that will have to do with if there’s a second wave of the virus. Who knows what our world will look like six months from now? But, obviously, the one thing that you can depend on with creative people, for better or worse, is that they can’t sit still for very long. And I can tell you that on these weekly Metallica Zoom sessions, we are talking about how we can just be a band again. … And I can tell you that all four of us are really excited about what that could look like.

“So, will there be a Metallica quarantine record? I can’t tell you, because, again, I don’t know how long the quarantine will last,” Mr. Ulrich said. “But if you and I and the rest of the world are still sitting here six months from now or a year from now, I’d say there’s a very good chance.”

Mr. Ulrich, 56, formed Metallica with Mr. Hetfield in the early 1980s. The band released 10 studio albums in the decades that followed, earning numerous awards and accolades along the way, including nine Grammys spanning four categories.

The band’s most recent studio album, “Hardwired… to Self-Destruct,” was released in late 2016.

More recently, Metallica announced earlier this month that the band would donate $350,000 through its nonprofit, the All Within My Hands Foundation, to organizations dedicated to helping people affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

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