In recent years, members of Metallica have stressed that the band will not make fans endure another eight year wait for a new album like they did between the release of Death Magnetic and Hardwired... To Self-Destruct. Now, Lars Ulrich has expressed the band is eyeing some potential recording in the fall.

In 2020, the group has used the downtime to work on new music as standard touring remains off the table around the world amid the coronavirus pandemic. Although Metallica have conducted writing sessions over Zoom, Ulrich isn't certain exactly how productive that time has been, creatively. "I'm not sure — it's not easy, but we've been doing what we can. We've been exchanging ideas back and forth," said the drummer in a new interview with NME.

While the virtual technology allows for real-time, face-to-face communication, it's still a hindrance when it comes to jamming together all at once. "The hardest thing about being in four different spaces is that there's no software that can have us all play in real time to reach other," bemoaned Ulrich, who instead has to track an idea and send it to the rest of the band for them to record their ideas on top of.

Although this process may not be ideal, it was a rich reward for fans when Metallica issued a new version of their classic song "Blackened," adopting the popular multi-panel 'quarantine jam' style video.

"But we can't play at the same time so it takes the impulsivity and the momentary energy out of the occasion," the drummer continued, noting he's had conversations with "people in technology" about a loose timetable for software that will afford the band the in-the-moment capabilities they seek.

"We'll maximize [that technology if/when it is available]," Ulrich mused, before returning his focus to the current reality, which has the possibility to yield new Metallica music. He explained, "But for now, we're in this bubble for a couple of weeks, and we're looking forward to seeing if at some point this fall, we can get back into another bubble where we write and play and maybe even record — so we're looking forward to the possibilities on that one."

Reluctant to commit to a prospective time of release for this new music, Ulrich merely exclaimed, "Not soon enough!" In an ever-changing world, he did admit that it's difficult to pin down a date when plans are in a constant state of change due to the "nature of the state of the world."

There has been a valuable lesson he has learned through the pandemic and the changes it has wrought, however, as Ulrich stated, "I think it's a good reminder of the fragility of the world and how maybe we should occasionally pause and be a little bit more respectful and appreciative of what we have and understand how quickly it can derail in terms of how we arrogantly expect everything to be the way we wanted as a human race."

Despite the rampant spread of the coronavirus in the United States especially, some artists have performed concerts with varying levels of social distancing with certain shows blatantly flaunting all recommended safety guidelines, the most simple being the social responsibility of wearing a face mask to protect others.

"I’m not going to judge or comment on what other people do," Ulrich said in response to Smash Mouth's performance at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in particular. Speaking only for himself, the Metallica drummer was enthusiastic about the practice of wearing a face mask.

"All I know is that wearing a face mask is not only a pleasure, it’s a privilege," he affirmed, "and so it’s something I do loud and proud. It’s the responsible thing to do if you care about the people around you."

With traditional concerts out of the realm of possibility, Metallica recently offered fans a new kind of concert experience at drive-in events where fans could watch a pre-recorded brand new Metallica gig on a big screen outdoors.

Additionally, the band most recently issued their S&M2 live album and film, which is a sequel to the 1999 S&M record where the band performed with a symphony orchestra. Earlier this week, the album was projected to best the latest release from pop star Katy Perry, keeping her from landing the top new album spot on the Hits Daily Double trade publication's Hits Top 50 Chart, which closely mirrors the Billboard 200.

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