Their most recent title, Hardwired… to Self-Destruct, arrived almost six years ago, and there had been an eight-year gap between that record and the previous one, Death Magnetic. Band members have discussed the concept of increasing the pace, but it hasn’t happened.
“Yeah, you know, it’s not getting any quicker, too,” Hammett told Goldmine in a recent interview. He continued: “It’s just like, we have a way of working. We have a process that unfortunately takes a long time. It’s just the way we work, the way it is, the way it works as a band. And I’ve grown to accept that.”
Referring to his recent solo debut, he added: “[P]utting out Portals is great for me because it kind of frees me up from that schedule. I can come up with a few tracks, record them and put them out, and I can do it on a completely different time schedule from the band. And that’s great because it doesn’t seem to get in the way of the band’s schedule because, like I say, we move at our own pace.”
Hammett also reported that Portals had been a 27-minute EP rather than a full-length album because “that was about the end of my free time.” He explained: “Things started up again with the COVID situation improving. Metallica was starting to play these streaming shows and doing things here and there. And we’re starting to come together again and just formulate what we’re going to do for the future. Stuff started opening up and so basically all my energies went elsewhere.
“But I had this music and it turned out great, and why waste it? I may as well share it with everyone. For me, I want to make great art, you know? I want to make great music. I want to make music that’s never been heard. I just want to express myself creatively. I play guitar every friggin’ day, so I may as well put a mic on it.”
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