METALLICA’s JAMES HETFIELD Says He’s Been ‘Writing Lots Of Music’ This Year

James Hetfield Birthday Speech

METALLICA frontman James Hetfield says he’s been working on new music during the band’s downtime.

In a recent episode of “The Metallica Report” podcast, which provides weekly insider updates on everything METALLICA, Hetfield said: “The time off has been pretty fantastic but, at the same time, I missed playing with the guys. And I let them know, ‘Man, I miss jamming with you guys!’

“We’ve done a few things here and there,” he continued. “The Elton John thing [covering “Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” on TV in April] was so fantastic. Had a blast there. Elton, what a beautiful soul.”

“[I’ve] been doing some skiing, getting up on the mountain – there’s been tons of snow in Colorado, where we’re at, so a good snow season – and writing loads of music,” he added.”[I’ve been] playing guitar pretty much every day. I have to. It’s like breathing.”

When asked if his “idea machine” ever takes a break, Hetfield responded: “I’m so grateful it doesn’t shut off.

“Whether it’s an escape from life or whatever it is, I love my little music room basement. I’ve got a computer, a few guitars and a little rig set up. It is my soul-nourishing place, to go in there and just play and write. Not so much practicing, it’s just writing.”

Hetfield further explained the influences behind his songwriting, specifically highlighting the impact of Elton John and his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin.

“There’s always ideas,” he said. “I get inspired [by] all kinds of different music, listening to it. Even the Elton John thing, hanging out with Elton and Bernie Taupin challenged me. Watching [2019 John biopic] Rocketman and seeing how they wrote – Elton is such a visionary in the way that Bernie sets a set of lyrics, a poem, in front of him and he sees the music just appearing, which is bizarre to me. I’m more of the old Tony Iommi way, where, ‘Here is the riff, and we build around the riff,’ you know?”

As reported by BillboardMETALLICA‘s latest album, [2013’s] 72 Seasons, achieved sales of 146,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. during its initial week, securing the No. 2 spot on the Billboard 200 chart.

Although it was the first time since their 1988 album …And Justice For All that the band didn’t reach the No. 1 position, 72 Seasons represents METALLICA‘s 12th album to make it into the Top 10 charts, with eight of them attaining the top two spots.