Earlier this spring, Metallica's James Hetfield explained that the band had composed 10 or more new songs while all four members were isolated from each other during the coronavirus pandemic.

The rocker made the revelation during a March chat with The Fierce Life, a podcast from gun maker Fierce Firearms that focuses on Hetfield's hobby interest of hunting and shooting. When talk came to Metallica's progress on a studio follow-up to 2016's Hardwired… to Self-Destruct, the singer and guitarist detailed how the group collaborated from their separate home studios.

Watch the interview near the bottom of this post.

"Because of COVID, just sitting at home and getting a little bit antsy and just feeling creative at the same time and wanting to get together, I started doing a weekly Zoom with those guys just to check in," Hetfield shared. "And then I just told them one time, 'Hey, I'm gonna write something. I'm just gonna play something and send it to you guys. You do whatever you want with it and see what happens and layer on to it.' So that's how we did a version of 'Blackened' [for] 2020. I just basically played something — they hadn't heard it before, they played on it." [via Metal Hammer]

Indeed, it's not just office staff who use videoconferencing to work remotely — metal musicians do it too! What's impressive is that Metallica came up with 10 new tunes while writing in such a way.

"We started experimenting with writing on Zoom," Hetfield continued. "[Drummer] Lars [Ulrich] and I would get together, or [guitarist] Kirk [Hammett] and Lars, and we would get little bits of time here and there writing. It was difficult because of the delay in the sound, so we couldn't actually play together, but we would play to a click track and watch each other play. We had our producer, who was running my computer while I was playing. He was running my computer from L.A., and I'm in Vail [Colorado]. … Lars had an assistant running his computer from L.A. — he's up here in San Francisco — and we were playing together, and it was pretty bizarre. We started writing. We got about, I don't know, over 10 songs going that way. And then we finally got together. There's only so much you can do on Zoom."

It was during the same podcast interview that the Metallica frontman expressed some personal doubt about the COVID-19 vaccine. While Hetfield didn't say outright he wouldn't get one, he did question the vaccine effort and proposed ideas about vaccine passports.

"I'm a little skeptical of getting the vaccine," Hetfield told The Fierce Life, "but it seems to be rolling out and people are getting it and I've got lots of friends that have done it — I'm not totally sure about it. But I hope it doesn't come to a point where you have to have that COVID stamp in your passport or something to go everywhere. But if it comes down to that, then I'll make a decision then. We got vaccinated to go to Africa, so it's not like I've never been vaccinated before. But as a kid, I never got vaccinations 'cause of our religion [Christian Science]. So that was the only time I got one — when we were going on safari in Africa."

Ulrich previously divulged that Metallica spent 2020 getting into "some pretty serious writing." Since Hardwired, the band has issued a live acoustic collection and their second symphony collab, S&M2.

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