Hammett revealed to Mixdown (via Tone Deaf) that he overcompensated this time around and is sitting on enough material with which to enter the studio. This comes after bassist Rob Trujillo previously stated that the band hopes to release their next album in a shorter time than it took for them to release 2016’s Hardwired… to Self-Destruct.
“When I was 13 or 14 years old, bands put out albums every year,” Hammett said in the interview with Mixdown. “Seriously, Kiss put out an album every eight months – none of this eight years between albums.”
He continued, “None of us are very comfortable with the fact it’s been so long, because that’s a long time. We’re hoping to avoid that this time around. We’re in our third year since Hardwired. Maybe we can get a bit more focus and go into the studio a bit sooner.”
He added, “I have a ton of material. I’ve over-compensated, so I’m ready to go anytime.”
It’s not the first time Hammett has stored up a stockpile of riffs before recording new songs. Prior to Hardwired, he tragically lost a phone with hundreds of ideas for new guitar parts, accidentally leaving it in a car in Denmark. His contributions to the album were more as a guitarist than writer, as he didn’t put the riffs to memory.
In the meantime, Metallica will make a run of European tour dates before cozying up the hometown crowd for a pair of symphonic “S&M2” performances alongside the San Francisco Symphony in September at the Chase Center. Hammett himself also features prominently in the upcoming documentary about the Bay Area thrash metal scene, Murder in the Front Row.