As Metallica prepare to drop their latest album, Hardwired…to Self-Destruct, bassist Robert Trujillo said the process of making it was not unlike the band’s last effort, 2008’s Death Magnetic.
“It’s been a similar process,” Trujillo tells City Pages. “You have an arsenal of riffs and we jam on them. Hundreds and hundreds of riffs over years.”
Metallica released “Hardwired,” the new album’s lead track, on August 18. Trujillo says the thrashy track “is the perfect statement to lead into this body of music.
“I think this album sounds crushing,” he says. “Sound-wise, it’s got a lot of firepower. I’m excited about the songs, but I’m also excited about the sound quality of the record. [Producer] Greg Fidelman did a great job with the production.
“It’s really fun music, but it’s also challenging. It can be a bit complex, but there’s strong melodies.”
Trujillo feels that Hardwired…to Self-Destruct builds upon what Metallica achieved on Death Magnetic, which was hailed as a return to the group’s thrash roots. For that album, producer Rick Rubin encouraged Metallica to revisit the more complex arrangements and technical guitar solos that had characterized their earliest material.
“With Rick Rubin it was great that he seemed to bring the awareness that Lars and James should reconnect with the thrash roots,” he says. “It was important for Rick to get Metallica back into that style and energy.
“You pull from that and do something fresh with it. I feel it brought this band back, on a creative level, to a very special place. Now you get into this new body of music, we’ve grown from all the shows we’ve done, but also learning [1991’s] Black Album top to bottom.” (The band performed the album in its entirety in 2012.)
“[For] Master of Puppets we did the same thing. We celebrated the 20-year anniversary, played the album in its entirety. Doing that rather than stepping away from the past, but embracing the past, and digging into it is something that helped us get to where we are now.
In that respect he says, “Death Magnetic was a launchpad for what’s happening.”
Trujillo adds that he’s excited about the new album, which comes out November 18, and what Metallica have to offer in the future.
“We have a lot more riffs to share with the world,” he says. “Hopefully it doesn’t take eight years.”
You can read the entire interview at CityPages.com.