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James Hetfield on New Metallica Album: "I Only Have 846 Riffs"

With a smattering of European tour dates on the horizon, their own festival happening next month and a 3D movie in the works, it's a wonder Metallica find any time to write songs anymore.

"Writing songs? Absolutely," guitarist James Hetfield recently told Rolling Stone. This week is interviews, photo shoots, shooting videos for things. When are we going to start writing? 'We've got to rehearse the 'black' album.' I would love to sit and write without having to think of other stuff."

Metallica are finding time to write though, with Hetfield telling the magazine, "I only have 846 riffs." And the rest of the band aren't far behind.

"I have about 20 ideas that I feel really good about, whereas on 'Death Magnetic' I had one or two," said Robert Trujillo. "But one of them ended up being 'Suicide And Redemption'. Hetfield — he's a writing machine. Kirk has over 300 ideas. There's so much stuff from the tuning-room jams, from all those years of touring. I like to think I have 20 ideas I believe in."

Metallica will headline both nights of their Orion Music + More festival on June 23 and 24 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

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Josh Hart is a former web producer and staff writer for Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado magazines (2010–2012). He has since pursued writing fiction under various pseudonyms while exploring the technical underpinnings of journalism, now serving as a senior software engineer for The Seattle Times.