Metallica debuted their new single "Hardwired" over the weekend at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, and that's only the beginning of their extensive touring plans for their upcoming LP Hardwired…To Self Destruct. "We did 180 shows on the Death Magnetic tour in two-week periods over three years," says drummer Lars Ulrich. "That's what works for us. We're going to start pretty much full-on touring in January and are looking to figure out what we're doing in North America, but there will definitely be some pretty extensive touring in America."
The band used to take long breaks from the road between albums. "When we made the Black Album, we did it six days a week for eight months," says Ulrich. "That's not how we make records anymore. It's this very piecemeal process." The recording of Hardwired…To Self Destruct was interrupted by many mini-tours at festivals and soccer stadiums all over the globe, a situation that Ulrich says fueled their creativity. "It totally inspired, reinvigorated and energized us," he says. "We then brought that kind of rambunctious energy into the studio."
That type of schedule means Metallica haven't taken any extended period of time off the road in over a decade, but they haven't played a proper American arena tour since 2009. That will change next year. "It's time to come back," says Ulrich, "and do some proper penetration of America."
The shows will likely feature many songs from Hardwired…To Self Destruct. "We're itching to play them," the drummer says. "Right now, every day when we get into the Tuning Room we're just playing the new songs. Then we're like, 'Wait, we gotta get out there and play 'Master of Puppets.'"
Ulrich thinks it'll be easy to work the new songs into the setlist. "Some of the stuff on Death Magnetic was pretty cerebral," he says. "You had to really think about what the next crazy part is that was coming up. Some of the songs from the new record are a little more physical. It's gonna be a lot of fun to play this. Also, some of these songs are a little shorter than the ones on Death Magnetic. I think it's gonna be a lot of fun to throw many of these songs in, but we'll change the setlist every night like we always do."