Metallica seems to be taking a page out of Tool's playbook these days by offering vague or even contradictory statements about the status of the band's next studio album. Although drummer Lars Ulrich and bassist Robert Trujillo seemed to have indicated in recent interviews that at least some writing for the album had taken place, frontman James Hetfield has a different take.

Hetfield told Abu Dhabi's That's Entertainment, "We haven't even started writing it. We're going through riffs. We have, like, 800-and-something riffs we're going through -- lots of ideas. We're really excited about it, but doing concerts here and there, trying to get back in the studio and get some stuff done, it's all really exciting. But it gets done on Metallica time, which is not really scheduled. When it's done, it's done and when it's good, then it will be done."

Ulrich said recently that he would be surprised if the album came out before 2015, while guitarist Kirk Hammett agreed in a separate interview, "We're recording stuff here and there, but it's a pretty slow process."