Metallica frontman James Hetfield has told an Australian radio station that the band wants to get to work on its next album, but that "gigs keep popping up" which delay work on the group's 10th studio effort. While performing down under at the Soundwave Festival, Hetfield was asked about the status of the next Metallica record. He replied, "We're trying to write (new material), but gigs keep popping up that are too exciting to stay home for. We have lots of material (we've been) working on from the day (2008 album) Death Magnetic ended all the way up until now."

Hetfield added that there are "tons of material," a statement echoed by bassist Robert Trujillo when we asked him not long ago: "James usually comes up with a lot of stuff. He's the kind of guy where he plugs in his guitar, turns a volume knob or a, you know, a tone knob, and he comes up with, you know, the greatest riff that you can imagine. So in that case, there's no shortage of riffs and ideas."

Asked what the new material sounds like, Hetfield said "I don't know where it's going yet but we've got lots of different sounds, different styles. We're certainly not afraid of jumping into past 'feels.' After Death Magnetic, we've stopped running hard and started embracing some of our past. Master Of Puppets was kind of a core reference for Death Magnetic."