Metallica frontman James Hetfield has acknowledged in a new interview with the Detroit News that the band will probably not begin working in earnest on a new album until next spring. The singer/guitarist explained, "We want to make a record, that's what we do best and that's what we've gotta do in springtime. We've got skeleton bones that we're starting to lay out to make something out of it, but there's a lot of work ahead of us that we're really excited about doing. And that will be next year."

Metallica released its last set of all-new material, Death Magnetic, in September 2008. A recording start next spring means it's very likely that the band's 10th studio effort won't arrive until sometime in early 2015.

Metallica has been touring for the past couple of years, in addition to launching two editions of its Orion Music + More festival and filming its new 3D IMAX movie, Metallica Through The Never, which opened on September 27th.

Meanwhile, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich told a San Francisco radio station two weeks ago that the band has something coming up in December that will surprise fans, calling it "another frontier . . . which we're very excited about."