That didn't take long. The Lou Reed & Metallica collaborative album 'Lulu' isn't even officially out yet, and Metallica have already begun work on the follow-up to their last Metallica platter, 2008's 'Death Magnetic.' Robert Trujillo reveals that the band has been writing and recording new material, and already have a couple new songs written.

"The writing process for the new Metallica album has begun," the bassist tells gulfnews.com. "We've been in the studio with [producer] Rick Rubin, working on a couple of things, and we're going to be recording during the most of next year. We've got a lot of work ahead of us. But the great thing is that we have sort of already jumped off the launch pad and we're swimming."

"It's happening. It's reality," he continues. "It's a lot of fun, there are a lot of ideas, and we're really excited about the new record. For me, personally, 'Death Magnetic' was the launch pad for the next record. This is the beginning of something very, very cool."

Go ahead and call us cynics, but could Metallica be pointing out their studio plans this early in the game as sort of damage control for fans not vibing with 'Lulu?' While that album isn't getting universally panned, it sure is taking its share of hits (read our review here), and Metallica could be not-so-subtly distracting disappointed fans with the news that a new Metallica album already is in the works.

But if that's the case, they sure are using a bizarre outlet -- a newspaper in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, of all places -- to reveal the news. On the other hand, savvy marketers like Metallica know that no matter where they announce such news, it will get out -- and perhaps not look so suspicious if it's coming from the Persian Gulf.

All that said, Metallica are playing a concert there tonight (Oct. 25) and thus the source of the new album information could mean nothing beyond ... us dragging you into one big conspiracy theory that won't pan out in the end.

Sorry about that.