Metallica's James Hetfield says the coronavirus pandemic lockdown has given him the downtime that he needed to compose new songs.

Speaking via Zoom with his band mates on SiriusXM, Hetfield said, "For us, we're road dogs — we've been out on the road forever — so you're either on the road or you're writing. So the obvious thing is, 'Well, we're not on the road. Start writing.' So, [I've written] tons of material. And I'm sure there's lots of musicians out there that are just, like, 'Okay, what can I do? I'm gonna write and just get into that,' which I love doing."

Hetfield has been staying at his home in the mountains of Colorado, where he said that COVID-19 "hasn't really locked us down as much as some other places," and people can still partake in outdoor activities. It's given him the opportunity to spend time with his neighbors, which wasn't always possible because of his band commitments. Welding has also become a big hobby.

"I welded a couple of things for the All Within My Hands foundation," he continued. "I've made some bird feeders. I'm right now staring out the window at about 50 different birds that come up here and eat. That's kind of my new TV right here. So, just enjoying nature a lot more and enjoying my life the way it is now."

Tonight, drive-in theaters across the U.S. and Canada will be screening a performance Metallica filmed last month. Cars will be limited to six people, and CDC and local health guidelines regarding gatherings will be enforced. Tickets for the concert include four download codes for S&M2, the album of Metallica's 2019 concerts with the San Francisco Symphony that was released yesterday.


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