During a recent Zoom call with Metallica's James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, the two legendary musicians experienced a common feeling during the pandemic: boredom. But instead of just sitting around, the duo decided to turn their restlessness into creativity, ultimately writing the longest song in Metallica's history.
Temporarily titled "The Longest Song Ever," the song is a whopping 37 minutes and 30 seconds long. According to Hetfield, the idea for the song came from a simple conversation about a shared desire to create something new.
"We were sitting there getting a little bored, and I said, 'You know what's cool?' "If only I had written the longest song ever," Hetfield said in a recent interview. "And Lars said, 'Yeah, let's do it."
From there, the two started working together, using their home studios to work on huge trucks. Despite the challenges of working remotely, Hetfield and Ulrich found the songwriting process surprisingly smooth.
"We kept exchanging ideas and building each other's riffs and melodies," Ulrich said. “We found ourselves doing this epic song that we were both so excited about.”
The song is said to break away from Metallica's usual thrash metal sound and incorporate elements of prog, jazz and even classical music. Also included are some extended instrumental passages that showcase the virtuosity of the band members.
No official release date has been announced for The Longest Song Ever, but Metallica fans are already thrilled with the epic title. There is even speculation that the band will release a standalone album, like Pink Floyd's "Echoes" and Tool's "Disposition/Reflection/Triad."
For Hetfield and Ulrich, the experience of making the song was a welcome respite from the drudgery of the pandemic.
"Being stuck at home all the time can leave you feeling stuck and lacking inspiration," says Hetfield. "But sometimes it just takes a little bit of boredom to produce something really cool."