Following Metallica’s less-than-popular collaboration with Lou Reed last year, the metal gents are ready to get back into the studio and craft a proper Metallica set. Speaking with Metal Hammer (via Blabbermouth), frontman James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich hinted that the next Metallica album will be another one with producer Rick Rubin in tow.

“Rick is a lot about creating comfort and atmosphere and a vibe, and right now that's kinda how it's looking,” Ulrich said. “We haven't sat down and gone to the next level on direction and practical elements and all that type of stuff."

“I saw Rick in L.A. two weeks ago and we talked about him coming up to San Francisco in March or April to start talking about the process, but as you know, we've got another couple of balls in the air with our movie and live dates and the Orion festival. It never ends, and right now some of these balls are quite time-consuming," tells Ulrich. "Rick is not a one-trick pony; he builds a particular ease around whatever your task is, so I think whatever we want to do for this next record, he will help us with that, whatever it may be.”

Hetfield added that Rubin gets the guys to “the core and essence” of Metallica. “He's a different kind of producer,” he said. “He's challenging. He's a very cut-and-dried, to-the-point kind of producer, but he's also very open, and open to lots of ideas."

“He does have lots of great ideas of his own as well," admits Hetfield. "But I think that the main thing for us was getting to the core and essence of Metallica, and that's the reason we chose to work with him. He gets the best out of artists that have been around for a while, I believe. And he helps you get back to that essence. That's what we wanted him for."

Metallica’s Orion Music + More Festival will be held on June 23 & 24 at Bader Field in Atlantic City, N.J. Check here for the Saturday schedule and here for the Sunday schedule.

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