FEBRUARY 11: AARDSHOCK FESTIVAL Photo of James HETFIELD and Kirk HAMMETT and METALLICA, James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett perfo
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When you've been in the game for nearly 30 years like Metallica, you're allowed to make a few creative decisions of your own. So when it came down to figuring out how to release their as-yet-untitled follow-up to 2008's Death Magnetic, they understandably chose the "we'll do what we f**kin' want" route.

"We're free and clear of our record contract. The world's our oyster," drummer Lars Ulrich told Spin. "We can basically do whatever we want and we're going to start figuring that out."

The band revealed that they'll start recording the new album soon—without Lou Reed—which is either excellent or depressing news depending on your favorite era of Metallica. "We're still throwing ideas around," Ulrich told the magazine. "We work in stages. Some people will write a song from beginning to end in one go. We don't do that. We'll develop, like, 10 ideas and do a couple cycles. We'll do a verse, chorus and maybe an intro, and then we'll leave them and go develop 10 other ideas.”

Whether any of these "10 ideas" are worth listening to remains to be heard, but the band earned a little cred with the Orion lineup, right? Right?