Even though Metallica haven't released a new studio album since 2008's 'Death Magnetic,' they've kept plenty busy. Between global touring (they played all 7 continents including Antarctica in 2013) and making the 3D movie 'Through the Never,' they have remained in the spotlight. The question on everybody's mind is when that elusive next album will be recorded.

Guitarist Kirk Hammett has shed some light on the subject in a new interview with Kerrang! [via NME]. He says it looks like Metallica have no other choice now but to get started on it. "We cannot think of any other reasons to procrastinate," Hammett says. "We're kind of backed up into the corner now, so yes, we have to start working on the album. And I'm excited. James [Hetfield] has, like, 800 riffs. I only have 400, but there's not going to be any shortage of ideas. It's going to be interesting to see how it turns out."

And while there's an ample supply of riffs, Hammett reveals there aren't any completed songs yet: "We have little bits and pieces of music earmarked to become songs, and really that's all I can say about it. We're pretty psyched about it. We're only procrastinating because we love being at home with our families, but we really do love writing songs together and making an album."

The band still has some time to get at least one new song done in time for their summer European tour. At those shows they say they'll be playing a new song along with a different setlist at each show, which will be voted on by ticket holders. It kicks off May 28 in Helsinki, Finland.