Metallica aren't going to "procrastinate" over their new album anymore.

The iconic band haven't released any new music since their successful 2008 offering Death Magnetic.

However, Guitarist Kirk Hammett insists the rockers are currently in the midst of getting back in the studio.

"Yes," he laughed to Kerrang! magazine when asked whether all four members - himself and James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo - will be working on a new record this year.

"We cannot think of any other reasons to procrastinate; of any other things to put on the calendar to push back that date. We're kind of backed up into the corner now, so yes, we have to start working on the album.

"And I'm so excited. James has, like, 800 riffs. I only have about 400, but there's not going to be any shortage of ideas. It's going to be interesting to see how it turns out."

Kirk insists the only reason for the delay is because the musicians have enjoyed spending time with their families.

Now they are planning new material he admits they feel more ready than ever and have enjoyed using their fame for different ventures, not just music.

"In the past few years, Metallica has somehow morphed into not so much four guys in a band playing loud music, but more of a platform to do more creative things under the Metallica banner," he explained.

"We've gone down so many creative avenues in the last eight, nine, ten years. We all like that position. We don't feel pigeonholed to be just a band."