Metallica have thrown themselves into some "pretty serious writing" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Drummer Lars Ulrich has admitted instead of getting depressed by the state of the world, he and his bandmates - James Hetfield, Robert Trujillo and Kirk Hammett - have channelled their frustrations into their new record.

Speaking to musician Phoebe Bridgers for Rolling Stone magazine's Musicians on Musicians interview series, Lars said: “We’re three, four weeks into some pretty serious writing. And of all the s*** — pandemics, fires, politics, race problems, and just f****** looking at the state of the world — it’s so easy just to so fall into a depressive state. But writing always makes me feel enthusiastic about what’s next.”

The sticksman's comments come after bassist Robert recently admitted the Grammy-winning group have worked more together remotely than ever before on their follow-up to 2016's ‘Hardwired…To Self-Destruct’.

He said: “I’m not gonna speak on behalf of the other guys, but to me, it feels like this could be a very collaborative [writing process].

“And for me personally, I love that. I love that we are in that head space to be more collaborative, and I think that’s very exciting for where we’re at now, the journey we’re about to take, the fact that those doors are opening like that.”

Meanwhile, Lars recently admitted he doesn’t anticipate full-scale arena gigs returning until "a year” from now "at the earliest".

The heavy metaller believes it will be a little while yet before thousands of gig-goers can fill music venues, due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

He said: "As we unfortunately have to come to grips with, the last thing that will happen are big concerts, you know 20,000 people in an arena, 50,000 people in a stadium.

"The good news on the live concert front, when Metallica and other bands like Metallica play big arena or stadium concerts again, then you can pretty much count on the fact that COVID, as we know it now, is over."

On when he predicts proper shows to be back, he added: "What we know now compared to three months ago, six months ago, is that the wait is unfortunately going to continue to be long.

"I would say ... third quarter, fall of next year, at the earliest, is what we're betting on right now."