Telling KTBZ-FM how North America is bleak at best compared to the situation in Europe and South America... James noted: "I don't know what's happening in the West. The United States has gotta step up and want their music. I'm not sure what's going on in the States as far as rock and metal goes and concert-wise, but there's not really any willingness to get a big show out there and make it worthwhile to actually get out there and play. You see other bands gathering up six different bands just to go out and play."
"It's pretty tough in North America," Hetfield added (via Blabbermouth). "Right now, it seems like metal is struggling a little bit here. Obviously, the Orion [Music + More] festival that we had tried to do the last couple of years has really not been going well."
The frontman then opened up about the festival's actual state, adding, "Gosh, it's been a disaster financially, and it's not able to happen again because of that. So it's a bummer. So, you know, we're doing what we can to keep being alive here. And I hope to get out and play in the States. It seems like forever since we've been out and about."
During a separate 97.1 the Eagle Rocks radio chat, James discussed the immense amount of riffs reportedly accumulated for the new effort. As the singer/guitarist described it, not all of them are exactly top-notch. "Well, that is a gift," he explained, just to jokingly add: "Finding a good idea in it all is also a gift. When you walk into a studio and you've got 800 riff ideas, they're not all good, believe me. [laughs]"
In related news, guitarist Kirk Hammett touched on a slightly different matter - a guest appearance on the new Exodus album. Chatting with 107.7 the Bone alongside band leader Gary Holt, Kirk seemed quite interested in laying down a guest solo or two. "What a great idea!" he enthusiastically said, adding he's "totally down" for doing it.