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Metallic drummer Lars Ulrich says his bandmate was being optimistic in saying the band could have a new album out next year.  The rocker tells South Africa's Channel 24 he'd be surprised if the group has their next disc in stores before 2015. 

He explains that it takes them "a while to make records," and adds that they're currently "so busy with so many other things."  But he says Metallica hasn't scrapped their recording career, and will "get around" to their next album "eventually."  Guitarist Kirk Hammett recently told the band was "hoping" to have their next studio project in stores in 2014.  But he also admitted he wasn't sure if that would be "a reality." 

Those "other things" occupying Metallica's time lately include their 3-D movie Through The Never, which will be arriving in theaters this fall.  The band just wrapped up a series of shows in South Africa on Saturday. 

Metallica's next album will be the follow up to their 2008 effort, Death Magnetic