Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich promises that fans will hear "a lot of new songs" from "Death Magnetic" on the group's upcoming tour, which begins production rehearsals Monday in San Francisco and kicks

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich promises that fans will hear "a lot of new songs" from "Death Magnetic" on the group's upcoming tour, which begins production rehearsals Monday in San Francisco and kicks off Oct. 21 in Glendale, Ariz.

"These new songs are a lot of fun to play," Ulrich tells Billboard.com. "Traditionally I think we've been a little conservative when we've started off with two songs, three songs (from the new album). We're going to hit the ground running here. We're probably gonna learn all of them and play, I hope, at least five a night and probably rotate 'em so we get a lot of new songs in. That's one thing I'm definite about."

Metallica, which has dates booked into August of 2009, will again be playing in the round, though Ulrich says the production will be "a completely different thing than what we've done before." He says that there will be "a big-ass f*ckin' lighting rig above us, and there's some pretty cool stuff up there. There'll be some sh*t that turns on and off and some sh*t that blows up ... the usual stuff.

Ulrich says the group is also similarly enthused about the reception to "Death Magnetic," Metallica's first set of new material since 2003's "St. Anger." The album topped The Billboard 200 for three consecutive weeks and has sold a million copies already in the U.S. and 2.5 million around the world.

"It's just an overwhelming, positive thing," Ulrich notes. "You couldn't have told me a month ago or six months ago that we would have a record that would be this well-received. It seems like it's so universal this time and it's all over the world and everybody's so into it on so many different levels -- the fans, press, the peers ... everybody.

"I'm a little overwhelmed, humbled ... and certainly appreciative. When you put out a record twice a decade, which is kind of what we find ourselves doing these days, you bask in it a little bit."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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