Kirk Hammett Says His Metallica Solos Are ‘Not 100% His’ Because ‘Lars Likes to Control Everything’, Explains How His EP Is Different

In a new interview with Ultimate Classic RockMetallica guitarist Kirk Hammett was asked about his decision to hire Canadian producer Bob Rock, who has been responsible for some of the greatest rock and metal albums of the past 30 years, including all studio production from Metallica in the 1990s and early 2000s, to mix his first solo EP, Portals.

Hammett, who lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, said: “When the time came to put the pieces together, it was last summer. Most items were recorded. But I still needed to do some guitar parts here and there to flesh out the songs. The four tracks had to be mixed and I was wondering how I was going to go about it… You know, I couldn’t really go to the mainland and do all that, because I had commitments in Hawaii and the coronavirus was circulating . But when things started to get a little clearer, I said, ‘Wait a second, Bob Rock is in Maui. I am here, in Oahu. It’s a short flight and I know he’d be the best person to do that because he loves guitar and it’s a fucking guitar oriented thing. I mean, the guitar dominates everything [dans ce projet].”

“I thought, ‘How about calling Bob?’ I didn’t want to disturb Greg Fidelman, because he was already very busy with other Metallica-related projects. I didn’t really know who else to call. So you know, when I thought of Bob, I was like, ‘That’s great, because Bob and I are friends. We have a great working relationship. We like the same things. We like the same guitarists, the same guitars, the same amps, the same types of music. We have a history and we are buddies.”

Kirk continued: “So when [Bob] came to Honolulu, it was really cool to see him again and work with him again. We’d start the day talking about guitars and music for two fucking hours, and then we’d be like, ‘Oh, shit! We have to start working!’. And then we worked. I mean, we just have a mutual love for that stuff. I really didn’t have anyone else to call. Like I said, I wish Greg had done it, but he had other Metallica commitments up to his neck, so Bob was the perfect fit. He came to my rescue and really helped me. I am very grateful to him for that.”

Later in the interview, he explained that this EP had no “limits”: “There were no real limitations imposed on me [pendant la réalisation de cet EP]. When I was working on this stuff, I didn’t want to torture myself for nothing. So I said to myself that if I couldn’t do the solos in three or four takes, I would wait until the next day and try to do them again in three or four takes. And that’s what I did. These solos have not been altered in any way.”

He added : “A lot of times when I’m doing solos for Metallica, I have to play within the context of the song. I have to make the solo somewhat accessible – and what I mean by that is that it has to have catchy parts. There has to be something dynamic that catches the eye. You know, it has to be a little commercial.”

“It’s what has always shaped my guitar solos, as well as the collaboration with the producer of the album in question, and also with Lars [Ulrich], because he likes to control everything. So when I’m there doing a solo, he gives me his opinion. This shapes the solos. It’s not 100% me. I always alluded to that.”

“On this EP, it’s 100% me, without any limits. It’s all fucking first, second or third takes ’cause I just didn’t want to [me perdre dans mes pensées et les jugements des autres].”

Portals will be released on April 23 via Blackened Recordings.

Speaking previously about this EP, the legendary metal guitarist said: “Initially, before I even had the idea of ​​a solo EP, I was inspired to create a kind of soundtrack to accompany the Kirk Hammett collection at the first ‘It’s Alive’ exhibition at Peabody Essex Museum in Salem (Massachusetts), in 2017.”

“I wanted to design music to loop in the background as people walked around the exhibit. I sat down one night and worked on a progression, and before I knew it, all the parts were there to [le morceau] Maiden And The Monster.”

“The initial concept of Portals started from this song. Then I realized I could do more. These songs are what I call ‘Audio Cinematic’; I create sounds and pieces of music for the movies that run through my head. I hope they create movies in other people’s heads in the same way.”

A few days ago, Hammett released Portals’ first single, High Plains Drifter. This song is named after the 1973 Clint Eastwood film (High Plains Man). Hammett, however, clarified that the track draws more from the film’s theme, stating that it “wasn’t intended to be music specifically for this film, but once written, I immediately thought it conveyed the same sentiment as the movie, and so the track was named accordingly.”

He added : “The music for High Plains Drifter originally came from a flamenco piece I had written. It was a two and a half minute track, and I really liked it, but it was one of those riffs that would be hard to get into Metallica. I knew I wanted to do something with it, even if it was spontaneous. I was sitting outside playing a flamenco acoustic guitar that I had just bought, and the song just hit the spot. I was determined he would see the light of day.”

Portals Tracklist:

  • 01. Maiden And The Monster
  • 02. The Jinn
  • 03. High Plains Drifter
  • 04. The Incantation

Read also : Korn’s Jonathan Davis Says He’s “Glad Nu Metal Is Back” And Names His Favorite New Band In The Genre

Kirk Hammett – High Plains Drifter:

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Kirk Hammett Says His Metallica Solos Are ‘Not 100% His’ Because ‘Lars Likes to Control Everything’, Explains How His EP Is Different

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