As anyone who's followed Metallica's career can tell you, the group's members are rarely at a loss for words. But when Kirk Hammett recently learned that he'd become the first inductee into the Guitar World Hall of Fame, he was rendered speechless for a solid minute or two. "It totally took me by surprise," he says. "Especially since our profile has been so weird lately. It's been very non-musical, you know?"
Inside a wood-panelled Sausalito, California, studio called The Plant, Metallica frontman James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich gaze reflectively at a dust-covered relic sitting in the corner of the room. "This thing's been in the closet for 10 years," says Hetfield. "It was the second guitar I ever owned, and it was the only one I had when we recorded Kill 'Em All." He picks up the cheap, white Flying V copy and begins to pluck out southern rock licks in the vein of Lynyrd Skynyrd. "It still plays pretty good," he beams.
“When we were making our last record, nobody knew who the fuck Kurt Cobain was!” Kirk Hammett, at ease in the lounge of the New York City recording studio where he and the rest of Metallica are rushing to finish their sixth album, Load, is acutely aware of how much the musical climate has changed in the five years since the band put out their last studio recording.
Metallica fans in search of a new guitar strap would be well-advised to head over to Kirk Hammett's official website where the guitarist is now offering a line of guitar straps made from high-end Italian leather.
In a recent interview with The Quietus, Exodus guitarist Gary Holt revealed that one of his main motivations for filling in for injured Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman was being able to reconnect with Metallica lead guitarist and former Exodus guitarist Kirk Hammett.
MusicRadar's Joe Bosso recently caught up with producer Bob Rock to talk about the 20th anniversary of Metallica's classic self-titled album, better know as the "Black Album." The producer reflected on the making of the album song-by-song, but said of the whole album, "It wasn’t a fun, easy record to make."
Metallica have officially announced their plans for a string of shows celebrating their 30th anniversary. The metal legends have announced that they will be playing four shows at the historic Fillmore in San Francisco on December 5, 7, 9, and 10 as part of a week-long celebration in the Bay Area.