Kirk Hammett: “The Consequences of Losing My Phone Have Been Immense”

(Image credit: C Flanigan/Getty Images)

As many will remember, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett misplaced his cell phone while in Denmark in 2015. Lost with the phone were, Hammett reckons, some 250 to 300 riffs that he’d recorded with his phone, never to be heard again. The timing was particularly devastating, as Metallica were soon to begin work on what would become their latest album, Hardwired…to Self-Destruct, which was released on November 18.

Hammett has discussed the loss before, but in a new interview with, he described the loss in perhaps the strongest terms yet, saying the consequences “have been immense.”

Noticing that interviewer Martin Popoff was using a cassette recorder for the interview, Hammett stepped into the subject of his lost cellphone.

“Bro, hey, I am all about that cassette player, and I am looking at it with much envy,” he says. “I am so loath to put anything on my iPhone.

“I’m like the poster boy for losing his iPhone. I am the poster boy for that.

“Let’s just say it’s like, the reverberations for me, the consequences of losing my cell phone have been immense. I mean, it doesn’t matter who you are or what type of person you are, I think losing your cell phone is traumatic for anyone. And I mean, okay, I lost my phone, I lost a lot of music, but I mean, people lose cell phones, they lose all their personal information, you know? I’m kind of a technological sloth. It took me losing my iPhone to figure out that I can back it up to the iCloud. And the ironic thing about that is, the guy who invented the cloud is my next-door neighbor [laughs].”

Popoff asked Hammett if the riffs are really lost or if some of them are still floating around in his head, to be recovered eventually.

“Let me tell you this. I had about, I don’t know, 450 entries in there, which means there were about 250, 300 riffs, because a lot of times I’ll write different versions of the same riff. And when I lost my phone, I could only recall about four riffs. So I’ve closed the book on that [laughs]. And, you know, I’m sitting on some music—now!—that I’m happy about. I’m just waiting, waiting for an opportunity, you know, where it can grow.

“And, you know, I’m always writing music. Every time I pick up my guitar, I’m hoping I can write the next ‘Rock the Nation’ or something.”

You can read the full interview at

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