Kirk Hammett on Metallica's new album: “Hopefully it will cut through the division in the world and bring people together”

Kirk Hammett
(Image credit: Per Ole Hagen/Redferns)

Hot on the heels of his recently announced partnership with Gibson, Kirk Hammett has offered an update regarding Metallica's forthcoming album, saying he hopes it will cut through “the division in this world”.

In a new interview with Classic Rock (opens in new tab), the legendary lead man explains how “Metallica has always been about bringing people together through music”.

“I think the sentiment now is that people need music more than ever to bring everyone together and collectively celebrate that we've got to this point,” he says. “There's a lot of division in the world, and hopefully this Metallica album will cut through [it] and bring people together in ways that are more beneficial for everyone overall.”

Hammett also mentions the band's process of piecing together the followup to 2016's Hardwired... to Self-Destruct during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We've tried to make the most of the Covid year-and-a-half, and we've been pretty successful,” he says. “We've got together remotely and worked, and we've got together [in person] and worked. Things are moving really well. I would say that the music we're coming up with is very appropriate for the times.”

“Music should bring everyone together,” the 58-year-old guitarist continues. “It should be a celebration. That's what music is about. It's not about selling albums or getting Grammys, it's about putting out good music and helping the situation with that music.”

Back in a December interview with Classic Rock (opens in new tab), drummer Lars Ulrich said – albeit in a somewhat jokey manner – that the new record would be Metallica's best yet.

“It's the heaviest thing, the coolest,” he jested. “But all kidding aside, if it wasn't because we thought that the best record was still ahead of us, then why keep doing it?”

He continues, no doubt to the delight of 'Tallica fans across the world: “In Metallica we love the creative process, and it's hard for me to imagine that we'll ever stop making records.”

The thrash titans are, of course, gearing up to release The Metallica Blacklist, a monstrous covers album in which a whopping 53 artists offer up unique takes on tracks from the band's 1991 self-titled album. 

Metallica explain: “The Metallica Blacklist offers up new dimensions of the record whose gravitational pull first drew the mainstream to Metallica – and provides new insights into the universal and timeless appeal that kept it there: the boundary-smashing influence these 12 songs have had on fans and musicians of all stripes.”

Thus far, several tracks from the album have been released, including new renditions of Sad But True, Don't Tread on Me and Wherever I May Roam by St. Vincent, Volbeat and J Balvin, respectively.

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Sam Roche

Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar (opens in new tab).