Kirk Hammett: my ideas get shot down by Metallica’s “tone police”

Kirk Hammett of Metallica performs live
(Image credit: Gina Wetzler/Getty Images)

Best of 2019: Although he’s best known for his wah-happy electric guitar solos in Metallica, Kirk Hammett enjoys playing much more than just metal - who could forget the times he covered Kool & the Gang, Prince and A-Ha?

Yet the thrash legend has revealed his bandmates aren’t always so open to his outside influences, during a conversation with huge Metallica fan and 21st-century guitar hero St Vincent (aka Annie Clark), as part of Rolling Stone’s Musicians on Musicians series.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.