Kirk Hammett says that he has already accumulated more than five hundred ideas for METALLICA's next album.
The METALLICA guitarist famously lost his iPhone containing hundreds of riffs in 2014. About six months later, he told "The Jasta Show" podcast that he "was crushed" when it happened, but still expressed hope that it "might turn up."
In an interview with British GQ magazine conducted before METALLICA's October 24 concert in London, Hammett said he has learned from the experience. "I went through this whole thing a couple of years ago of losing my iPhone with five hundred ideas, and I still haven't fully recovered from that," he said (see video below). "And my way of recovering from that is overcompensating… On that phone was five hundred ideas, and I have about five hundred ideas now at this point, plus. I'm sitting on a lot of really… what I feel is really, really great music that is just waiting to be developed. Every day, I'm just picking up my guitar and then thinking about those lost ideas and then thinking, 'I've gotta generate more ideas,' in the hopes that maybe one or two of those old five hundred ideas that I lost might trickle through… Maybe it'll find its way through, and I'll go, 'Oh, yeah! Eureka!' It hasn't happened yet. It hasn't happened, though."
Hammett is not credited on any of the songs on METALLICA's last album, 2016's "Hardwired…To Self-Destruct".
METALLICA frontman James Hetfield told Metal XS last December that "Kirk's riffs weren't there" when it was time to write the music for the follow-up to 2008's "Death Magnetic" record. He later seemed to dismiss Kirk's missing-iPhone excuse, telling the WRIF radio station: "That's what he claims. I'm sure he did [lose the phone], but it doesn't make sense that he wouldn't have [the music] on his computer, either. But, whatever… Yeah, Kirk had some riffs that he… I guess submitted — ['submit' is] not a very nice word to be used if you're in a band. But you know, we all submit our tapes, and we sit there and we listen to them and we pick the best stuff. There was not much stuff from Kirk. Whether his phone was lost, or whatever…"
Hetfield told U.K. radio station Planet Rock that Kirk "was not present in the studio" while METALLICA was working on "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct". "He was dealing with life," James said. "He had a lot of life things going on for himself, which he'll choose to talk about if he wants. But, you know, [it was] Lars [Ulrich, METALLICA drummer] and I steering the ship as usual, going through the riffs, creating the songs. And I got to do a lot of guitar stuff that I was missing around 'Death Magnetic' and 'St. Anger' — some of the harmony guitar things, harmony vocals… You know, a little more layering, like the 'Black' album."
Hammett said last year that losing his phone was a "devastating" experience. In September 2016, the guitarist spoke to Seattle's KISW 99.9 radio station about how the incident affected the making of the latest record. He said: "Let's just say that I had to start at zero again while everyone else [in the band] had material for songs. By the time I got a few ideas flowing and kind of formed, most of the songs were already written. I had to think to myself, 'Okay, I have stuff, but it looks like it's gonna probably make it on to the next album.'"
Despite the setback, Hammett said that he was pleased with how "Hardwired...To Self-Destruct" turned out.
"Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 album chart, selling 291,000 copies in its first week of release.
The European leg of METALLICA's "WorldWired" tour kicked off in Copenhagen, Denmark on September 2 and will run through November 3. After a break, the trek will pick up again on February 1, 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal, and continue through May, finishing up in Helsinki, Finland.
Metallica's Kirk Hammett's live with British GQ at the The O2 ahead of their concert tonight. Ask him questions!
Posted by British GQ on Tuesday, October 24, 2017