KIRK HAMMETT On METALLICA's Early Years: 'It's Really Amazing That The Four Of Us Found Each Other'

October 31, 2019

In this month's special "Musicians On Musicians" issue of Rolling Stone, the magazine pairs musicians together to discuss their careers, the music industry their mutual love for each other. Included in the November 2019 issue is a discusion between Annie Clark, a.k.a. St. Vincent, and METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett.

Speaking about METALLICA's early years, Hammett said: "It's really amazing that the four of us found each other. We managed to have certain things in common. We had disenfranchised upbringings and a lot of anger that's just deep-rooted. But [also] a real kind of determination to turn that into something musical, exciting, and fun. That's what we all had in common. It was always just the four of us. And if everyone else wanted to join in on the party, fuck yeah."

Kirk went on to say that learning to play heavy music during his teenage years provided him with a healthy way of processing anger and discontent.

"You can tap into that rage, and good things come out of that," he said. "I was a city kid who moved to the suburbs. The culture shock drove me to be even more introverted, so it was good I had a guitar. I discovered that playing was a great way to calm myself down and relax. I literally sat in my bedroom for three or four years and just played guitar, saying, 'Fuck those suburban kids.' I didn't really mean that, but I was angry because of my environment. I wrote the 'Die! Die! Die!' riff for 'Creeping Death' [off 1984's 'Ride The Lightning'] when I was 16 or 17 years old. I remember playing that in my bathroom, going, 'This is different from a lot of the stuff I've been listening to. Wow.' You can share your music with the world, but deep down, you know that it's really just yours. I entertain that notion a lot because I'm [still] an introvert. Just the other day, we played 'Creeping Death' and people were singing, 'Die! Die! Die!' Like, 'Fuck, I'm still in my bedroom!'"

METALLICA called off an October tour of Australia and New Zealand after it was revealed that frontman James Hetfield, who has been sober since 2002, went back into treatment to battle his addictions.

METALLICA will headline five major North American festivals next year, all of which are produced by Danny Wimmer Presents. The events are Epicenter, Welcome To Rockville, Sonic Temple Music + Arts, Louder Than Life and Aftershock. The band will play two separate headlining sets at each stop, with a unique setlist for each performance, resulting in 10 different shows.

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