METALLICA's KIRK HAMMETT: Losing iPhone With Hundreds Of Riff Ideas Was 'Devastating'

September 21, 2016

METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett says that losing his phone with hundreds of riff ideas for the band's new album was a "devastating" experience.

Hammett's iPhone containing about "250 musical ideas" went missing 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."

Now, in a brand new interview with Seattle's KISW 99.9 radio station to promote METALLICA's upcoming tenth studio album, "Hardwired...To Self-Destruct", Kirk spoke about how the incident affected the making of the new record. He said (hear audio below): "[Losing the phone] was devastating for me. 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.

"The songs on this album came together over a period of time — about a year and a half — and they're totally groove-oriented, songs that are kind of a natural progression from 'Death Magnetic', but more groove-oriented, not as progressive as 'Death Magnetic'," he said.

Hammett recently told Minneapolis radio station 93X that he is staying away from reading comments online about the band's new single, "Hardwired". The guitarist explained: "As soon as I go on to my computer and turn it on, and think to myself, 'Should I read what other people are saying?' or 'Should I read some comments [on whatever web site]?' I instantly say to myself, 'Don't go there,' because I'll just get, first, angry, then frustrated, then confused, and then wanna just write it all off as just fucking useless bullshit, and why did I even waste my time."

Hammett added that the reaction he has gotten has been largely positive so far, saying: "I kind of feel the excitement. I can kind of feel the energy in the air. I mean, we all kind of are picking up on it. I'm getting a tremendous amount of texts from friends, saying, 'Great song. Wonderful song.' I know there's a great buzz out there, and I'm totally, totally thankful that the song is so well received."

METALLICA frontman James Hetfield gave The Pulse Of Radio his interpretation of what "Hardwired" is about. He said: "Sometimes I feel like no matter how hard I try to be different or to do something right or a better way or something, it just seems like the default is hardwired to just screw it up sometimes. [Laughs] So, man, in general, sometimes I think, I just feel we're hardwired to self-destruct."

"Hardwired...To Self-Destruct" is due out November 18 on double CD, vinyl and digital download.

Asked about touring behind the new disc, Hammett told 93X: "For us, going out and playing shows, it's really, really fun for us, really, really great, but over time, the mileage we have on ourselves, on our personal odometers, they're way up there. So, having said that, we have to take care of ourselves, and we have to make sure that going into this next little phase that we do it correctly and we do it in a healthy way that ensures much more longevity."

METALLICA will begin touring in support of the record in January 2017.

Interview (audio):


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