METALLICA's HAMMETT Explains Why There Are No Guitar Solos On 'St. Anger'

June 9, 2003

METALLICA's Kirk Hammett recently explained to Holland's why there are no guitar solos on the band's new album, "St. Anger". "The reason for that is because again we wanted to move together all four of us in the same musical direction," he said. "We also wanted to preserve the sound of the album. When we tried to put overdubs on the album and put guitar solos on the album it kind of…it sounded like an afterthought, you know? Like something was put on after we created it. It stood out. We wanted to preserve the sound of all four of us in a room just jamming. Spontaneously together. To put production stuff on top of that just didn't sound right. We tried to put guitar solos on, but we kept on running into this problem. It really sounded like an afterthought." Asked if he's satisfied with how the record came out, Hammett said, "Oh yeah, absolutely. I'm so proud of this album. It freaks me out. I haven't been this proud of an album since 'The Black Album', I must say. I mean, the 'Load' and 'Reload' era for us was such a reaction to our first five albums. We didn't want to do what we had been doing: play fast, over the top and aggressive. If anything, the 'Load' and 'Reload' era was a big experiment in hard rock. We needed to do these two albums for us to make 'St. Anger'. If we would have made 'St. Anger' in the mid-nineties, it wouldn't have been fresh and as exciting for us as it was now. It would have felt like doing the same old thing. We needed to balance it out. When we finally got around playing fast and aggressive again, it sounded fresh. You need to get to point A to be able to make point B sound better, you know?"

In the same interview, Hammett predicted that METALLICA's new album would influence other metal bands to play harder and faster once again and implied that another well-known arena act has already pulled the plug on their new release after getting an advance earful of "St. Anger".

"I have a suspicion that once this album drops and people hear it everywhere, I just have this suspicion that bands are gonna get heavier and start playing faster again," Kirk said. "I just have a suspicion that they are.

"I'll tell you one thing," he continued. "Lars played Fred Durst four songs of our new album and the next week Fred Durst postponed the release of the new LIMP BIZKIT album and started rewriting it. Lars and I were talking about it, 'Did he postpone it because he wasn't satisfied with it or did he postpone it because he heard our direction and wanted to be contemporary with it?' It's interesting. We'll see." Read more here.

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