METALLICA's KIRK HAMMETT: 'I Don't Believe We Tour Enough'

June 14, 2024

During an appearance on the 45th episode of "The Metallica Report", the podcast offering weekly insider updates on all things METALLICA, METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett spoke about what it has been like to return to the road after taking a six-month break with the "M72" world tour. Kirk said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I'm just happy to be out here and bringing the music to the people, man, like I always am. And I'm happy having the feeling of, like, METALLICA is a working, touring band, 'cause sometimes I miss that feeling, 'cause I don't believe we tour enough. But that's just how it is. So, what I can get out of this, I'm always up for it. It's just, like, 'Yeah, bring it on.' 'Cause this is what it's all about, is playing guitar and writing, recording, going out on tour. It's what it's all about. And I don't feel that there's enough of it in my life right now."

Asked if "M72" feels like a brand new tour after taking a six-month break from the road, Kirk said: "No, it doesn't feel like a whole new thing. Walking out to see the stage yesterday [in Munich, Germany] for the first time in about six months or so, it just felt like a continuation. Everything looks super familiar — familiar stage, familiar monitors, familiar screens, familiar crew, familiar faces, familiar guitars, familiar songs. It's really easy for me to spot right into place."

Regarding his preparation for these shows, Hammett said: "It's our normal thing. I hook up with Rob [METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillo] during the day with final arrangements for the duets. And I'll make sure I hop on a Peloton for about 20 minutes or so, 'cause I have knee issues, so that pedaling, I have to make sure my knee is nice and strong. And then once I get to the gig, I usually do my usual yoga thing. And my entire day is filled with sporadic guitar playing here and there."

On the topic of his lifestyle right now in terms of health, Kirk said: "Well, I keep up on my pretty physically active lifestyle anyway. When I'm at home, I am continuously walking or biking, swimming. I can't really run or do any surfing these days 'cause of aforementioned knee issue. But hopefully that's just a transitional thing — I know it is a transitional thing. But going into this tour, I was totally ready for it and in shape, which is pretty remarkable considering that I have a lot of responsibility at home and whatnot. But I managed to get it all together miraculously — miraculously so. And so it was just, like, 'Yeah, we're going on tour. I'm ready.' … I mean, let's face it. I'm a musician. I'm a guitar player. And so it becomes a huge opportunity, 'cause I play my guitar every day — to be able to get paid for it, yeah, of course I'm gonna… 'Cause I'm gonna be playing my guitar anyway. I might as well get paid for it. [Laughs]"

In a 2017 interview with Noisey, Lars Ulrich said that it was METALLICA's enormous commercial success that enabled the band to control how much it tours any given year.

"Over the years, when you're fortunate enough to become successful, when you become successful you can become more financially independent," the METALLICA drummer explained. "And so we've been able to put parameters on how we tour so we can spend more time at home. We have a two-week rule: we don't leave home for more than two weeks at a time, 16 days at the most. We did 180 dates on the last album in two-week increments. It's not the most cost-effective way of touring the world, but we believe you can't put a price on sanity. If you remain somewhat sane, then there's a better chance of finishing all the shows and not jumping off the deep end in despair and misery."

In support of METALLICA's latest album, "72 Seasons", the band has been playing two-night, no-repeat shows in each city— first in Europe , then in North America and now back in Europe — as part of the "M72" tour. Each concert sees METALLICA performing on a massive ring-shaped stage, with the Snake Pit in the center, and four drum sets which are equally spaced out around the circular stage so drummer Lars Ulrich can get closer to the audience at various points in the show.

After Munich and Milan, METALLICA continued touring throughout Europe for the first part of summer, with stops in Spain, Denmark, Norway, France and Poland, among others. Another round of North American dates will begin on August 2 in Foxborough, Massachusetts, with stops in Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle and Edmonton. METALLICA will close out the 2024 touring season with four shows in Mexico City at the end of September.

According to Billboard, METALLICA's production travels in 87 trucks — 45 for the band and its setup, plus two groups of 21 each for the steel stage and towers. There are 130 people in the band's crew, plus 40 steelworkers, local hires and truck drivers.

METALLICA's manager Cliff Burnstein told Billboard that between 80% and 90% of fans at each concert attend both shows.

The "M72" tour launched in late April 2023 in Amsterdam.


A portion of proceeds from the shows go to METALLICA's All Within My Hands foundation, which seeks to assist and enrich the lives of members of the communities who have supported the band and combat food insecurity; provides disaster relief; and bestows scholarships.

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