Metallica's Kirk Hammett

Kirk Hammett Discusses Ghostly Song Inspiration, Getting Shot Down In Metallica In New Interview With St. Vincent


Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett and musician St. Vincent recently interviewed each other for a feature in Rolling Stone. An ardent Metallica fan St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) expressed her admiration for Metallica throughout the interview, while Hammett indulged in some mutual fandom as well. One exchange during the conversation also saw Hammett discussing the resistance he has met while trying to further Metallica‘s sound over the years:

Hammett: “I’m always trying to sneak in jazz voicings and chords, little techniques here and there in Metallica.”

Clark: “Do you ever get shot down?”

Hammett: “All the time. “That sounds too bluesy.” And I’m like, “Fucking hell, it’s just a slide. All right, whatever, tone police.” But you need tone police. Tone is superimportant.”

Clark: “Metallica became a part of my DNA in the years when I started listening to music. It’s just imprinted in me in a certain way. I feel guilty saying music I listened to then means more than things I heard later, but it just does. That’s when you first discover that feeling, freedom, and rage.”

Later in the discussion, Hammett spoke of receiving some ghostly inspiration for music he wrote for his ongoing horror and sci-fi movie memorabilia museum exhibit:

“…Sometimes I don’t know where inspiration comes from. My wife and I have been composing instrumental music to be played at my museum shows while you’re looking at my [horror movie] posters. We were writing a piece and it was going well, but we needed a whole middle part. I was in Amsterdam, staying at a hotel that was a former music conservatory.

I was there one night, freaking desperate. I cleared my head. After I meditated, I said, ‘OK, I know this was a former music school. If there are any spirits, any sort of inspiration or influence, any sort of molecules or atoms that could guide my hand in this moment, that would be great.’ For 15 minutes afterward, it just flowed out of me. I was so blown away. I sent my wife the music instantly.”

You can find the whole interview over at

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