Kirk Hammett: Metallica Shoot Down My Song Ideas ‘All the Time’
It's no secret that James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich are the chief songwriting and arranging forces in Metallica. Though he's been behind some of their biggest songs, Kirk Hammett's ideas don't always make it to the album and he recently said these ideas get rejected "all the time."
Hammett participated in an Rolling Stone's "Musicians on Musicians" interview series, speaking with indie rocker Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent. The two spoke about the thrills of the creative process as well as the more trying aspects of being a musician, which led to the guitarist voicing his frustration that what he does in Metallica isn't necessarily representative of him as a musician on the whole.
"Do you feel that your records are proper representations of your abilities? I always feel like I have so much more to say on the album, but I can’t say it," Hammett asked Clark, who responded that she has "kill your darlings" moments where compromise has to be made.
"It’s crazy, because I’m so curious about music in general," the Metallica guitarist said back. "I can play a lot of different stuff. I’ll play some jazz, bossa nova, blues, gypsy jazz, fucking Eastern European ballads. I play all that stuff. But no one knows I can play this stuff. It’s so crazy."
He then admitted, "I’m always trying to sneak in jazz voicings and chords, little techniques here and there in Metallica," and was asked if his ideas ever get shot down. "All the time," Hammett confessed, saying that the band will tell him something sounds too bluesy. "And I’m like, 'Fucking hell, it’s just a slide. All right, whatever, tone police," he went on, conceding, "But you need tone police. Tone is super important."
Earlier this year, Hammett confirmed he has "ton of material" ready for whenever Metallica begin writing the successor to Hardwired... To Self Destruct, which he did not have a single writing credit on. That can likely be attributed to the guitar player losing his iPhone, which was packed with 250 musical ideas.
In related Hammett news, the horror enthusiast will be showcasing some prized pieces of his extensive collection of horror memorabilia with another installment of the "It's Alive! Classic Horror And Sci-Fi Art From The Kirk Hammett Collection" exhibit. This one will be held at the Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, South Carolina from Feb. 15, 2020 to May 17, 2020.
Every Metallica Song Ranked