METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett says that he is using the coronavirus downtime to stay creative.
Earlier today (Friday, April 9), the 58-year-old rocker, who joined METALLICA in 1983 prior to the recording of the band's "Kill 'Em All" debut album, tweeted simply: "working on new riffs..."
Last summer, Hammett told Metal Hammer magazine that there was "a lot of material" written for a possible follow-up to 2016's "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" album, which marked METALLICA's first full-length collection of new music in eight years. "I know I have tons, because I totally overcompensated," he said. "You know, last time around, it was a real shock to my system losing all those musical ideas. [Editor's note: Kirk lost a phone with more than 300 pieces of music on it during the creative process for 'Hardwired…'] So, I was very determined to try and make up for lost time. I also felt that, creatively, I have so much more to offer this time around."
Bassist Robert Trujillo added that the songwriting process for the next album could be a decidedly more collective effort compared to "Hardwired…", which was largely composed by guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich.
"I'm not gonna speak on behalf of the other guys, but to me, it feels like this could be a very collaborative [writing process]," Robert said. "And for me personally, I love that. I love that we are in that head space to be more collaborative, and I think that's very exciting for where we're at now, the journey we're about to take, the fact that those doors are opening like that."
"It's taking a couple of months, literally, for me to go through all [my ideas]," added Kirk, who is is not credited on any of the songs on "Hardwired…To Self-Destruct". "I've got a wealth of material, and so, at any given point when we all decide, 'Okay, let's start formulating a schedule to start writing songs and recording it.' I'm ready. I'm there, from day one."
"Kirk has so many ideas," continued Trujillo. "It's funny because sometimes it's literally him in the kitchen and he's cooking, and at the same time he's playing you a riff, or you're sitting on the toilet and he's playing you some ideas. But when we started to understand that [the lockdown] was gonna happen, it was like, 'Hey, let's be creative', you know? Let's just get on it. A lot of times, when there's a band that's been around as long as METALLICA has, you find that one of the biggest problems is, 'Man I can't come up with a riff, I can't come up with any good lyrics, it's just harder to write songs', but that just doesn't seem to be the problem with us. Not taking anything away from any other bands, but sometimes our worst riff might be another band's A-list riff."
"Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 album chart, selling 291,000 copies in its first week of release.
Hetfield told Metal XS in 2016 that "Kirk's riffs weren't there" when it was time to write the music for the follow-up to 2008's "Death Magnetic" record. He later seemed to dismiss Kirk's missing-iPhone excuse, telling the WRIF radio station: "That's what he claims. I'm sure he did [lose the phone], but it doesn't make sense that he wouldn't have [the music] on his computer, either. But, whatever… Yeah, Kirk had some riffs that he… I guess submitted — ['submit' is] not a very nice word to be used if you're in a band. But you know, we all submit our tapes, and we sit there and we listen to them and we pick the best stuff. There was not much stuff from Kirk. Whether his phone was lost, or whatever…"
In a separate interview with U.K. radio station Planet Rock, Hetfield said that Kirk "was not present in the studio" while METALLICA was working on "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct". "He was dealing with life," James said. "He had a lot of life things going on for himself, which he'll choose to talk about if he wants. But, you know, [it was] Lars and I steering the ship as usual, going through the riffs, creating the songs. And I got to do a lot of guitar stuff that I was missing around 'Death Magnetic' and 'St. Anger' — some of the harmony guitar things, harmony vocals… You know, a little more layering, like the 'Black' album."
working on new riffs... pic.twitter.com/9DjqyCL0kt
— Kirk Hammett (@KirkHammett) April 9, 2021
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