Tim Virgin of Chicago’s WLUP-FM 97.9 (Loop 97.9) radio station conducted an interview with METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett prior to the band’s August 1 performance at the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, Illinois. You can now watch the chat in three parts below.
Asked how METALLICA gets into the mindset of playing one-off live shows like Lollapalooza after being away from the stage for several weeks, Hammett said: “Let me put it into some perspective. Okay, the last [U.S.] show we played before this was in Las Vegas [at Rock In Rio], in…. whenever it was… April or June… something like that. And it seems like we might not be doing anything in between that show and this show, but what we are doing is we are in the studio, we’re recording, we’re working on music. And when we’re in the process of making an album, we’re in for, like, weeks at a time doing exactly that. And so, when it gets closer to the actual gig time, that’s when we start rehearsing the tunes that we’re gonna be playing. And so, for us, it’s just another date on the calendar, and we are active throughout that whole period. The only thing is that we have to shift the thinking from being in the studio and being creative in those terms to playing a live performance and getting the setlist together.”
Asked if METALLICA ever thinks about which direction to take on a new studio album and whether they should change or stay the same, Hammett responded: “Constantly. A lot of times, we don’t know where it’s going, and we just kind of have to just keep it on the road and see where it takes us. And, at this point, we’re still on that road and we’re wondering where it’s gonna take us.”
It’s been nearly seven years since METALLICA last released an album, and while the band is now writing material for its next studio effort, Hammett admitted to something that may have slowed down the process a bit. Hammett said on “The Jasta Show” podcast, “I put riffs on my iPhone, but something very unfortunate happened to me about six months ago. I lost my iPhone [containing] 250 musical ideas. And I was crushed. It didn’t get backed up. And when it happened, I was bummed out for about two or three days.”
Hammett added, “I lost [the phone]. I just plain lost it. I can’t find it. I’m still looking for it to this day. I just set it somewhere and… It still might turn up. I’m hoping it will. To try to remember those riffs? I can only remember, like, eight of ’em. So I just chalked it down to maybe it just wasn’t meant to be and I’ll just move forward with it.”
Asked what the new songs sound like, Hammett replied, “Let’s just say that the stuff that’s coming up is super riffy, super heavy… It’s a lot similar to [2008’s] ‘Death Magnetic’ but different in certain parts.”
Hammett added, “There’s a couple of songs that remind me of something on [1988’s] ‘…And Justice For All’, but the album doesn’t sound like ‘…And Justice For All’.”
METALLICA‘s new album is not expected to surface before 2016 at the earliest.