Rachel McArthur of GulfNews.com's Tabloid! in United Arab Emirates recently conducted an interview with METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On METALLICA's first performance of 2013, which took place in Brisbane, Australia as part of the Soundwave festival:
Hammett: "I really enjoy playing live shows; anyone that asks me what the best aspect of being a musician is, I tell them it's playing live. It is enormously satisfying writing songs, and not so fun for me in the studio, because I am bit ADD. But playing live is where I thrive.
"I get the most satisfaction playing in front of the audience; really locking in with the power and energy of the band. Looking back at one of the last shows we played in 2012, I wasn't in a really good head space, and I don't think I delivered the type of show that I wanted to deliver — but I wanted to prove to myself that I still had it in me in 2013. So I put 120 per cent into the performance, and it was a great. I had a great time and the Brisbane audience was fantastic."
"It is always good to have a few months off and recharge the batteries and spend time with the family and re-prioritise. In my time off, I took a few steps away from the band and from my career and just thought about my priorities. It's important for me to do that from time to time, as I have been guilty of not doing that in the past.
"For us to do the things we set out to do, it's important that we find a balance, so that we do not feel strained or out of balance. It's really important to re-charge that energy, and recharge that fulfilment factor."
On METALLICA's longevity:
Hammett: "With us, chemistry is everything. And there's certain chemistry in the band that allows us to function, at a certain frequency. That frequency is a lot more unique than the frequency a lot of other bands have.
"We're very lucky that we're in a position where we have complete creative control over all of the things that come in and go out of METALLICA. It's a very, very special sort of thing in that other bands do not have what we have. There's a chemistry that allows us to focus on everything as a group; all four of us are expected to input."
On METALLICA's plan to release the follow-up to 2008's "Death Magnetic" in 2014:
Hammett: "That's what we're hoping would happen. Whether that's a reality, we'll see. We're recording stuff here and there, but it's a pretty slow process."
On METALLICA's upcoming full-length 3D movie, "Metallica Through The Never", directed by Nimród Antal:
Hammett: "That's kind of taking precedence over anything else at the moment. We want to make sure that this movie gets our full attention and it turns out the way we want it to turn out.
"There's going to be a point when most movies are going to be released in 3D. The genre is just beginning, and we feel that it's going to be the future. There's very little behind-the-scenes footage, and there are no interviews with the band. It's a concert performance and there's a story narrative that weaves in and out with the footage. It's interconnected in a way. It's very unique in that you don't have duality in it — it's intertwined that it becomes one entity. We're very excited about it, because we feel nothing like it has been done before."
"From the footage we've seen, it looks pretty amazing. It is a trip seeing yourself in 3D, that's for sure! Actually, it's a trip seeing yourself on a 25-feet cinema screen to begin with. The 3D aspect makes it all that much intense."
"Making a movie is such a different journey to making an album. With the movie there are a lot more cooks in the kitchen so to speak. With the music, you can just let in the cooks, close the door, and no one else can come in. With the movie, you cannot lock that door. It's a revolving door; there are people coming in and people going out. So we're adjusting to that."
On Middle Eastern fans' struggle to get their hands on METALLICA's music:
Hammett: "It's important for people to get to the music; whether people pay for the music, or they hear music free on the radio or whatever, it's important to hear our music and hear our art. We're obviously not pleased with a lot of piracy that goes on, because it directly affects us as artists and as musicians. And people would argue with us on that point until the cows come home, but at the end of the day, we are the ones that are directly affected by it.
"No one has the right to tell us that it doesn't affect us. But at the end of the day, it's important for people to listen to our music and experience our art. If they find out that they like what they do, then they'll come see us or spread the word of the METALLICA."
Read the entire interview from GulfNews.com.