METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett told Tim Noakes of Rough Trade magazine in a recent interview that the dark uncertain times we're living in will result in a resurgence of brutal music. "From what I can see, heavy metal and music in general has always been a mirror for people's feelings and emotions and conditions and situations and circumstance," he explained. "It seems like in the best of times we've had really happy, almost mediocre, music, and in the worst of times we've had really angry protest music. So will it be that way in the future? I don't know. But I do know that there are a lot of angry, disenfranchised people out there who are frustrated and have all this anger that needs to come out, hopefully in a cathartic way."
Hammett also appeared to agree with a recent study that showed listening to heavy metal or extreme kinds of music helps purge emotions like anger and depression. "Listening and playing heavy metal really helps," he said. "It's a circular thing — music helps the person who's creating it and performing it, and once they perform it, it helps other people in its wake.
"It seems like the future is more unpredictable now than it ever has seemed in my own life," he continued. "It'll be interesting to see what people do — will they be glued to their computers and type out their frustrations, or will they just wake up, take a look around and realize what's really going on: we're being separated and divided in the trickiest of ways."
Both Hammett and METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich have voiced their dislike of President Donald Trump to different degrees, unusual for a band whose members have never spoken out much on politics.
Speaking about the rise in divisive rhetoric in mainstream global politics which is threatening to roll back human rights around the world, Hammett told Rough Trade: "It's a weird world out there and we really need to not divide ourselves, because that's what the powers who are trying to control us want. Right now everyone's so divided and we really need to find a common ground rather than find our differences — to focus on what brings us together. Some people at the other end of the spectrum might say, 'Maybe we should be more isolationist and just protect our tribe,' but I just don't believe the end result is beneficial for everyone."
Hammett also acknowledged the role of social media in spreading "fake news" with important political consequences.
"Whether you like it or not, it's a world community now because of the fucking computers," he said. "That screen is a portal to the world and people just need to realize the responsibility that goes with being on the Internet, period. There's a lot of recklessness, a lot of irresponsibility, a lot of untruths, a lot of misguidedness, and it's just worrisome because it just complicates the world even more."
METALLICA will appear at the end of this month at Lollapalooza Brazil, Lollapalooza Argentina and Lollapalooza Chile before kicking off a North American tour on May 10 in Baltimore.