Doug Kolk of KTLA-TV conducted an interview with METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett prior to the band's December 15 concert at The Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, California. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked if it was important for METALLICA to revisit its thrash metal roots on the band's latest album, "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct", Hammett said: "Well, you know, what's important to us is making the best album we can. And whether it turns out the way you're describing it, or if it turns out the way 'Hardwired… To Self-Destruct' turns out… I mean, we just try it and make the best album we can and put as much effort and sweat and everything else into it to make sure that it's a good document to just kind of let people know that that's where our heads are at musically and creatively at that given time."
Regarding METALLICA's status as the only heavy metal band that has managed to achieve mainstream success without alientating some of its most loyal fans, Hammett said: "I don't know how we did it [laughs], but we managed to do it, and I'm very thankful about that. At a certain point, it really did seem like people were climbing the fence to come over to us rather than us climbing the fence to go over to them. And we feel very fortunate that that kind of situation happened to us rather than some other sort of situation that might have felt uncomfortable or whatnot. But, you know, I'm glad that we can connect with as many people as possible through our music — beyond the labels, beyond the genres — just based on pure human emotion and connectivity, I'm glad that we can do that on a mass scale."
"Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 album chart, selling 291,000 copies in its first week of release. The effort consists of two discs, containing a dozen songs and nearly 80 minutes of music.
The deluxe version of "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" also features a live set recorded at Rasputin's in Berkeley, California on Record Store Day 2016 and a concert version of the song "Hardwired" recorded at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.