Invisible Oranges recently conducted an interview with METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett. An excerpt from the chat follows below.
Invisible Oranges: Last year was the thirtieth anniversary of "Kill 'Em All"'s [METALLICA's debut album] release. Obviously there's so much that's been documented about the band in the years since that time, but what I'm curious to know is how you personally see METALLICA's journey since then. What do you feel the band has learned along the way, and what's that journey leading to for you guys?
Hammett: It's been interesting, because since "Kill 'Em All" came out, none of us had any idea that the road that we would be taking would lead us to where it's led us and where it's leading us, and where it'll bring us in the future. You know, when "Kill 'Em All" came out, we were just four guys who were just barely out of our teens who knew that we wanted to play music, and knew that we wanted to make a living out of this music, and knew that we wanted to be the best band that we could possibly be. Because we took on that, it brought us to a lot of different places that we never expected to find ourselves. It's just been an amazing sort of succession of events. I can clearly say that, as a band, we don't feel like we're tired or anything like that. We don't feel like we've overstayed our welcome. I can tell you from the depths of my heart that I am still very, very hungry, and I still feel the need to be creative and make music. I know that James [Hetfield, METALLICA guitarist/vocalist] feels the same way. I know that Lars [Ulrich, drums] feels the same way. I know Rob [Trujillo, bass] feels the same way. We have no idea what the next couple of years are gonna give us. We know we have to make a new album. [laughs] We know we have to make it soon, but whatever's gonna come in the wake of that remains to be seen. We certainly don't know, and when we figure it out we'll make sure you guys have an opportunity to check it out.
Invisible Oranges: Now, you're playing an encore with EXODUS at [Kirk's horror convention, dubbed Kirk Von Hammett's Fear FestEviL], and you're obviously still in touch with a lot of the West Coast thrash bands, and those guys were playing with METALLICA at the very beginning. Just given the enormity of METALLICA's success since those early days, how have you seen your relationship with those bands change or has it changed?
Hammett: I'm still really, really great friends with all those guys in EXODUS. Gary [Holt] and Tom [Hunting] I've known for a long, long time. I went to high school with those guys. I would wish that they'd had as much success as our band. I wish all the Bay Area thrash bands would've had as much success as we had. It bums me out that some of them had some degree of success, and then some of them had almost no success. Having said that, it's a great thing for me to able to ask EXODUS to play my convention and give those guys an opportunity to do something really cool for the Bay Area and for the old-school Bay Area fans that I know are gonna be at that show. My thing is, I wanna do as much as I can to just kinda keep the whole Bay Area thrash scene somewhat alive and somewhat vital. I still see all the same people. Maybe I won't see them for like six, seven, eight months at a time, but all the same people are still there, provided they're still alive. For me, it's just really important that I'm in a position where I can do something good for the Bay Area metal fans and then, on top of that, give them a horror convention. I think it's a really great thing.
Read the entire interview at Invisible Oranges.