Kirk Hammett spoke to METALLICA's fan-club magazine So What! about the band's new album, "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct", which was released on November 18 via Blackened Recordings. He said: "I think it's great. It's a really great, heavy album with a lot of groove on it and I live for groove, I live for swing. I love to hear a nice groovy, swinging, bouncy beat because for me, that's usually the most fun sort of thing to solo over, to improvise over. And there's a lot of that on this album. And I think that helped me when I was doing my guitar solos. The feel of the songs really, really came through. More so than they have in the past, you know, where I'd have to really kind of search for a feel or even like, create a feel in my mind to kind of interject into the song. Whereas the feels on these songs were so evident and obvious and just there for the grabbing that I had a great time soloing over the stuff. And I love the heavy parts too. It's a great balance between the groove parts and then the real heavy parts."
Hammett also talked about the overall "vibe" of the new METALLICA album, saying that it "definitely [has] a little bit more swing" and "a lot of really energetic grooves." He added: "Context and contrast are what make things stand out, if a groove is going some way, if it's swinging four-four notes, well, I'm gonna go in there and play something in five-eight and see if it works. In the past, whenever I would work on my guitar solos and then show up at the studio and put what I worked out on the album, I'd have a pretty good idea of the worth of that solo. This time, all the playing is really just for the song. And so it's hard for me to really establish what worth any particular solo has in it because I just came in and threw 'em down. And so because of that, it all seemed amazingly easy, and almost like I didn't work for it. But you know, in my head when I do think about it, I think, 'Oh, well, I've been working up to this point all my life.' And I have to say, in the past I have driven myself crazy and this time it wasn't like that. I just showed up with all the ability that I could muster up for that given day and just went for it."
Regarding his contributions to "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct", Hammett said: "There is a certain comfort knowing that, being in this band 33 years, that your contributions really just make a difference, you know? Even if it isn't songwriting, you come up with raw pieces of music. I mean, start the way we play our instruments and our personalities and how our personalities come out of our expression of our instruments. I mean, you're gonna have four different flavors in there congealing into something that's completely different and only obtainable when you put those four elements together. I mean, if you take out one of those elements, you know, it's gonna be different. No matter how seemingly subtle that contribution might be."
According to Billboard, METALLICA will likely top The Billboard 200 albums chart for a sixth time next week, as "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" is expected to debut at No. 1. The set, which was released on November 18 through the band's own Blackened Recordings, is projected to move 300,000 equivalent album units in the week ending November 24, with traditional album sales accounting for 280,000 of those units.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
Next week's The Billboard 200 chart is scheduled to be revealed on Sunday, November 27.
"Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" consists of two discs, containing a dozen songs and nearly 80 minutes of music.
METALLICA revealed over the weekend that "Hardwired" is No. 1 in 57 countries, with the album going Top 3 in 75 nations and Top 5 in 105 countries.