METALLICA's Kirk Hammett spoke to Kilpop about the more improvisational approach he took while recording the guitar leads on the band's new album, "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" — something that he says he accomplished by not preparing any of the solo parts and just hitting the studio.
"I have always been intrigued by the concept of organized chaos and chaos in general," Hammett said (see video below).
"When I was a teenager, I read a lot of books by this author called Michael Moorcock. He created this whole world, and chaos was a big part of this entire universe of characters that he created. And I always felt that chaos was really, really important if it was applied correctly. I mean, chaos is just an element of change, really. And organized chaos, when you can try to organize when to be chaotic, I've always been intrigued at that.
"What's the visual you get when someone throws off their chains?" he continued. "It's, like, 'Ahhh! Freedom! Ahhhhh!' And so organized chaos is kind of like you're taking off these chains just to embrace the chaos that's gonna come in the wake of that.
"And so I guess what I'm saying is I wanted it to be unpredictable and unexpected for everyone out there, including myself," Hammett said. "And I think that the way I recorded these solos in the studio, I did exactly that — I just jumped in."
Hammett previously told SiriusXM about his mindset going into the "Hardwired" recording process: "I just made sure that my playing abilities were at their best, and the idea was for me to capture a moment, be totally spontaneous, be completely improvisational and see what comes out.
"It was a beautiful experience, because I had no idea how the solos were gonna turn out at the end, I had no idea what they were gonna be like. So I went into the studio and just did it.
"And looking back at all the lead-guitar playing on this album, I'm really just blown away by it, because I know it's me but it doesn't sound like me, to me, because it's all stream of consciousness.
"And there's still at least seven or eight guitar solos I have to go back and sit down and re-learn because it just all flowed out from my mind, from my heart, from my gut. I was kind of surprised at how easy it was; it almost felt like it was too easy. I'm used to really torturing myself and working hard, pushing myself and bringing myself to the point of anxiety, and if I don't feel like I'm doing that, for some reason or another, I don't feel like I deserve anything that comes in the wake of that."
The North American leg of METALLICA's "WorldWired" trek will hit stadiums in fifteen more cities before ending in mid-August.
The next stop on the tour is Orlando, Florida on July 5.
Support on the quartet's first North American trek since 2009 is coming mainly from AVENGED SEVENFOLD and VOLBEAT, with GOJIRA taking over for the latter group for the last six shows.