Kirk Hammett recently suffered a knee injury at a Metallica show. New fan-filmed videos have emerged online, from the thrash metal band’s June 16 show in Gothenburg, Sweden over at the city’s Ullevi Stadium.
The incident happened while the band was performing their 1986 hit song “Master of Puppets.” It’s not entirely clear how and why the injury happened, but Kirk was in visible discomfort after a sudden right-leg movement. He then continued to perform although he ended up missing a few upcoming measures while trying to soothe the pain. Nonetheless, Kirk still nailed the song’s solo.
You can check out the isolated video of the incident in the embedded player below, courtesy of the YouTube channel ATARAXIA.
The video can also be traced to its original source. It was uploaded on YouTube by a fan who attended the show near the stage in the band’s so-called “Snakepit.” The fan-filmed video of the entire song at the Jun 16 show reveals how Kirk kept on performing for the entire song.
Fortunately, it seems that it’s not a super-serious injury. You can see how it all went down in the player below.
As of this moment, Metallica is in the middle of their M72 tour, supporting their 11th album “72 Seasons.” The record came out on April 14 this year and marks the first release after 2016’s “Hardwired… to Self-Destruct.”
As far as Kirk Hammett’s work on the album goes, he explained many times that his intention was to improvise the solos. Ultimately, he’d play improvised lead sections when the band performs any of these songs live.
In an interview from a few months ago, Kirk pointed out that the main goal was to have the freedom to improvise when the band plays live:
“I have every intention on playing every solo from this album differently when we play live. If you watch old videos of Ritchie Blackmore, Jeff Beck, or even Michael Schenker, they’re not playing the solos on the album – they’re playing whatever the fuck they wanna play. I love that because it’s a moment of real honesty.“
Going more into it, Kirk explained a somewhat unconventional way how he approached writing and recording these solos:
“With this album, I went in intentionally to improvise 20, 30 solos, give them all to Lars [Ulrich] and Greg [Greg Fidelman, album’s co-producer], and go ‘You guys edit them!’ I know I’m gonna play something completely different live, so I can offer something different every time you see Metallica. When you buy a ticket to a Metallica show, you’re not gonna hear carbon copy versions of the album.“
“At a time when it’s just so accessible to see videos of your favorite band, there needs to be some sort of impetus for people to go out and see live shows that are actually somewhat spontaneous. That’s my thing these days – and if people don’t like it, that’s just tough!”
To Hammett, it’s not about showing off technical skills but rather serving the song. And despite improvising these lead parts, he still aimed to serve each of the songs with an appropriate lead part:
“I don’t try to reach outside the boundaries of the song. I don’t think that’s appropriate. I could string together six or seven three-octave arpeggios, sit there every day and practice it and go, ‘Hey, look what I can do!’ But where am I gonna put it?”
“Arpeggios mapped out like a lot of people do, four or five chords with a different arpeggio over each one? Come on, it sounds like an exercise. I don’t want to listen to exercises and warm-ups. The only guys who I think play arpeggios as a means of expression are Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Paul Gilbert.”
He also added:
“I could fill up these songs with a bunch of really fast modal playing. I know my modes, Hungarian scales, symmetrical scales, whole tone scales, I know all that shit. Is it appropriate? Diminished runs – is that appropriate? Maybe earlier in our time, but not now.“
“What’s more appropriate is coming up with melodies that are more like vocal melodies. And guess what? The best scale for mimicking vocal melodies is the pentatonic. There’s a reason why the blues is so expressive, and it’s because of pentatonics. I prefer pentatonics because they’re more expressive.“
“It’s actually harder to say stuff with pentatonics because you don’t have that many notes. It’s easier to play modal, because you’ve got so many notes. Okay, some of them are repeated in different octaves, but I will challenge anyone on that. One, two, three, five notes – what’s more difficult? You tell me.”
But not everyone was satisfied with how Kirk’s lead parts ended up sounding, even within the context of their respective songs. YouTuber Bradley Hall, who also went viral for an alternate take on one of Kirk’s solos on the new album, commented:
“On paper, he’s absolutely right. But this is reliant on the player in question being competent enough to be able to pull it off. Just because you use the pentatonic scale does not mean automatically that your solos will be your vocal-like. No, not at all.”
“This all comes down to how good you are at phrasing. It’s really just down to that.”
“These are not memorable phrases. This just sounds like somebody going through the motions and just playing something off the top of their head and not really being bothered to go back and refine it.”
“And there’s nothing here that’s particularly memorable that will still in your head long after listening to the songs. I’m sorry but it’s just the truth. Just because you went down the route of playing something more raw and improvised. It’s just the truth.”
Photo: YouTube screenshot