’It Drives Me Nuts’: Kirk Hammett Admits He’s Sick of This Metallica Solo Even Though People Love It

Metallica’s lead guitar player Kirk Hammett recently opened up on a particular guitar solo that he’s bored of playing. While talking to Total Guitar for the upcoming edition of their printed magazine, Kirk reflected on this Metallica classic and its lead section, admitting that people might even hate him for saying this. The musician offered:

“What I’m going to say people are probably gonna hate, but it drives me nuts having to play that fucking guitar solo in ‘Master of Puppets’ every time.”

“People love that guitar solo and they come to see that. That’s fine. For that part of our career, all those solos are locked in.”

While discussing the issue, he even went one step further, offering:

“I don’t view them as solos anymore; they’re parts. I’m freaking bored of it, but it’s exciting for people to hear.”

Nonetheless, Hammett made a pause after this somewhat impulsive statement and clarified that it’s not the solo that he hates but the fact that he’s been playing for so many years on pretty much every live show that they did since the mid-1980s. He said:

“You know, I’m not bored of the solo; I just get bored of playing the same thing all the time.”

Metallica: Master of Puppets (Manchester, England - June 18, 2019)

Hammett then compared the experience with another classic Metallica piece, explaining why this particular song has a lead section that he actually enjoys performing live. Kirk said:

“I’m inviting all sorts of criticism and opinions but I don’t fucking care. It’s like the solo on ‘Fade to Black.‘ I play the first eight bars and then I go on a tangent for like 20, 24 bars and then come back in the last four bars and play parts that everyone knows. That’s one of my most favourite parts of playing that song live because I don’t know what the fuck I’m gonna play.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Kirk also discussed what it was like to write and record lead sections on the band’s upcoming album “72 Seasons.” Well, there wasn’t much writing involved since, as he explains (and maybe we can notice from his new lead sections but we’ll leave that critique for some other time), they were all more or less improvised. He explained:

“With this album I went in intentionally to improvise 20, 30 solos, give them all to Lars and Greg [Fidelman, producer], and go, ‘You guys edit them!’”

Metallica: If Darkness Had a Son (Official Music Video)

“I know I’m gonna play something completely different live. That’s my thing these days and if people don’t like it, that’s just tough. But I can offer something a lot different than what people hear on the album, and I can offer something different every time you see Metallica.

“When you buy a ticket to a Metallica show you’re gonna hear different versions of the songs. You’re not gonna hear carbon copy versions of the album.” 

However, discussing this approach further, Kirk admitted that relying on improvisation comes with great risks. He added:

“Usually, I surprise myself; sometimes I die a fucking death. It’s horrible to die on stage in front of 50,000 people, but it only lasts an instant and then it’s gone. Then I can go on to other pastures and make up for what I didn’t do.”

In other news, Metallica just released a new song from their upcoming album. And, this time around, it’s the title track. You can check out this old-school-thrash-infused n 8-minute epic, along with its official video, in the embedded player below.

Metallica: 72 Seasons (Official Music Video)

In another recent interview, Metallica bassist Rob Trujillo looked back on working with the band for the past couple of decades. Asked about the issue of trust in such a big mainstream band, he replied:

“Well, it’s a great question, because there is trust, but there’s also respect. And sometimes – and this happens in any band – you get comfortable with each other. None of us are perfect. We have our moods. Something in your personal life can affect your performance when you’re trying to create or you’re trying to rehearse, and you bring that onto the floor.”

“We’re all guilty of that; each member of Metallica will tell you that. And sometimes, it’s a pain in the ass. But the bottom line is, when that happens, there’s respect. We never lose our cool. There are no fights here anymore.

Metallica: Lux Æterna (Official Music Video)

“We understand what we need to do as brothers in the family, but also as team members. We know what we need to do for the music. We all know our strengths and our weaknesses.”

During the chat, Rob also revealed that he’ll make a vocal debut on a Metallica album. According to the source, it’s on the song titled “You Must Burn!” where we’ll get the chance to hear him sing. He explained:

“When I joined Metallica, I’d never sung in my whole life, so the fact that I can now support a backup vocal is pretty cool. For the first time in my life, I get to sing on a Metallica record [‘You Must Burn’] and support James [Hetfield].”

Metallica: Orion (Turin, Italy - February 10, 2018)

“I’m very proud of that. So we’re getting better, we’re learning and still growing in this band right now, and the respect level is much higher. Oftentimes Lars calls me, sometimes he’s checking in or wants my opinion on something – same thing with Kirk. And I love that. I love the idea that there’s trust and respect.”

Asked how this singing part came to be in the first place, Rob replied:

“It’s the first time that James [Hetfield] and Greg [Fidelman, co-producer] had probably ever really trusted me with that position on a recording of this stature. I was surprised when I got the call from Greg because I was coming up to play a little bass, but then he said, ‘I’m going to have you sing on a couple things, too.’ And I was like, ‘Really?’ I got a little nervous.”

Metallica: Live in Manchester, England - June 18, 2019 (Full Concert)

“At the same time, I was very motivated. Fortunately for me, the part really does suit my comfort zone, so to speak. The vibe and the interesting – I don’t know, I wouldn’t say the ‘quality’ in what I had to offer – but the part lends itself to my personality, to my voice, and it sits and slots in really well with the moment and bass breakdown. So it’s cool that it’s this breakdown that James and I were able to jam on and create, and then I get to sing on it too!”

Photo: Raph_PH (MickFltwoodPall250220-71 (Cropped))


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.