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Kirk Hammett Unveils One of His Favorite Solos, Discusses Guitar Work on ‘Black’ Album + More

Metallica
Chuck Armstrong

In an exclusive interview with Kirk Hammett, the shredder discussed everything from horror movies to Metallica’s next studio album to Orion Music + More 2013. At the end of the chat, we knew we couldn’t leave without asking him about something near and dear to his heart: guitar solos. There’s no question that Hammett has been one of the premiere face-melters of the last three decades, and if we had to guess, he’s going to keep that tradition going strong on the next album. In a career as vast as his, we had to know which of his solos stand out amongst others in terms of the work that went into creating them.

“Almost all of the solos on the Black Album really were solos that kind of wrote themselves,” Hammett explains. “I did not sweat at all while coming up with a lot of those solos. They just kind of formed themselves. It was kind of an amazing process for me. That’s what every musician wants, they just want it to flow out.”

Not all of his solos were like that, though. “There have definitely been solos that I’ve agonized over but at the end of the day it worked out,” he tells us. “One particular solo that I didn’t expect to be such a favorite for myself is the guitar solo from the ballad on ‘Load,’ ‘Hero of the Day.’ The guitar solo on that song is not a ripping solo, it’s very melodic, it’s very dynamic. I think that guitar solo serves the song in a way that I want all my guitar solos to serve their songs.” Listening to the tune, there’s no question that it meshes perfectly with the rest of the song. Hammett goes on, “It’s really hooky, it’s really catchy, it’s in the pocket. Everytime I hear it I think, ‘Damn, that’s awesome.’”

Looking at his more recent work, Hammett discusses the Deep Purple cover Metallica recorded for the album, ‘Re-Machined: A Tribute to Deep Purple’s Machine Head.’ “There are two solos in that song,” Hammett says of their cover of ‘When a Blind Man Cries.’ “The first one, I love it. It turned out exactly the way I wanted it to. After I recorded it, I listened back to it and I kind of scratched my head and thought, ‘Hmm, I can still kind of do it!’”

Watch Metallica’s Music Video for ‘Hero of the Day’

Listen to Metallica’s Cover of Deep Purple’s ‘When a Blind Man Cries’

Next: Vote on Your Favorite Kirk Hammett Guitar

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