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Metallica’s Kirk Hammett: ‘We’re Just a Little Thrash Band From San Francisco’

Kirk Hammett
Buda Mendes, Getty Images

Kirk Hammett may play guitar for metal’s most successful band, but the Metallica shredder remains humble to this day. In a new interview with Hammett, the guitarist puts Metallica’s success into perspective while claiming that the titans are “just a little thrash band from San Francisco.”

From humble roots, Metallica have carved out a career spanning over three decades, becoming one of the most commercially successful acts of all time by selling an estimated 110 million albums. Most recently, Metallica organized two ‘Orion Music + More’ festivals, created the 3D concert film ‘Metallica Through the Never’ and performed at the 2014 Grammy Awards with classical pianist Lang Lang.

“The whole Lang Lang thing just surfaced in one week,” Hammett tells Metal Hammer, “like, ‘Ok, we’ve been invited to play the Grammys with a classical pianist, here’s the track, do you want to do it?’ We were like, ‘Sure!’ even though we’re just a little thrash band from San Francisco.”

Metal Hammer recently visited Kirk Hammett’s horror-based ‘Fear Festevil,’ which was held at San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom from Feb. 6-8. The mag scored an interview with Hammett, where the guitarist spoke about what he thinks of Metallica’s success and the future of the act’s music.

“I think maybe we want to think of ourselves as a little thrash band from San Francisco,” begins Hammett. “Sure there’s managerial situations and strategies and whatnot that we’ve used to become bigger, but at the end of the day it just comes down to the music. When we’re all gone, the music is gonna live on, and that’s gonna be our legacy, not selling out four stadiums in a row in Sweden or playing with Lang Lang at the Grammys. It’s gonna be someone discovering ‘Disposable Heroes’ in 2086 and thinking, ‘This is really cool stuff, what year is this? 1986, wow!’”

For the full interview with Kirk Hammett, grab the latest edition of Metal Hammer Magazine.

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