Metallica’s Kirk Hammett Is Ready to Score Movies, There’s Just One Thing…
Metallica fans who heard lead guitarist Kirk Hammett's debut solo EP, this spring's Portals, probably have a pretty good idea of how a Hammett-scored film would sound. And the rocker told us exclusively that he's willing to dip his toe into the movie music world.
It would make sense, after all. The EP's four instrumental songs — "Maiden and the Monster," "The Jinn," "High Plains Drifter" and "The Incantation" — all whip up cinematic sonic visions one could easily envision accompanying a flick on the big screen.
So, unlike System of a Down's Serj Tankian or Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, not to mention soundtrack masters Nine Inch Nails — all pro rock players who have attached their musical talents to motion pictures — why hasn't the Metallica member yet put music to a feature film?
"I'm waiting for the phone call," Hammett said laughingly when Loudwire asked him that question.
Pressed for more on the expectation, he mused, "I never had any doubt that I could do it. I just never got around to putting it out there that I'd be interested. But I think, you know, rather than announce, 'Okay, I'm ready to do soundtracks,' I'm going to let them figure out whether or not they want to work with me."
The approach is an unsurprisingly prudent one from the longtime Metallica shredder. Especially since followers of Hammett know that he's a diehard horror buff. In fact, Portals' opening track, "Maiden and the Monster," was first released in 2017 for a showing of Hammett's horror and sci-fi art collection.
But it's not just vintage horror that Hammett loves. "We're now going through the second golden era of horror," he said of today's movies. "There's so much great horror stuff out there — books, comics, toys, films, series. It's so great. People are really pushing the boundaries."
Hammett continued, "For a long time, during most of the '80s and a lot of the '90s, horror was just one big regurgitation of all the friggin' themes. It was a bit much, you know? Then the whole zombie thing came in, and it was just everything zombie. And I was so tired. Then the 'creepy kid' thing came in, and it was just, like, oh no, another creepy kid movie."
He added, "Now, you have this whole folk horror genre. It's a genre that was never really fully explored, and people are exploring it now. And the consequence is that you have some amazing films coming out, it's so great. Midsommar [horror director Ari Aster's 2019 film] is just like folklore, you know? It's one of the best horror movies to come out in a while."
Right now, Hammett is on the road with Metallica, wrapping up their summer 2022 touring duties (check here for tickets). But perhaps we'll eventually see a film scored by the guitarist — something like a 90-minute Portals would be quite the trip. (Portals is available to purchase on Metallica's website.)