METALLICA guitarist KIRK HAMMETT talks about 30 years of the black album – “It’s something that prevails, it never really went away”

Metallica frontman James Hetfield and guitarist Kirk Hammett are featured in a new interview with Guitar World. They look back on the making and legacy of the group’s Black Album, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Here is an excerpt from the cat.

Guitar World: It’s been 30 years since The Black Album was released. Thirty years since “Enter Sandman” and “Sad But True” and “Nothing Else Matters”. Thirty years since, for the most part, Metallica has grown into the greatest metal band, if not the greatest rock band, on the planet. Does he feel like it was so long ago?

Hetfield: “(Laughs) Well, because we’ve played these songs so much live, when we’re on stage it doesn’t seem so far away. But as far as talking about it or remembering it? a lifetime for sure. I mean we’ve been through so much as a band that most things seem really stretched out at this point. But the fact that the album is still relevant keeps it very present. in my mind. ”

Hammett: “Looking back historically, 30 years sounds like a long time. But you know, I remember The Black Album regularly. And I think that goes for the four of us. It’s something that wins out. hear it on the radio and see it mentioned in the media, or I’ll be sitting on the beach and a car will pass by and it’ll say “Sad But True.” The album never really left. It’s like, our last record (Hardwired… To Self-Destruct), the cycle is over. But somehow, The Black Album is still here! “

Guitar World: The oft-told story has always been that The Black Album’s tighter, more concise song arrangements and simpler riffs were a direct reaction to the extreme progressiveness of… And Justice for All. You wanted to go back. Do you think this is correct?

Hetfield: “It is. Justice was kind of a dead end. We needed to not back down so much, but rather get through that dead end. And maybe get back to something. Because for me, a lot of songs that I enjoyed covering or writing on, like, Kill ‘Em All, they were a lot shorter, a little more simplistic.

And on Justice, we had gone as far as we could with the complexity and the sense of spectacle. Then when we went on tour and started playing these songs live, it was obvious that we lost the audience a bit. We got a little lost. We got a bit caught up in the technicality of the game and we weren’t able to play as much.

When you’re up there on stage, I mean, the music moves you and you want to be able to move. And some of those parts were too hard to do, at least for me they were. And I’m not the kind of musician who just wants to sit there in front of a microphone. I also want to express music through my body. So we had to ask ourselves, “Where can we go from here?” “”

Read the full interview here.

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