Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett recently dropped the Portals EP, his very first solo release and it looks like things won’t end there like he said Kerrang! that he has “every intention” of continuing to work on his own new music.
On the four-track EP, Hammett teamed up with bandleader Edwin Outwater, who helmed (alongside bandleader Michael Tilson Thomas) on Metallica. S&M2 live performances, which featured the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.
The writing grew out of the guitarist’s “It’s Alive” sci-fi horror and art exhibition, held in 2017, as he sought to provide a soundtrack for the event. With two songs lying around, he pitched them to Outwater, who in turn suggested they team up to continue fleshing out the material.
“It wasn’t something where I sat down and said, ‘Okay, solo album, about time!’ I don’t take myself seriously! And I’m not that smart, I really am not,” Hammett said. Kerrang! and continued, “I write music and bullshit happens…and that falls into the category of bullshit that happens (laughs).”
Looking ahead, he continued, “But now that it’s happened, I’ve tasted that and that kind of autonomy, I’m like, ‘Why not?’ I have the blessing of the whole band on this, especially James [Hetfield] and Lars [Ulrich] and so that’s okay, now I have something else cool to do. Edwin and I have every intention of continuing to collaborate as well, because the results have been so good.
The very idea of an active member of Metallica continuing his solo endeavors immediately brings to mind the early 2000s, when bassist Jason Newsted left the band after tensions mounted over his side project Echobrain.
In an exclusive interview with Loudwire, Hammett assured fans that Metallica’s internal thinking is very different now, which gave him the opportunity to work on his own music outside of the band.
“We’re a lot more mature, more adult, wiser. You know, at this point, we’re scaring one of the biggest bands in the world. You need something the fucking size of a Mack truck to fucking try and screw up our career! At the time, with Jason, the excuse was that we didn’t want it to dilute the effect of Metallica or whatever,” the guitarist explained.
“Brother, at this point, nothing can dilute what we have,” enthused Hammett confidently, “Nothing can. It’d have to be that big, you know? I mean, nothing but our mortality. And so we all now realize that, and see ourselves as just four guys who are artists, musicians who want to express themselves. And why not us, you know?”
In addition to the solo EP, Hammett has set his sights on another creative outlet and has teamed up with AMC Networks Publishing for a new comic book series titled “Nights of Lono.” Learn more here.
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