Listen to Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett's beautiful new solo track High Plains Drifter

(Image credit: Ross Halfin)

Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett has released a new solo track, High Plains Drifter.

Taken from the guitarist's first solo record, Portals, High Plains Drifter was inspired by Clint Eastwood's 1973 western of the same name.

“[The song] was not meant to be specifically music for that film," says Hammett in a statement, "but…once it was written, I immediately thought it conveyed the same sentiment as the film, so the piece was christened accordingly.

“The music for High Plains Drifter initially came from a Flamenco piece I had written. It was a two-and-a-half-minute piece, and I really liked it, but it was one of those riffs that would be hard to integrate into Metallica.

“I knew I wanted to do something with it, even though it came out spontaneously. I had been sitting outside messing around with a Flamenco acoustic guitar I’d just bought, and it flowed out in the moment. I was determined it would have a life.”

Listen to the song below:

High Plains Drifter is the first release from Hammett's Portals EP, which the guitarist previously described as "soundtracks to the movies in your mind.” The EP is set for release on Blackened Recordings on April 23. 

Self-produced by Hammett, the vinyl EP is set to feature four instrumental tracks, Maiden and the Monster plus The Jinn on side A, backed by High Plains Drifter and The Incantation, both co-written with Edwin Outwater, with whom Hammett has previously collaborated on Metallica's S&M2 concerts and releases.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.