The follow-up to 2008’s Death Magnetic was released earlier this month.
Hammett tells Metallica club magazine So What!: “It’s a heavy album with a lot of groove on it and I live for groove. I love to hear a nice groovy, swinging, bouncy beat – because for me, that’s usually the most fun sort of thing to solo over.
“That helped me when I was doing my guitar solos. The feel of the songs really, really came through, more so than they have in the past.
“The feels were so evident and obvious and just there for the grabbing that I had a great time soloing over the stuff.”
He continues: “In the past, when I would work on guitar solos and then show up at the studio and put what I worked out on the album, I’d have a pretty good idea of the worth of that solo.
“This time, all the playing is really just for the song. So it’s hard for me to really establish what worth any particular solo has in it, because I just came in and threw them down.
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“And so because of that, it all seemed amazingly easy, and almost like I didn’t work for it.”
But the guitarist adds: “In my head when I think about it, I think, ‘Oh, well, I’ve been working up to this point all my life.’ In the past I’ve driven myself crazy – this time it wasn’t like that.
“I just showed up with all the ability that I could muster for that given day, and just went for it.”
Metallica continue to add dates to their WorldWired tour, which is expected to run for at least two years. They’re the cover stars of the latest edition of Metal Hammer, on sale now in print and via TeamRock+.
Metallica tour dates 2016-17 so far
Nov 29: Toronto Opera House, Canada
Dec 17: Oakland Fox Theater, CA
Jan 11: Seoul Gocheok Sky Dome, South Korea
Jan 18: Beijing Le Sports Centre, China
Jan 20: Hong Kong AsiaWorld-Expo, China
Jan 22: Singapore Indoor Stadium, Singapore
Feb 03: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Feb 05: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Feb 07: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Feb 09: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Mar 01: Mexico City Foro Sol, Mexico
Mar 03: Mexico City Foro Sol, Mexico
Mar 25: Sao Paulo Interlagos Racetrack, Brazil
Mar 31-Apr 01: Buenos Aires Hippodrome San Isidro, Argentina
Apr 01-02: Santiago Parque O’Higgins, Chile