Kirk Hammett: Losing phone full of riffs made me think again

kirk hammett
Memories: Kirk Hammett (Image credit: Getty)

The experience of losing a phone full of Metallica riffs has led Kirk Hammett to reconsider the pros and cons of being able to record every idea that comes up.

The guitarist now thinks there’s a lot to be said for allowing the best concepts to emerge by virtue of being memorable.

He recently recalled how he followed the handset’s signal across Copenhagen via his tablet until it vanished – and he could only remember a handful of the hundreds of riffs.

Hammett tells the Herald Sun: “If I have a tendency to forget the riff or the feel, then it couldn’t have been that great to begin with.

“When it became possible for people to record every single little bit of music, it affected the quality of the music. It made it not so memorable as it used to be.”

The loss of his bank of ideas meant he wasn’t able to contribute to Metallica’s 10th album Hardwired… To Self-Destruct to the extent he’d have liked, although he’s been writing riffs since then.

He reports: “I’ve put them in the deep-freeze and hopefully we’ll break them out when it’s time to get songs together for the next album.”

Meanwhile, drummer Lars Ulrich has reflected on the band’s controversial appearance at the Glastonbury festival in 2014.

Their decision to headline the Worthy Farm event, which is not normally connected with metal, led to anger from several directions including ticketholders, the mainstream media and fans of heavy music.

Asked if Metallica “won” Glastonbury, Ulrich tells the BBC: “I never looked on Glastonbury as a competition. It wasn’t about winning – it was about being part of a great weekend, and bringing something slightly different to the farm.

“The British press can wind themselves up about how something’s going to go, so there was quite a build-up: ‘Here come the big bad metal boys, coming to take over Glastonbury.’ But we had a great gig.”

He adds: “I’ve been back every year since and I’ve made my plans for coming back next year for Radiohead.

“It’s made a convert of me. Glastonbury’s a big piece of my life and I’m happy to have the chance to experience it.”

Metallica continue to add dates to their WorldWired global tour.

Dave Mustaine reviews Metallica’s Hardwired… To Self-Destruct

Metallica tour dates 2016-17 so far

Dec 15: Hollywood Fonda Theatre, CA
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
May 19-21: Rock On The Range festival, OH

Metallica’s Kirk Hammett: Hardwired was easy

Freelance Online News Contributor

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.