Metallica’s Hammett rejects popularity polls

Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett says he doesn’t pay attention to his elevated status in popularity polls as he’s just a “shy, nerdy kid” at heart who stumbled across something he was good at.

And he says his early experiences in life mean he’s content with putting this trust in his own abilities.

He tells Metal Sucks: “I just try and be the best guitar player I can, the best band member that I can possibly be. Stuff like polls, it doesn’t really make that much difference to me. It seems like a popularity contest to me.

“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always been really good at losing popularity contests. So to all of a sudden start winning these contests as an adult, I kind of know better.

“I’m like the classic case of a shy, nerdy kid who just wanted to play guitar and just found that he could do something really well. And I just took it.”

Metallica are recording their 10th album, with Hammett recently saying their latest material was “along the lines of Death Magentic.” But he reports he’s discovered a new love of playing as they work towards its release.

He continues: “I seem to have found a way to reconnect with my guitar in a way that I haven’t reconnected with it in decades. It’s really interesting for me because all of a sudden, I’m finding myself playing different stuff I’ve never played before and approaching things in a different way.

“I didn’t expect this – I just thought, if I keep on playing my instrument, life goes on. But somehow I managed to reconnect with my instrument and feel inspired all over again. I’m very grateful for it.”

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Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.