Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett recently dropped the Portals EP, his first-ever solo release and it appears things will not simply end there as he told Kerrang! that he has “every intention” to keep working on new music of his own.
On the four-track EP, Hammett partnered with conductor Edwin Outwater, who was at the helm (alongside conductor Michael Tilson Thomas) on Metallica’s S&M2 live performances, which featured the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.
The writing was born from the guitarist’s own “It’s Alive” horror and sci-fi art exhibit, which was held in 2017, as he sought to provide a soundtrack to the event. With two songs lying around, he presented them to Outwater, who in turn suggested they pair up to continue fleshing out material.
“This wasn’t something where I sat down and said, ‘Okay, solo album, it’s about time!’ I don’t take myself that seriously! And I’m not that intelligent, I’m seriously not,” Hammett told Kerrang! and continued, “I write music and shit happens… and this falls under the category of shit happening (laughs).”
Looking forward, he went on, “But now that it has happened, I’ve gotten a taste of this and this sort of autonomy, I’m thinking, ‘Why not?’ I have the full band’s blessing on this, particularly James [Hetfield] and Lars [Ulrich] and so it’s okay, now I have something else cool to do. Edwin and I have every intention to keep on collaborating as well, because the results have been so great.”
The very idea of an active member of Metallica pursuing solo efforts immediately calls 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 the internal thinking in Metallica is much different now, which has afforded him the opportunity to work on his own music outside of the band.
“We’re a lot more mature, more grown-up, wiser. You know, at this point, we’re freaking 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! Back then, with Jason, the excuse was that we didn’t want it to dilute the effect of Metallica or whatever,” the guitarist explained.
“Bro, at this point, nothing can dilute what we have,” a confident Hammett enthused, “Nothing can. It would have to be so big, you know? I mean, nothing but our mortality. And so we all now realize that, and see each other as just four guys who are artists, musicians that want to express themselves. And why shouldn’t we, you know?”
In addition to the solo EP, Hammett has set his sights on another creative outlet and has partnered with AMC Networks Publishing for a new comic series titled “Nights of Lono.” Learn more here.
The Best Metal Songs of Each Year Since 1970
See Loudwire’s picks for the Best Metal Songs of Each Year Since 1970.