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Monday, June 11, 2012

METALLICA's Kirk Hammett Talks About The Correlation Between Orion Music + More, The Bands Next Album & His NEW Book!

"Whenever any of us take on something, we always give it our best", says Kirk Hammett. "It's just the way we go about doing things. Whether it's collectively or individually, I think all of us are pretty careful putting the right presentation across".

Metal Hamnmer recently caught up with Hammett via phone during Metallica's hectic tour schedule to chat about the Orion festival, his NEW book and the new Metallica album. A few excerpts of the interview follow.

GUITAR WORLD: So you're in Denmark right now, then you've got Download and Nova Rock, and then back to the States?

KIRK HAMMETT: Yeah, and then we play our Orion festival in Atlantic City, and then we do eight nights in Mexico City and then we go up to Canada and do a bunch of shows.

When you get back, you'll have just under two weeks before Orion kicks off. What's the schedule going to be like for you leading up to that?

Well, let's see. A week and a half of it is going to be vacation time. [laughs] The gigs are on Saturday and Sunday, so we'll probably go out a couple of days before and do a short soundcheck when we get there, and then an extended soundcheck the day before the first show. And then after that, we'll just rock.

A lot of times when we have a show within two weeks of coming off a tour, we don't really need to rehearse — we'll just do a soundcheck and brush off the rust. And then we're good to go.

You've been playing the Black Album all summer on tour in Europe, and you'll be playing it the second night of Orion. The first night is Ride the Lightning. You already play a lot of those songs live, but were there any cuts you had to brush up on?

As you said, a lot of the songs in our set are on Ride the Lightning to begin with, so when it came time to actually think about doing Ride the Lightning, the only songs we needed to rehearse were "Escape" and "The Call of Ktulu."

Everything else is something that we play in pretty regular rotation — "Fade to Black," "For Whom the Bell Tolls," "Fight Fire With Fire." The only one we really felt the need to rehearse was "Escape," which we've never played live before, and "The Call of Kutlu," which we have played live a lot, but not since December, I think.

A lot of bands — particularly in metal — like to keep a strong veil between their music and their personalities. Is it important for you to be able to express different facets of your personality through this band?

It's something we feel the need to do. It's something that ... It is important for us to come across in a certain way. It's pretty important for us to come across in a way that's honest and not put-on. It's important that people kind of see this as more than just a regular concert.

For me, just to get everything ready for Kirk's Crypt, I've been working on this pretty much every day for the last three months. I've got three assistants working on it just to make sure it's exactly the way I want it to be. [laughs]

I'm also going to be presenting my book for the first time. I'm putting out a book in October, but the Orion festival is going to be the first showing of the book. So I just want everything to be exactly the way it needs to be.

Can you tell me a bit more about the book you're going to be premiering?

Yeah, it's a book about vintage tour and movie posters, vintage monster toys and artwork. It's basically all the stuff I've managed to amass over the last 30 years or so. I have such a huge collection and I just thought now was the right time to share it with everyone. And that's exactly what I'm doing. I finished it in April and it'll be out in October, but the Orion festival will be the first time I'm letting people know that it's done and it's coming out.

For me it was a lot of fun to make, and it's very cool for me to look at. Hopefully it's just as fun and cool for other people too.

Playing the Black Album live so much this summer — and again at Orion — do you think that album has gotten in your head at all regarding the direction of the next Metallica album?

Well, we've talked about maybe going a little bit simpler. Now that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to happen. [laughs] We've said many times, "Oh, let's try and do this," and then things end up so far left field of what we tried to do that we had no choice but to just go with it.

It's really, really difficult for me to say how all this will impact everything, but at the very least I had to relearn a lot of these guitar solos, and I remember how easy it was for me to come up with guitar solos for the Black Album. And I think the reason for that is that they were just simple songs. The options that I had were just amazingly simple.

We'll just see how it goes. Click here to read the rest of the interview

METALLICA is geared up for their upcoming performance at Orion Music + More on June 23rd and 24th (get your tickets here).

In a historical twist of events, METALLICA will be performing six back-to-back shows in Mexico City show after their five previous shows sold out in a matter of minutes! Heavy Metal's biggest band, will be performing at the Sports Palace in Mexico City on August 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, and 9. Additionally, the band will be unveiling their NEW stage: a 140x50-foot stage that features colossal components and striking visual elements spanning Metallica's 30-year career.

Photo credit: Steve Lars from Creative Ventures International & Steve Lars on Facebook

Related links:
Metallica's Official Site

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