Metallica‘s Kirk Hammett is but one of the many rock legends interviewed for Classic Rock magazine’s 300th issue, and shed light on his love for both the publication — along with his favorite musicians the publication covers.
Hammett explained, “I don’t read articles about myself! I read about what Jeff Beck was doing in 1971 with Carmine Appice and Tim Bogert, what David Bowie was doing in 1976 in L.A. I read to find out about Spooky Tooth, what was going on with Mountain when they were at Woodstock. I’m a product of the ’70s. The foundation of all Metallica music is ’70s hard rock. It stops at the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal.”
He went on to say, “I’m a fan of so much ’60, ’70s stuff. I love reading about Tangerine Dream, Neu!. I read Prog, also. I only discovered prog about five years ago. I was never into it. I spent a lot of time listening to jazz, bossa nova, blues, classical, soul, and reggae.”
Hammett touched upon the pros and cons of being a budding rock musician in 2022: “It is harder for these younger bands to get their music out there. I’ll tell you one thing: because of covid there’s upwards of half a billion new guitar players in the world, bro. That bodes very well for the future of music. It was inspirational for me just knowing there’s gonna be that many more musicians in the world trying to make great music. There’s so much disorganization in the world right now, so much division. Music brings people together. Music organizes people and their thoughts. Maybe because there’s more musicians it’ll make for a better future for everyone. I’m just being optimistic (laughs).”
Kirk Hammett was always amazed when his heroes actually became his friends. Not too long ago he shed light on his unique friendship with the Ramones‘ late-guitarist Johnny Ramone: “Johnny was a big influence early in my life, and later in my life too. Y’know, I became pretty good friends with Johnny about, I don’t know, 1996 or something, and, yeah, it’s hard to articulate, but I just wish he was still around. I mean, ’cause later on he was a really big influence in my life too, just hanging out with him.”
Metallica next performs on April 27th in Santiago, Chile.
The band’s next North American date is set for May 27th in Napa, California at BottleRock at Napa Valley Expo.