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“He himself is a reason why guitar solos are dying!” Angel Vivaldi hits back at Kirk Hammett’s claim that most listeners don’t care about solos

“It’s possible that because none of his solos landed the way they did in the past that it helped to further extinguish his opinion on how important they are.”

Kirk Hammett and Angel Vivaldi

Image: Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images / Charvel

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Angel Vivaldi has hit back at Kirk Hammett‘s recent claim that the average listener doesn’t care about guitar solos, arguing that “good and inspiring” solos do in fact stay with people forever and that they are what “make musicians”.

Earlier this month, the Metallica legend got the guitar community buzzing after telling Total Guitar: “I hate to say it for all your readers out there, but non-musicians, who are the majority of the fucking listening world, they are not going to remember guitar solos. They are gonna helluva remember a great melody, and they’re really gonna remember a great song – especially a song that’s gonna bring them to a different place from where they were five minutes previously.”

Reacting to a post about Kirk’s claims, Angel commented: “Couldn’t be further from the truth. If the solo is written by a songwriter and not a lazy guitarist relying on muscle memory, your solo will stay with people forever.”

The virtuoso later took to Facebook to expand on his stance, saying that while he respects Hammett for getting him to where he is today, the latter is incorrect in his assumptions about guitar solos.

“If not for Kirk I wouldn’t be here, so utmost respect to him,” Vivaldi wrote. “However, the second someone succumbs to this type of thinking, ala’ “theres no good or memorable music these days” you’re just screaming “I’m close minded and don’t seek new music in order to actually judge it” to the world.”

“You can’t say that unless you’ve heard every new song uploaded to Spotify daily, and few at that age actually seek out the new music they’re writing off.”

Vivaldi also argued that great solos definitely exist, though discovering them “takes effort” due to the sheer amount of music that’s being put out these days and the lack of exposure when it comes to many of the newer bands.

“There is simply too much music,” the guitarist explained. “It’s best to say “I haven’t heard any iconic guitar solos,” rather than ‘the art of the guitar solo is dying.’”

Circling back to Hammett’s claims about solos being unimportant to non-musicians, Vivaldi said: “Regarding the non-musician argument. Good and inspiring solos are what MAKE musicians. Kirk himself held a torch of responsibility when it came to flipping non-musicians into guitar shredders, myself included. He himself is a reason why guitar solos are dying!”

“He arguably has the largest platform to inspire even more guitarists, but because he “opted for a raw, improvisational approach” (which he does not have the skillset to execute, imho) on [Metallica’s latest album] 72 Seasons and lord knows how many before that, his torch now burns very dimly if at all.”

The musician continued: “There was a time during the Some Kind of Monster-era where he fought for how important solos were. It’s possible that because none of his solos landed the way they did in the past that it helped to further extinguish his opinion on how important they are. I can only speculate.”

Read Vivaldi’s full statement below.

If not for Kirk I wouldn’t be here, so utmost respect to him. However, the second someone succumbs to this type of…

Posted by Angel Vivaldi on Tuesday, December 19, 2023

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