Kirk Hammett on going solo for the first time: “I was pretty shocked that I got the complete band’s blessings on it”

The Metallica guitarist has spoken out on going solo on the approach to 60.

Kirk Hammett of Metallica has opened up on the trials and tribulations of going solo for the first time at the age of 59, with the release of his brand new EP, Portals.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Hammett spoke on the reception his solo project received from fellow Metallica bandmates, following the discourse when bassist Jason Newsted wanted to pursue his project, Echobrain, 20 years ago.

In the interview, Hammett reveals, “I was also pretty shocked that I got the complete band’s blessings on it. It was amazing because our band has not had a lot of great progress with band members going solo, as everyone knows. But all that went down almost 20 years ago, and we’re such different people now. We’re all just older, wiser, and more mature.”

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Set to turn 60 later this year, Hammett also spoke on how although he had never attempted solo work before, he felt that now was the right time. He set out with a goal of straying away from his signature Metallica style, admitting, “I’m fucking pretty adept at a lot of different styles, but 90 per cent of our fan base out there only hears me in a Metallica context. And so I realised this EP is a great opportunity to show a side of my playing that a lot of people aren’t aware of.”

The Portals EP features the work of Hammett’s wife Lani and respected composer and conductor Edwin Outwater. Opening track Maiden and the Monster certainly showcases a new side to Hammett’s playing with a mythical and theatrical atmosphere, as well as his guitar work.

You can listen to the full EP below:

And for those wondering, ‘what about Metallica?’, fear not: a record could be in the works. Further in his chat with Rolling Stone, Hammett revealed, “I’m not supposed to really talk about it, but I’ll just say that we’re working.”

Metallica are also currently on the road: you can get tickets on their website here.

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