Kirk Hammett says Lars Ulrich “likes to micromanage everything” when comparing his solo EP to Metallica

Hammett's debut solo EP will be released on 23 April.

Kirk Hammett of Metallica has said that bandmate and drummer Lars Ulrich micromanaging the band’s musical direction has led to Hammett’s solos becoming “not 100% me.”

In an interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, Hammett talked about how he felt there were “no limitations” to his work on the upcoming solo EP Portals, saying, “So I said to myself, ‘If I can’t nail these solos in three or four takes, then I’ll just hang it up and wait until the next day, and then try and nail it in three or four takes.’ You know, that’s what I did. These solos have no limitations on them.”

He went on to detail the difference in the creative process for Portals as compared to the collective effort of writing with Metallica, explaining that he had to work within the structure of of Metallica songs by making his solos “somewhat accessible” with “hooky” parts that were dynamic and attention-grabbing. He described the sound he had to craft for the band as “somewhat commercial” in comparison to the creative license he had on his own EP.

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Hammett also named the involvement of Ulrich shaped the solos he crafted for Metallica because “Lars likes to micromanage everything”. Going into detail, Hammett continued, “So when I’m in there doing a solo, he gives me input. That shapes the solos. It’s not 100% me. I’ve always kind of alluded to that.”

Portals will be Hammett’s first-ever full solo release. It consists of four instrumental tracks, recorded in multiple locales ranging from Los Angeles to Paris to Oahu, with a statement describing the EP as “an invitation to inner worlds accessible only by music and the psyche it fuels.”

The EP will be released via Blackened Recordings on the next Record Store Day, 23 April, with a simultaneous release on Digital and CD. Exclusive to Record Store Day will be an ocean-blue vinyl pressing of the EP, which includes a digital copy.

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