Kirk Hammett says the huge number of new guitarists born out of lockdown “bodes very well for the future of music”

The guitarist also says Metallica “warned everyone” about the dangers of streaming in their infamous Napster lawsuit.

Kirk Hammett 2022

Image: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty

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Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett has stated that he views the large number of new guitarists that picked up the instrument over lockdown as something that “bodes very well” for the future of the music industry. In addition, the musician also spoke out about the band’s now-notorious feud with Napster, stating that the members tried to warn everyone about the consequences of streaming long before the emergence of Spotify.

Speaking as part of an interview with Classic Rock recently, the metal guitarist shared his views on the future of the music industry, alongside describing the inspiration behind his debut solo EP, Portals.

It was here that Hammett shared his somewhat opinions on how the music world might fare after the lockdowns. “I’ll tell you one thing: because of COVID, there are upwards of half a billion new guitar players in the world, bro. That bodes very well for the future of music,” he states. “It was inspirational for me just knowing there’s gonna be that many more musicians in the world trying to make great music.”

Hammett continues, conveying what he perceives as the benefits of a new generation of musicians: “There’s so much disorganisation in the world right now [and] so much division. Music brings people together. Music organizes people and their thoughts. Maybe because there are more musicians, it’ll make for a better future for everyone… I’m just being optimistic [laughs].”

Elsewhere in the interview, the musician also discussed what he believes the future holds for the music industry in regard to streaming. Here, Hammett discussed the ongoing difficulties faced by emerging new artists, stating that this is what Metallica foresaw with their decision to sue Napster back in 2000.

“It is harder for these younger bands to get their music out there,” he says. “We warned everyone that this was gonna happen. We warned everyone that the music industry was gonna lose eighty per cent of its net worth, power, and influence. When these monumental shifts come you just either fucking rattle the cage and get nothing done or you move forward.”

He progresses, insisting that there needs to be a new approach to streaming introduced; something that is beneficial to both the artists and the listening platforms:

“There’s definitely a new way for getting music out there, but it isn’t as effective as the music industry pre-Napster. But we’re stuck with it. There needs to be some sort of midway point where the two come together, or another completely new model comes in.”

Kirk Hammett’s debut solo project, Portals, is out now. Find the full interview with the guitarist on Classic Rock.

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