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January 11, 2017

Some musicians are like fine wine. They get better as they age. Case in point: Metallica. These legendary rockers have been going strong for almost 40 years, pioneering (and popularising) the thrash metal genre, acquiring a global fan base in the process. We speak with lead guitarist Kirk Hammett to find out just exactly what makes these guys tick:

1. Hey Kirk, how’s it going? Congrats on Hardwired…to Self-Destruct. It definitely has that raw and ferocious sound we’ve come to associate with you guys. Was it tough or pressurising making the album, especially since everyone holds Metallica to such high standards?

We didn’t feel pressurised at all. You know, it’s like, every time we record an album, it’s a different experience. And there’s so many different things that we change in the studio. I mean, whenever we go and record an album, it’s never the exact same process. A lot that has to do with the songs, a lot has to do with how we play our instruments at that point of time.

2. You guys have had a long and glittering career. How do you deal with regrets?

We’ve got no regrets. We’re happy that we’re still together, and can look back and illustrate our past and celebrate it together with each other.

3. If you guys could play telepathically play your instruments, would you do it? Or stick to good old hands and fingers?

Stick to good old hands and fingers. I love my guitar, because you have to master different set of skills to be a great guitar player.

Well, first of all, if you attempt to play guitar solos, you need to know basic rhythm. And you need to know where all the notes are on the neck and then you need to start learning scales – major/minor scales, pentatonic scales, modes, scales in one, two, three octaves, relative major and minor scales, harmonic major scales, harmonic minor scales, octaves, arpeggios in two octaves and three octaves. You have to learn all that stuff if you want be a well-rounded guitar player. Other guitar players out there who didn’t learn that stuff are brilliant guitar players, so, you know, if you fall somewhere in the middle, I think you’ll be alright.

As a group, Metallica is far from done. Though they might have started rocking out before plenty of their own supporters were even born, they’re not some forgotten, washed-up band that only plays old hits. No. That’s not how they work.

Today’s Metallica is still as driven and passionate as they were back in 1981, when vocalist James Hetfield responded to an advertisement posted by drummer Lars Ulrich in a local paper.

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James Hetfield (photo credit: Jeff Yeager)

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Kirk Hammett (photo credit: Jeff Yeager)

That same drive and passion has culminated in the release of “Hardwired…to Self-Destruct”, the band’s latest album, and a rip-roaring collection of songs that is furious, melodic, and dramatic at the same time.

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Lars Ulrich (photo credit: Jeff Yeager)

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Robert Trujillo (photo credit: Jeff Yeager)

Does it sound like vintage Metallica? Well, yes and no, but that’s a good thing, because it shows that the band’s sound has evolved. And while there may be more old hits than new, it’s something that Singapore fans will undoubtedly appreciate when they head to town for a concert later this month.

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Date: 22nd January 2017
Time: 8pm onwards
Venue: Singapore Indoor Stadium
Admission: From $158 (standard) onwards, tickets available via SportsHubTix.
Visit www.metallica.com for more information.

All images taken from Metallica.