Metallica's Hardwired for success with new album
Grammy Award-winning Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Metallica are performing at the Singapore Indoor Stadium this Sunday.
Lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, 54, talks about playing guitar solos and new album Hardwired... To Self Destruct.
Hardwired...To Self Destruct has earned praise in the metal community, with many calling it your best work since the 1991 self-titled album. What did you guys change this time?
Every time we record an album, it is a different experience. A lot of that has to do with the songs, with how we play our instruments at that point of time.
The new album pulled in the third-highest first week sales of any record last year in the US. Was that a gratifying statistic?
In this day and age, sales figures are not a proper gauge of how popular or how successful a band is. You can sell 30,000 albums, go on the road and find out you sold 120,000 tickets... You know that scenario comes up sometimes, so we're pleasantly surprised at how well the album is doing.
Your set-lists this tour have featured a couple of surprises. What prompted the band to revisit songs such as Breadfan and Whiskey In The Jar?
We've never really stopped playing Whiskey In The Jar, but you know sometimes, we forget. We just pass over one song for another song a lot of times, or we pass over our cover songs to play new material. It has been a while since we played those songs. It is always good to break out material that you haven't played for a long time. It is a nice surprise for both us and the audience.
What do you think is most important to every guitar player when it comes to guitar solos?
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...
You have to learn all that stuff if you want be a pretty well-rounded guitar player. There are guitar players out there who didn't learn that stuff and yet are brilliant guitar players. If you fall somewhere in the middle, I think you'll be all right.
What makes Metallica proudest in the past 30 years?
That we are still together, and can look back at our illustrious past together, and celebrate it together with one another.
We are giving away one pair of meet-and-greet passes to get up close to the legends on Jan 22. Visit www.tnp.sg for details on how to win.