During a recent conversation with Guitar World, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett was asked what came first – His love for horror movies, or his love for the guitar? As you may know by now, Hammett recently put out his first solo EP titled Portals; while Portals features a variety of musical styles, it also involves the Metallica guitarist creating horror movie-like atmospheres. Hammett has been very outspoken about how much he enjoys the genre.
Regarding what passion of his came first, this is what Hammett had to say:
“That’s an interesting one because when I think about it, they both happened around the same time. I saw my first horror movie when I was five years old. It was The Day Of The Triffids. Also, I remember, at four or five years old, being aware of music and the radio, and my sister going around singing Beatles songs. So, I think they both kind of crystallized inside of me around the same time.
“When I was fifteen years old, I got hold of a guitar, another love of mine that is just as intense as horror movies, and it became another obsession. It was a natural progression for me to bring the two together. My first attempts at that were designing these guitars with horror movie posters on them like my Mummy, Frankenstein, Dracula and Nosferatu guitars.
“That was a cool way of bringing the two genres together, and so when I wrote Maiden And The Monster, it occurred to me that I could do the same thing musically, and knowing that was a huge lightning bolt of inspiration and creative determination.
“I sat down, and the first thing I played was that arpeggiated part in Maiden And The Monster. I started playing chromatic. It’s a C#m7 chord going chromatically from C# to Cmaj7 to B5 and back to Cmaj7, and that was the basis of Maiden And The Monster – everything came out of that simple progression.”
We could talk to Hammett all day about horror movies! In other horror movie and metal related news, Ghost singer Tobias Forge recently shared what some of his favorite horror films are. And while it may be a horror show (not a movie) – did you hear about Hammett’s recent involvement with Stranger Things? Him and the son of Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo actually worked together on a performance of “Master of Puppets” that makes a cameo in the Netflix horror show.