Kirk Hammett Explains Why Metallica Takes So Damn Long Between Albums

Kirk by Gage Skidmore via Wikipedia. Tortoise by Childzy via Wikipedia
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Every time we post about the fact that a new Metallica album is in the works, we expect our loyal readers to respond with glee. Instead, we typically get moans- basically, no one believes Metallica anymore when they say a new album is coming. They’re not quite as bad as Tool on the insane in-between-album wait times, but they’re sure up there.

Now, in a new interview with Goldmine, Kirk Hammett spills the beans on the band’s creative process, and explains why:

“Yeah, you know, it’s not getting any quicker, too. It’s just like, we have a way of working. We have a process that unfortunately takes a long time. It’s just the way we work, the way it is, the way it works as a band. And I’ve grown to accept that.

When I go in and create Metallica stuff, I give it my full creative energies. The way I look at it is, all the notes are already there. You just have to find them. I’m serious. They’re already there. You just gotta friggin’ find them. And so there’s that but also a reliance on spontaneity, on real in-the-moment creation. I think that’s where I’m most effective.

It’s like, any time I sit down to try and compose something that should be spontaneous, it ends up sounding composed. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I think catching yourself in a spontaneous moment is just much more exciting and much more honest. That might not make me sound like Eddie Van Halen, but that’s beside the point. I really feel like I’m playing for the song when I play that way.”

Given this, it makes sense why Kurt felt the need make Portals, his recently released solo album, and why his bandmates were so understanding of him going the solo route:

“You know, putting out Portals is great for me because it kind of frees me up from that schedule. I can come up with a few tracks, record them and put them out, and I can do it on a completely different time schedule from the band. And that’s great because it doesn’t seem to get in the way of the band’s schedule because, like I say, we move at our own pace.”

So yeah, a new Metallica album will happen. When, though, is anyone’s guess.

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