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Kirk Hammett Weighs In on Massive Metallica Riff Collection for New Album

Kirk Hammett
Mary Ouellette,

James Hetfield recently delighted Metallica fans when he announced that the band had over 800 riffs at their disposal for their new disc, and that was just his personal contributions. In a new interview with Guitar World, guitarist Kirk Hammett weighs in on that massive collection of riffs, and provides a little quality control.

Hetfield may have 800 riffs in his back pocket but Hammett still has some catching up to do. “I’m probably closer to 400 now,” Hammett said with a laugh. However, even though the band has a stockpile of riffs, only a few will ever see the light of day. “You know, out of those 400 there might only be 20 great riffs,” explained Hammett. “It’d be something if all 400 were triple-A, diamond-rated ideas, but that’s just not the case. Never was and never will be.” He also chimed in on Hetfield’s collection, saying, “James might have 800 riffs, but there’s maybe 12 songs in there. Who knows? It all depends on what we do with it.”

What they do with it is the big question fans are dying to hear the answer to. When asked about a timetable for Metallica to hit the studio, Hammett said that there was nothing scheduled as of yet. “No, it’s just whenever,” answered Hammett. “Whenever it happens, it happens, really.”

With Metallica playing their ‘Black’ album throughout their tour of Europe and the second night of their upcoming Orion Music + More Festival, Kirk admits that revisiting the older tunes has had a potential impact on the upcoming recording process. “Well, we’ve talked about maybe going a little bit simpler,” Hammett explained. “Now that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to happen. We’ve said many times, ‘Oh, let’s try and do this,’ and then things end up so far left field of what we tried to do that we had no choice but to just go with it.”

Metallica’s inaugural Orion Music + More Festival is set to touch down in Atlantic City, N.J., on June 23 and 24.

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