Kirk Hammett‘s new and upcoming solo EP ‘Portals’ coming out soon. He was also impacted when Metallica‘s blessing for the album. Almost 40 years for Metallica’s guitarist Kirk Hammett to release a record outside of the group. He’s now releasing an instrumental EP ‘Portals’ album and it’s coming April 23th, 2022.
Metallica‘s guitarist made the occasional appearance on songs from Septic Death, Orbital, and Carlos Santana, but largely his focus has been on Metallica. 20 years ago, the status of Metallica was in a dangerous position at the time that bassist Jason Newsted said he felt as if he wasn’t given the freedom to pursue other projects — a record like this was impossible. Now, going into the unknown with Portals as well as his band the Wedding Band, the covers band he’s with Metallica’s Robert Trujillo is almost risky.
Kirk Hammett already talked about his inspiration for this album coming from Old Western music with a vintage feel that is a tribute to the 1973 film with the same title. He also explained the cinematic idea behind the four songs: “This music was created with what I describe as an Audio-Cinematic approach. They’re soundtracks to the movies in your mind. The piece originally came out of a flamenco thing that I’d written. I played it for a couple of guys in the band, and they didn’t show much interest, so I was just like, ‘OK, I’m just gonna turn this into something else.’ Then I played it for Edwin and he loved it, so that’s how it became ‘High Plains Drifter’.”
Now Kirk Hammett is ready for a solo EP album and talked about that in his new interview with Rolling Stone:
He starts with “Doing a solo album was always in the back of my mind; Metallica stuff was always at the forefront of my mind. This album kind of came together more incidentally.”
And added more:
“I was also pretty shocked that I got the complete band’s blessings on it. It was amazing because our band has not had a lot of great progress with band members going solo, as everyone knows. But all that went down almost 20 years ago, and we’re such different people now. We’re all just older, wiser, and more mature… Well, I don’t know if we’re wiser, but we’re definitely older, and a little bit more mature, a little bit more responsible. So something like this takes on a different sort of meaning now than it would have 20 years ago.”
He answered this question: “You were surprised your Metallica bandmates gave Portals their blessing. In 2001, the band did an interview with Playboy where James Hetfield said, ‘When someone does a side project, it takes away from the strength of Metallica.’ What’s changed?”
“Well, we kind of see it like this: We’re not musicians, we’re artists. Ethically, morally, and creatively, it’s wrong to deny someone the opportunities to express themselves and create. And I think that’s kind of where everyone is sitting right now. Also, now we’re so much more accepting of what happens in our lives because so much stuff has happened to us in the last 20 years. So much stuff has happened in the last five years. I think we’re a little bit more aware of our own mortality and how much more time we have as functioning artists, musicians, and band members. So there are other things that are more important to consider, like the longevity of the group, the mental health of the group, and the creative energy of the group.
And those guys know I ain’t fucking going anywhere. Metallica is my fucking bed. Metallica is my home, and it would be fruitless to leave the band because, if I did, people would be reminding me every single day of how I was the Metallica guitar player. I don’t want to be put in a situation where I have to resist that. I want to always fucking be seen as just another guy in Metallica trying to make the best music along with these other three guys because that’s basically what we do. That’s our calling. It’s what the freaking universe wants us to do. I think along those lines.”
Another question: Had you ever attempted a solo project before this?
“No. I still have yet to sit down and write a whole song’s worth of lyrics by myself. I’ve never tried that. I still have yet to sit down and write a fucking three-chord, Dylan-esque type of song because I’ve never gotten around to it. I still have not really explored my singing voice. I don’t know what the outcome of any of that would be. But I feel like I’m getting around to doing it now and it’s weird because I think about that and I think the fact that, fuck, I’m almost 60 years old. “Am I late on this?” I say to myself. It’s not that I’m late on this; it just seems like the timing is right for me to be doing it. It’s presenting itself to me. And so, that’s kind of how I sit with this.
When Jason was doing all that solo stuff and there were two or three things he did, it wasn’t just one, my attitude was like, “That’s cool,” but it wasn’t for me. My head was somewhere else. I was still trying to come up with cool riffs and stuff. I had this thing: When I do something, I want it to be new, different, and original. Of course, nothing is a hundred percent original, but I just want something that’s a different flavor that has not been tested a million times. So my attitude was, “OK, Jason’s going to do that. That’s great. Fuck, good luck. When I come to do something like this, it’s going to be a hundred percent me.” That’s kind of been my attitude.”
You can watch his latest “High Plains Drifter” video below!