Kirk Hammet was a guest on a podcast called Backstaged: The Devil in Metal. We usually hear him talking about music, guitars, Metallica, tours, etc. But during his appearance at that podcast, Metallica’s Kirk Hammet talked about some dark stuff. Specifically about his childhood. He looked back at his days, dark days of childhood, and explained how he was abused by his father.
Kirk Hammet started his words by saying that he had a bad childhood and experienced a lot of darkness. He proceeds to say he had unfortunate things happened to him and witnessed all that darkness way too early in his life. And the thing he saved him is playing guitar and making music. Hammet sees that stuff as a type of therapy.
“And I was so young. I didn’t understand why I was feeling this way. And I didn’t know this was because of circumstances and situations. I didn’t put that together. I just knew that guitar playing helped me feel better and calmed me down as an adolescent, as a teenager, as an adult, up to like now. I mean, I have a lot of anxiety and I’m prone to depression-like most people. My guitar helps me through all that.”
“A good heavy metal song is like a good horror movie. It’s intense, it’s unpredictable. It has a lot of the same feelings, of the darker things in life… Your brain just gets that feeling. Like myself, there’s a lot of people out there that when they hear that darkness, that gloom, it’s cathartic. It feels good, you know? It feels like you can get to the darker parts of your life and experience them without really experiencing them.”
I’ve definitely channeled a lot of anger into the music.
This is not the first time Kirk Hammet talking about those stuff from his childhood. Earlier in this century, in 2001 he told Playboy that both he and James Hetfield are coming from broken homes and that is the thing kind of bonded them. He said that his father abused him as a child, drank a lot, and beat Kirk and his mother.
“I remember having to pull my dad off my mom when he attacked her one time – during my 16th birthday – he turned on me and started slapping me around. Then my dad just left one day. My mom was struggling to support me and my sister. I’ve definitely channeled a lot of anger into the music.”