Joe Satriani Explains If He Thought He Deserved The Metallica Gig Instead Of Kirk Hammett

Recently, during an interview on The Howard Stern Show to promote Sammy Hagar’s The Best of All Worlds Tour, Satriani shared insights into what it was like to teach Kirk Hammett and revealed whether or not it was he who deserved to be in the Metallica gig instead of his student.

Satriani was asked whether or not he ever felt like he should have been the one to be in Metallica rather than the current guitarist. He replied with the following:

“What I noticed was even though I was still at my early 20s at the time, there was already a movement with his age group that I could see that was something new and fresh. And it was thrash metal. They were at the center of it, and they were creating it.”

The guitarist also detailed the difference between Hammett and the rest of his students:

“It was pretty exciting to see young and totally motivated players come up with a new idea, and they were sufficiently angry at all the classic rock that had come before them. They wanted to turn everything upside down. So, as a teacher, it was important just to give them the information but not to influence them in any way and to let them interpret it the way they want. That’s what Kirk did.”

Satriani Was ‘Proud’ of Hammett’s Hard Work

Teaching Hammett during his first days in Metallica, Satriani never experienced jealousy when students such as Hammett became successful; instead, he was proud to have students like him. Satriani shared his thoughts on Hammett’s early days:

“I have to say among all the students, we all felt the same way, like we were part of a team. When someone got a good gig, it was like someone scoring a goal. It’s good for the team. At least, I felt that way. I was proud of him because I know how hard he worked. He was tireless and totally motivated.”

Hammett Was a ‘Young Kid Full of Talent and Enthusiasm’

During his teaching days, the guitarist imparted his knowledge to future guitar icons like Steve Vai, Larry LaLonde of Primus, Alex Skolnick of Testament, and others. Among this group, perhaps the most famous was Kirk Hammett, who was then a member of Exodus in the early 1980s.

Looking back on his teaching days, Satriani said of Hammett that he was a great student and that he was very eager to learn. He also recalled him as ‘a young kid full of talent and enthusiasm.’

You can see the short snippet of the chat below.