Metallica’s Kirk Hammett Names His All-Time Favorite Band

As part of Metallica’s 40th-anniversary celebrations, the photographer Ross Halfin joined a Q&A conversation with So What! editor Steffan Chirazi to discuss his book ‘Metallica: The Black Album in Black & White.’ Kirk Hammett also chimed in at some point and named his favorite band of all time.

Metallica started working with Ross Halfin in 1984, and they have been together ever since. He has witnessed every step of the band’s career as he traveled with them everywhere. Halfin has photographed them in the studio, on the road, at home, and backstage. Besides Metallica, Halfin has also collaborated with many other notable bands like Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Van Halen, KISS, and Aerosmith.

During the Q&A session, Kirk Hammett recalled how they started working with Halfin. Hammett said that they had different opinions in their minds on how they wanted to be photographed at the time. The guitarist explained that they would see pictures of Iron Maiden taken by Ross Halfin, and they really liked how they looked in the photos.

Then, Kirk Hammett was asked what being shot by Halfin was like. Hammett revealed that they respected Halfin a lot due to his impressive work with Iron Maiden, and also he shot Kirk’s all-time favorite band, UFO. Hammett stated that UFO members were his heroes at the time, and Ross Halfin brought him a step closer to meeting his favorite band of all time.

Kirk Hammett speaking on how they started to work with Ross Halfin:

“Back in the day, we had a lot of concepts about how we wanted to be photographed. When we first hooked up with Q Prime and Cliff Burnstein and Peter Mensch, Peter Mensch’s one thing that he kept on repeating is ‘Notice studio shots, no posed shots, live shots only,’ and it was only from, I think, the pleading of maybe you. I think it was you that we actually started doing shots that were not on stage.”

Ross Halfin stepped in and said:

“The first ones I could get what’s soaking after they’ve played. The vibe would be good, they’d all be wet. Wet shots and the only reason they agreed to do that was because Iron Maiden did them.”

Kirk Hammett continued:

“Exactly, because we loved looking at pictures of Iron Maiden that Ross had taken and they were always so exuberant and full of energy and enthusiasm and everyone always looked like they were having such a great time, but later on I found out that was probably because Ross probably said something extremely sarcastic or maybe farted.”

The editor Steffan Chirazi asked:

“What was it like being shot by him? Describe the first couple of sessions he did and how he would do stuff.”

Hammett responded:

“We were in awe of Ross for a variety of reasons but mainly because of his work with Iron Maiden because it was everywhere at that point in the early ’80s. You couldn’t open up a heavy metal magazine and not see Ross’ pictures of Iron Maiden. They were everywhere and also because he shot my all-time favorite band UFO and actually knew people from UFO, and for me, it was just like he was like a connection to my favorite band of all time. As a 21-year-old kid like me, it was like a step closer to my heroes.”

You can watch the whole conversation below.