Kirk Hammett Says Lars Ulrich Likes To Micromanage Everything In Metallica

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Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett recently gave an interview to Ultimate Classic Rock and revealed that Lars Ulrich micromanages everything in the band, and that affects him.

Kirk Hammett has been playing guitar for the iconic heavy metal band Metallica since 1983. He has written many riffs for the band during his career and contributed significantly to the band’s musical efforts. Currently, Hammett is getting ready to embark on a solo career and release an extended play titled ‘Portals.’

On February 8, 2022, Hammett’s plans to release the extended play ‘Portals’ were announced. Inspired by soundtracks, classical music, and horror movies, this will be Hammett’s first solo debut. ‘Portals’ is set to release on April 23, 2022. This album will give Hammett creative freedom since it will be a solo effort.

In a recent interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, the host praised Kirk Hammett’s guitar solos on ‘Portals.’ Hammett then said there were no limitations on him while working on this album. He worked on the solos whenever he wanted. He then stated that in Metallica, he had to play within the songs’ context.

Moreover, Hammett stated that his solos in Metallica needed to have a commercial value and hooky parts, which shaped his guitar sound. He then said they were also shaped by the producer the band worked with and by Lars Ulrich, as he likes to micromanage everything. According to the guitarist, his solos for Metallica don’t entirely reflect him.

In the interview, Ultimate Classic Rock asked Kirk Hammett the following:

“The guitar solos on this new EP are intense. We get to hear the virtuoso side of your playing but also your shredder roots. It’s an interesting hybrid.”

As a response, Hammett said:

“Yeah, you know, there are no real limitations put on me. When I was working on this stuff, I didn’t want to labor over any of it. So I said to myself, ‘If I can’t nail these solos in three or four takes, then I’ll just hang it up and wait until the next day, and then try and nail it in three or four takes.’ You know, that’s what I did.

These solos have no limitations on them. What I mean by that is, a lot of times when I’m coming up with solos for Metallica, I have to play for the song. I have to play within the context of the song. I have to make the solo somewhat accessible, and what I mean by that is that it needs to have hooky parts. It needs to have something that’s dynamic that catches your attention. You know, it needs to be somewhat commercial.

That’s always kind of shaped my guitar solos, as well as working with whoever the producer is on that particular album and also with Lars Ulrich because Lars likes to micromanage everything. So when I’m in there doing a solo, he gives me input. That shapes the solos. It’s not 100% me. I’ve always kind of alluded to that.”

So, Kirk Hammett’s ‘Portals’ gave him artistic freedom, and it was only him shaping the guitar solos rather than someone else. Moreover, the solos he wrote for Metallica were shaped by their producer or Lars Ulrich, instead of him, according to the guitarist.