Will There Ever Be Another Eddie Van Halen, Kirk Hammett Explains

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In an interview with Guitar World, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett talked about the current status of ‘guitar playing’ and clarified whether he thinks there is a possibility of having another guitar legend like the late icon Eddie Van Halen.

Van Halen‘s co-founder and renowned guitarist Eddie Van Halen passed away on October 6, 2020, after a long and vicious battle with cancer. Eddie’s son and the youngest member of Van Halen, Wolfgang gave the sad news of his father’s death with a statement he posted on social media platforms.

Since Wolfgang’s statement, the rock music community has been mourning after the death of the guitar legend. Widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists in the history of rock and metal music, Eddie Van Halen has affected various musicians with his unique talent as a guitar player. Eddie’s contribution to the tapping guitar solo technique also cannot be overlooked.

As you may recall, during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2020 Induction Ceremony, Eddie Van Halen was honored through the ‘In Memoriam‘ segment, during which Metallica’s iconic lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and Guns N’ Roses legend Slash commemorated the late guitarist master.

Here’s what Kirk Hammett previously stated about Eddie:

“Eddie Van Halen was amazing. Not since Jimi Hendrix had there been a guitar player that had so much impact and was so inspiring to me. He just explored the most simplest thing, a harmonic on a string, and brought it into a realm of technique that nobody even thought was possible. He was just like from a different planet.”

Recently, Kirk Hammett joined an interview for Guitar World along with Tool guitarist Adam Jones and shared his opinions on the current status of guitar playing. During the conversation, Hammett and Jones also talked about whether it is possible to have such an iconic guitarist like Eddie Van Halen ever again. Adam Jones stated that he considers Eddie as an alien who came to earth and thought ‘how to do it.’ Considering the possibility of having another guitarist like Van Halen, Jones said that even though he wasn’t sure if it’s possible, he really hopes to see that happen.

Here is what Adam Jones stated about Eddie Van Halen:

“I mean, Eddie Van Halen, he was an alien that landed on our planet and showed us how to do it. I don’t really know anyone to compare that to. When I heard him for the first time it was haunting. Can we have another guy come in and really make a mark like Eddie Van Halen? I don’t know. I hope so. I look forward to what’s new in music and what’s weird in music.“

Additionally, Kirk Hammett mentioned that considering the new generation of guitar players, who are all kinds of guitar heroes in their own right, the ‘guitar hero is a dying breed.’ He stated that all the guitar heroes, including Eddie, are judged by the song that they are playing. According to Hammett, what really important is that whether the song they’re playing is good or not, otherwise the audience would give them only 15-minutes of attention, he suggests.

Here is what Kirk Hammett said about the new generation of guitar players:

“I think the guitar hero is a dying breed. In the new generation, there are so many good players that it’s hard to pick out a hero because they’re all kind of guitar heroes in their own right. But a lot of times it’s just great musical gymnastics.

All guitar heroes are judged by one thing and one thing only – the song they’re playing. You can be the most ripping guitar player, but if your songs fucking suck or are boring or just flat, people are going to be impressed for about 15 minutes. And then they’re going to check their Instagram, see what other guitar players put up.”

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