Karl Baz of Time Out Dubai spoke to METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett ahead of the band’s first-ever concert in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates at Yas Island on October 25. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Time Out Dubai: Well, METALLICA‘s certainly been a massive influence on the local scene; plenty of people start off playing your covers, or trying to mimic your music.
Kirk: Well, you gotta start somewhere! And what better place? They often try to tailor their stuff to the region. In fact, plenty of the big names that come to Abu Dhabi try to change their music or style a bit to suit the local audience, but not you…The audience wanted full-on METALLICA, full-on 100 percent METALLICA.
Time Out Dubai: Speaking of which, you know how massive bands sort of diminish over time? How is it that METALLICA have managed to remain fresh and relevant even after all these years in the business?
Kirk: A lot of energy. You know, for us, we’re just totally the type of band personality where we want to try new things, different things. We’re very curious in a creative way, and all of us share an intellectual curiosity to see what lies just right over that hill, you know, on the other side of the hill, creatively speaking. I think it’s really important for our own satisfaction, and for our creative gratification, that we explore different things, and go down different avenues, and try different things musically. We want to experience it all, we want to taste it all, you know? I mean we don’t want to be stuck in some corner when there’s a huge playing field of things to try, you know what I mean? We don’t want to be stuck, I think.
Time Out Dubai: Stuck how?
Kirk: I mean, we’re very aware that we can get stuck, playing the same kind of music and, you know, it’s a very easy and comfortable place to be, in your little corner. But I think for us, we’ve always been about searching and actually rebelling. It’s kind of like we’re rebelling against the boundaries that are being put upon us. I totally see it that way, our fans would just like to keep us in our cage, but we refuse.
Time Out Dubai: Well you haven’t lost any fans, that’s for sure.
Kirk: Yeah, I think the large part of our fans understand that we need to be creatively unhinged and unbounded. There’s no grand plan with our albums, we don’t sit down and say, “OK, we’re now going to play Indian ragas.” It’s not like that, it’s largely just instinct. We just follow our gut and our instinct, and go where they take us.
Time Out Dubai: And after all this time, it still doesn’t get tiring?
Kirk: No, I’m not tired. Well, you know we could always use a little more sleep! But I’m not tired of it, it’s always challenging. I’m never tired of playing my guitar, because my guitar offers me such a great opportunity to experience so many other things. I love music; there’s no way I can really get tired of it.
Read the entire interview from Time Out Dubai.