Metallica Explains Cutting Back On Guitar Solos

By | July 21, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Metallica’s latest album, St. Anger, is a straightforward effort, which drummer Lars Ulrich compares to a raw garage-band-like recording. The band also decided to limit the number of guitar solos, so much so that fans have been asking where lead guitarist Kirk Hammett is on the record.

When asked Ulrich about the apparent lack of Hammett’s fretwork on St. Anger, he explained that Hammett was actually more involved on this effort than any of Metallica’s previous albums. “Kirk is actually way more involved in this record than the previous records because he actually took part with the writing of every one of the songs,” Ulrich said. “In the past, Kirk was sort of [not involved as much. It was] like, ‘Ok we’re six months into the record now. Me and [vocalist/guitarist] James [Hetfield] have done all the backing tracks. Kirk can come in and play his solo now. Can someone call and tell him that?’ It would be like that type of thing. I mean he was there for every minute of this record.”

Ulrich added that Kirk’s work on the record is pretty apparent. “I mean, it doesn’t get much simpler,” Ulrich said. “If you turn it to the left that’s James, and if you turn it to the right, that’s Kirk.”

Ulrich admitted that Hammett recorded guitar solos for half the tunes on the record, but the band collectively decided that the songs were better off without them. Ulrich said, “I have mixes of half of the songs with guitar solos, so maybe one day I’ll do the Kirk Hammett Guitar Solo Outtake St. Anger album.”

St. Anger is holding strong at Number Seven on the Billboard 200 album chart.