Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett recently caught up with Guitar World to talk about the bands upcoming Orion Music Festival, as well as their highly anticipated tenth studio album. A couple of excerpts from the chat can be read below.
Metallica’s Orion Music Festival will take place in Atlantic City on June 23 and 24, and boosts one of the most diverse lineups of any festivals on the planet; from Metallica to Modest Mouse. Hammett explained that the event was inspired by decades of touring Europe. “After playing these festivals for 20 years or so it’s shown us that heavy metal bands and regular rock bands and alternative bands and whatever else can co-exist together. And that’s pretty much what we’re trying to do with our festival — a European type of bill, but in America.”
The diversity of the bands chosen for the lineup reflects on the individual tastes of each Metallica member. “What happened was we got a long list of bands who were available, and we just kind of picked and chose. And made sure that whoever we picked was someone we actually like. [laughs]”
Hammett proceeded to rattle off a few of the bands he is most looking forward to seeing. “I’m really excited to see Ghost…I’m excited about Arctic Monkeys, I’m excited about Avenged Sevenfold, The Gaslight Anthem, Cage the Elephant, Best Coast, Gary Clark Jr. — who I think is just a tremendous guitar player — The Sword, Suicidal Tendencies, Kyng, Red Fang and Soul Rebels Brass Band, who we played with in December. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Also featured at the Orion Festival will be the bands ‘lifestyle tents.’ “…we also have these lifestyle tents that are kind of based on our own individual interests,” Hammett explained. “James is having a car show, Lars is having a movie festival type thing, Rob is having a skate and surf thing and I have Kirk’s Crypt, which is kind of like a haunted house type thing.”
In a previous interview with Rolling Stone, Metallica bassist Robert Trujilo reported that Hammett had amassed 300 riffs for the bands next album. However, Hammett told Guitar World that Trujilo’s estimates were inaccurate. “I’m probably closer to 400 now. [laughs] But you know, out of those 400, there might only be 20 great riffs. It’d be something if all 400 were triple-A, diamond-rated ideas, but that’s just not the case. Never was and never will be.”
In the same Rolling Stone interview, frontman James Hetfield confirmed that he had written more than 800 riffs for the album. “James might have 800 riffs, but there’s maybe 12 songs in there,” Hammett said. “Who knows? It all depends on what we do with it.”
Metallica plan on putting all their riffs together come the end of the festival season. “In the fall, we plan on concentrating a little more on writing songs and doing nothing else but just thinking about the new album. That should be interesting.”