One of the highlights of Metallica’s shows has been watching guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo break from the band, turn the spotlight onto themselves, and perform a cover song. In the band’s set lists this is shown as “Kirk/Rob Doodle.”
They usually tailor the songs to respective cities by interpreting a song by a local artist, and sometimes it’s a song that tosses all preconceived notions aside. In Winnipeg, they played BTO’s “Takin’ Care of Business.” In Stockholm, they did, “Dancing Queen.” So maybe it comes as no surprise that Hammett is now hinting that a solo album might be in the cards for him.
Hammett told Metal Hammer magazine, “I have so much material sitting around that’s obviously not Metallica stuff, and that pile gets bigger and bigger.” He said that the timing might not be right now, but the day is not far away. “I still feel I have so much to give Metallica. When that feels more complete, maybe I’ll think about doing that other stuff.”
Given how Hammett steps outside the Metallica confines during his solo spotlight, what should the fans expect in a solo LP? He said: “It would not look like a metal album at all. It’ll be something so weird and far-ranging in styles.” Hammett also indicated that as far as solo albums go, he might not be the only band member to go that route: “I wouldn’t be surprised if all of us did some solo, independent, autonomous sort of thing. I think it’s healthy, and if anything, when you come back to the band, you’d come back with more enthusiasm. It’d feel like going on a little camping trip, and it’s always good to come back home to a nice warm bed!”
The solo route is not something new for Hammett. In a 2008 interview with Rolling Stone, he said that he contemplated going solo during the making of ‘St. Anger.’ At that time, the band members were struggling with their own issues, including James Hetfield’s stay at rehab. “Honestly, I was ready to start working on a solo album,” he said. “I had a bunch of music I was sitting on. I was going to ask Lars [Ulrich, Metallica drummer] to play drums on it.”
In the same RS interview, Hammett said that he had delved in various different musical styles: “I’ve played a lot of jazz and blues in my spare time,” he continued, “I listen to Tal Farlow, Kenny Burrell, Elmore James and Buddy Guy. A solo album would be very rounded, as far as styles of guitar.” Contemplating the future he said, “What am I going to do when I’m 70 years old and I’m sitting on the porch with a guitar? Play ‘Seek & Destroy’? I love riffing on UFO songs for half an hour. But then I’ll lean over to the amp, switch to a clean channel and play some bossa nova or Robert Johnson.”
Metallica kicked off the 2018/2019 U.S. leg of the “WorldWired” arena tour on September 2. The band is continuing to tour in support of its latest album, ‘Hardwired… To Self-Destruct,’ which arrived in November 2016.