Kirk Hammett
American musician
Kirk Hammett
Kirk Lee Hammett is the lead guitarist and a songwriter in the heavy metal band Metallica and has been a member of the band since 1983. Before joining Metallica he formed and named the band Exodus. In 2003, Hammett was ranked 11th on Rolling Stone's list of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. In 2009, Hammett was ranked number 15 in Joel McIver's book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists.
Kirk Hammett's personal information overview.
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Metallica guitarist self-destructs over loss of riffs - 3 months
LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. rock group Metallica's new album, 'Hardwired... to Self-Destruct', could be their best ever, according to bassist Robert Trujillo, but guitarist Kirk Hammett will always be left feeling something was missing.
Article Link: article
World spared new Metallica album after guitarist Kirk Hammett loses iPhone containing 250 riffs
The Independent - almost 2 years
Metallica's recording plans have been derailed somewhat after guitarist Kirk Hammett lost his iPhone containing hundreds of new ideas, only about eight of which he can remember.
Article Link:
The Independent article
THAT METAL SHOW: This Week’s Episode To Feature Epic Jam Session With Kirk Hammett and Michael Schenker
Icon vs. Icon - almost 2 years
Episode 9 of season 14 of VH1 Classic’s centerpiece in original programming “That Metal Show” marks another first for the critically acclaimed talk show. Ever since Kirk Hammett first picked up the electric guitar he dreamed of jamming one day with Michael Schenker. Well TMS makes it happen and the world’s most recognized heavy metal guitarist, Kirk […]
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Icon vs. Icon article
Metallica's monster maven
San Francisco Chronicle - about 3 years
Kirk Hammett, the Metallica guitarist and horror movie memorabilia junkie, is bringing his two passions together at the first Fear FestEvil (yes, Evil). The two-day event, which takes place next weekend at San Francisco's Regency Ballroom, will feature rare film artifacts from his personal collection, an assortment of vendors and old-school thrash metal acts, including Hammett's former band, Exodus. Between the Grammys and festival appearances, how did you find the time to fit a mini-festival into your schedule? Metallica had these two music festivals last year in New York where we wanted to share our personal interests with our fans. Mine was Kirk's Crypt, which was basically an extension of my book ("Too Much Horror Business"). Do you trust your fans not to breathe on anything wrong? Aidin Vaziri is The San Francisco Chronicle's pop music critic.
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San Francisco Chronicle article
Metallica's Kirk Hammett Promises 'Insane' Grammy Performance
Rolling Stone - about 3 years
At this year's Grammy Awards Metallica will play their song "One" with Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang and the band is hard at work preparing for that moment "It's gonna be completely insane" guitarist Kirk Hammett tells Rolling Stone from his home in San Francisco "Lang Lang has interjected himself...
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Rolling Stone article
The Enduring Legacy of Stevie Ray Vaughan
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Having sneaked backstage at a C.W. Post College concert on Long Island in 1979, my buddies and I furtively moved around the backstage area, not wanting to attract any attention and look like we belonged. We did not want to get kicked out. Trying to appear as if we were deep in appropriate backstage conversation, we looked over and there was the target of our admiration and backstage list shenanigans, Stevie Ray Vaughan (SRV) on a pay phone, deep in conversation. He wore the hat, slung low over his eyes and when he finally hung up (it seemed like forever as we waited) and walked our way, his sparkly eyes fixed upon us and he said, "How y'all?" We chattered like excited schoolgirls in his wake and to this day, have a story for the ages. There are lots of grizzled rock 'n rollers like me with stories like that about Stevie Ray. He was that kind of guitarist: part Hendrix, part Clapton, part B.B. King and had oh so many influences. Jeff Beck, Albert King, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, ...
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Huffington Post article
Metallica 'Dances' With New Material For 10th Album: 'We've Got A lot Of The Basic Stuff Waded Through'
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich says they've had a few "dances" with new material and have been grading parts to potentially be used for songs for their tenth album. He calls their writing process "peculiar." The legendary metal band, which has sold 110 million albums worldwide over 30 years, hasn't released a studio album since 2008's "Death Magnetic" and that came five years after "St. Anger." It will likely be seven years between albums by the time this new album comes out. Paired up separately to do interviews for their 3D movie, "Metallica: Through The Never", singer James Hetfield and guitarist Kirk Hammett are less revealing than Ulrich. Hetfield says they need a concentrated time period to really buckle down. "Writing music is somewhat important to us," he understates, smiling. "We focus. Focus." "That's the plan," adds Hammett. "We'll start writing the album. We were supposed to start last year [laughs] but there you have it; we'll see how it goes." Ulrich, who is tea ...
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Huffington Post article
Is Metallica Getting Into The Sports Game?
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
SAN FRANCISCO -- Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo sure could get used to this: a tour of sorts, with stops at the Bay Area's professional and college sporting venues. Or even some travel to ballparks and arenas beyond Northern California. AT&T Park was a nice start Friday night as the reigning World Series champion Giants hosted the rival Los Angeles Dodgers for the first time this year. "What's special about this is you can actually merge the two worlds together," Trujillo said. "I feel that music is such an inspirational form of energy, as baseball is. And especially with Metallica, believe it or not, our shows are very physical. Sports is a very physical thing, too." Whether Trujillo's idea really takes off, time will tell – though he is already hoping for an Oakland Raiders game across the bay down the road. "We'll see, maybe the Raiders are around the corner, you never know," Trujillo said. "I think we could be starting something here. Maybe this t ...
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Huffington Post article
Summer Music Festival Preview
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Coachella and Lollapalooza are sold out. Bonnaroo's nearly there, too. But eager fans need only be patient: Wait a few years and chances are you'll have a star-studded music festival of your own within driving distance. New music festivals are popping up more quickly than you can count in the U.S. As the summer festival season gets under way this week with the sprawling Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival down in the desert in Indio, Calif., some of the most successful promoters in the scene are looking ahead to next year and beyond when they'll launch new ventures in untapped markets. "I do think that there's really plenty of opportunities for people to create some great festival experiences," said Ashley Capps, a co-founder of the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn. "In fact, I think in many ways the audience in America is just now starting to fully embrace festival culture." After a disastrous run when festivals d ...
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Huffington Post article
Binky Philips: Binky's Revenge: My Own Damned Most Influential Guitarists List!
Huffington Post - over 4 years
I have long had a love/hate relationship with The Top 10 (20, 50, 100) All Time Guitarist lists. As in, I love to see how much hatred and rage they can generate in my arrogant pedantic know-it-all bile-soaked soul. It is absolutely guaranteed that at some point, a guy who doesn't belong within a fer-piece of any list will be ranked far above a Giant, and I'll want to tear the heads off the dolts who had the temerity to write/publish such tripe. So, in that spirit, I've decided to have my head torn off. I've been writing for Huffington Post since June of 2010 and it only occurred to me last week, Hey, I have a forum! I can make my own damn list. Oh, boy! Oh, boy! [Check my archive... I have plenty of posts about plenty of the guitarists mentioned in this one.] You are about to embark on a journey (sorry, no Neil Schon) into the mind of a Total Dick when it comes to the subject of (guitars and) guitar players. It's simple, really... I know more than you. Nyaaaah Nyaaah ...
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Huffington Post article
Kirk Hammett releasing horror collection book
3 News - over 4 years
Metallica star Kirk Hammett is set to show off his vast collection of horror memorabilia in a new book.
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3 News article
Bigger is better
Asbury Park Press - over 4 years
'We like things that are big,' Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett said. 'But we also like things that are interesting.
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Asbury Park Press article
ArtsBeat: Kirk Hammett, Guitarist for Metallica, Talks About His Beloved Marshalls
NYTimes - almost 5 years
Kirk Hammett talks about his fondness for Marshall amplifiers. Jim Marshall, who invented them, died on Thursday.
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Kirk Hammett Joined EXODUS On Stage Last Night
Metal Injection - about 5 years
Of all the members of Metallica, I would probably want to hang out with Kirk the most. Mostly because he's a professed pothead, but also because he seems like the most down to earth member. If you asked me a few years ago, it would have been Jaymz, but at this point I don't know. ...
Article Link:
Metal Injection article
Lou Reed & Metallica's Collab “Lulu” Set on November 1st Release Date - Donewaiting
Google News - over 5 years
Metallica -singer/guitarist James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich, guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Rob Trujillo – played with Reed on Velvet Underground classics “Sweet Jane” and “White Light/White Heat.” “We knew from then that we were made for each ... - -
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Google News article
Gimme some of that plinky-plonk music - Irish Times
Google News - over 5 years
Even Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett (pictured) has said that when his son was born, he played him the jewellery-box version rather than the rabid riffing of Enter Sandman. This writer should confess that her son owns T-shirts bearing images of The
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Google News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Kirk Hammett
  • 2015
    Age 52
    In April, 2015, Hammett admitted to losing his phone - which contained 250 new "ideas" for Metallica's upcoming studio release.
    More Details Hide Details The incident happened about six months prior to the admission (around November 2014). The phone wasn't backed up and Hammett can only remember eight out of the 250 "ideas" he had. On the subject, Hammett said: He also appeared on the Kichigai E.P. by punk band Septic Death. He played additional lead guitar on the title track. Hammett can be seen in the background in Primus' "John the Fisherman" video fishing off of Les Claypool's boat. Hammett has been friends with Primus bassist and lead vocalist Les Claypool since childhood. Claypool even auditioned for Metallica after the tragic death of Cliff Burton. Hammett played guitar on the track "Satan" with Orbital for the Spawn: The Album soundtrack released in July 1997.
  • 2014
    Age 51
    In 2014, Hammett purchased the 1959 Les Paul formerly used by Gary Moore and Peter Green; using it on tour when playing the Thin Lizzy cover: "Whiskey in the Jar".
    More Details Hide Details Throughout Metallica's career, Hammett has used a range of different amplifiers. For the first two albums, he used Marshall amplifiers and cabinets, with occasional effects. For the recording of Metallica's third album, Master of Puppets (1986), he and James Hetfield bought a Mesa/Boogie MarkIIC+ amplifier, and used Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier heads. Even when he made his move Randall Amplifiers in 2007, he still used Mesa/Boogie amps in his setup, and still does to this day. He currently uses 2 rackmounted Dual Rectifier 2-channel heads in tandem with his Randalls. In September 2007, Randall Amplifiers announced a partnership with Hammett to design a line of signature amps, heads, combos and preamp modules. In December 2011, it was announced by Fortin Amps that they would team up with Randall to start a new line of tube amps based on the Fortin Meathead amplifier. Hammett is currently using a prototype of the amp that he used for the Big 4 show at Yankee Stadium and for all of the shows in India and Asia, and was recently sent a second prototype.
  • 2012
    Age 49
    On October 1, 2012, Abrams Image published Hammett's first book, Too Much Horror Business (a collection of photos detailing Hammett's lifelong love of monster movies and horror memorabilia).
    More Details Hide Details Hammett has said that the book is "basically" all of the horror memorabilia he has managed to amass over the last 30 years. In an interview with Guitar World, Hammett said that he has such a huge horror collection and thought it was the right time to share it with everyone. The 228 page hardcover features more than 300 images of Hammett's horror collection. Among these images are the costumes from the Bela Lugosi movies White Zombie and The Black Cat (which also starred Boris Karloff), original movie posters (ranging from Nosferatu to Hellraiser), rare horror-themed toys (including the 'Great Garloo' and 'Frankenstein Tricky Walkers'), movie props (including the 'Dr. Tongue' zombie from George Romero's Day of the Dead, original Basil Gogos 'Famous Monsters', and fantasy paintings by the late Frank Frazetta. In addition to the images from Hammett's horror collection, Too Much Horror Business contains three conversations with the guitarist about his childhood, the nature of his horror collection, and the connection between Metallica's music and horror movies. On the book, Hammett has been quoted saying:
  • 2011
    Age 48
    In 2011, Hammett appeared in an episode of Jon Benjamin Has a Van as an actor and guitarist.
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  • 2010
    Age 47
    In 2010, Hammett played with Nicolas Abou Chedid on Chedid's solo album.
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  • 2008
    Age 45
    After performing a set with Metallica at Bonnaroo in June 2008, Hammett played one song with My Morning Jacket and a couple songs with the annual Superjam collaboration, which also included Les Claypool and members of Gogol Bordello playing primarily Tom Waits songs.
    More Details Hide Details Hammett is one of the main characters in Guitar Hero: Metallica, along with the rest of the current line-up of Metallica.
    On the 25th anniversary of Metallica's debut album Kill 'Em All,Hammett appears on the cover of Feb. 2008's Guitar World sporting his new custom ESP.
    More Details Hide Details This model is the KH20, the 20th anniversary model from ESP. Guitar World – Covers Archive In the video for "One", Hammett is seen using what is most likely an ESP Vintage Plus. It appears however to be modified; it has a Floyd Rose tremolo, which could have been Hammett's own work or a custom model.
  • 2007
    Age 44
    In 2007, ESP Guitar Company announced the release of a 20th Anniversary Limited KH-20 Guitar to celebrate 20 years of relationship with Hammett (based on the KH-2 guitar with some modification).
    More Details Hide Details Only 41 guitars were in production, with the price at US$9,999 a piece. In January 2009, ESP also announced the rare release of Hammett's famous "ouija" guitar, which was very limited and for 2009 only. Kirk Hammett's tour guitars:
  • 2006
    Age 43
    He appeared as a guest guitarist on K'Naan's 2006 song "If Rap Gets Jealous" off of the Troubadour album.
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    In 2006, Hammett voiced himself on The Simpsons ("The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer").
    More Details Hide Details He also provided various voices on the Adult Swim show Metalocalypse, including a two fingered fan ("The Curse of Dethklok"), The Queen of Denmark ("Happy Dethday"), and a Finnish barkeep ("Dethtroll"). Hammett also appeared as a guest in an episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast titled "Jacksonville", alongside fellow Metallica member James Hetfield.
  • 2001
    Age 38
    Hammett previously worked with Santana in 2001 at a live show benefit in San Francisco.
    More Details Hide Details Metallica had also invited Santana into the studio while recording St. Anger.
  • 1996
    Age 33
    Hammett plays a guitar solo on Pansy Division's song Headbanger which appears on the ep "For Those About to Suck Cock" Lookout Records 1996
    More Details Hide Details In 2005, Hammett was featured playing the guitar roles on the Carlos Santana track "Trinity" alongside steel-pedal guitarist, Robert Randolph. Santana personally asked Hammett to contribute to his then-upcoming album All That I Am.
  • 1990
    Age 27
    Hammett has been married twice. His first marriage to Rebecca lasted 3 years, having ended in 1990, during the recording of The Black Album.
    More Details Hide Details Hammett has been married to his second wife Lani since 1998. They have two sons, Angel (b. September 29, 2006), and Vincenzo (b. June 28, 2008). He and his family reside in San Francisco. In addition to playing guitar and collecting horror memorabilia, Hammett's hobbies include reading comic books and surfing. At one point in his life, Hammett spent a "lot of money" on drugs. Hammett has said that he used drugs because he thought they would be fun. During the Damaged Justice tour, he had a cocaine addiction. Hammett eventually pulled out of the addiction because cocaine made him feel depressed, but relapsed during the Load era. One of the reasons that Hammett spends a lot of money on comic books, is because he finds them to be a more enjoyable (and healthier) alternative to drugs. Hammett has also smoked heroin a few times, but "didn't like it".
  • 1986
    Age 23
    In 1986, during the band's European leg of their tour to support Master of Puppets, Hammett and bassist Cliff Burton had a dispute over sleeping arrangements on the band's tour bus.
    More Details Hide Details The outcome of the dispute was decided by a card draw, which Burton won by picking the Ace of Spades. Once the draw was completed, Burton looked at Hammett and said "I want your bunk", to which Hammett complied, saying that he might be able to sleep better in the front of the bus anyway. In the early hours of the following morning, Metallica's tour bus slid off the road and overturned in Sweden. Burton was thrown through the window of the bus, which fell on top of Burton and subsequently killed him. Hammett has stated in an interview that he once thought that it easily could've been him who was killed instead, since Burton was sleeping in what was considered to be Hammett's bunk. Between the end of touring (and promoting) the Black Album and the start of touring in promotion of Load, he studied at San Francisco State University, focusing on Film and Asian arts. Hammett went through a "blues period" around this time - which had some influence on Metallica's Load and Reload albums. He also began listening to a lot of jazz music. Hammett described this period of his life as "great education", because he was able to discover where all of his own rock influences had gotten their own guitar licks. However, even though jazz music had a profound effect on his improvisation skills and solos, Hammett felt that he was delving too deep into the genre.
  • 1982
    Age 19
    Hammett named Exodus after the Leon Uris novel of the same name, and played on the band's 1982 Demo. Exodus was an influential band in the Bay Area thrash movement. In May 1983, Metallica traveled to Rochester, New York to record its debut album, Metal Up Your Ass.
    More Details Hide Details Due to the lead guitarist's (Dave Mustaine) substance abuse and violent tendencies, he was fired from the band. Hammett received a phone call from Metallica the same afternoon. Even though he had never left California before, Hammett gathered some money together and flew out to New York for an audition. As soon as Hammett arrived in New York, he was instantly asked to join the band. All of this happened prior to the recording of Kill 'Em All. At the time, Hammett was taking private lessons from guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani. He was also a member of Exodus at the time he was offered to join Metallica, and although the offer may have came as a surprise to him, he was already well acquainted with Metallica. While in Exodus, Hammett shared the stage with Metallica on more than one occasion. After being fired from Metallica and replaced by Hammett, Mustaine went on to form the band Megadeth. Hammett has written a number of riffs for Metallica since Ride the Lightning (the band's second album). One of his riffs was used on "Enter Sandman" - which went on to become one of Metallica's most popular songs. It was the first track and first single on Metallica's self-titled Black Album and was ranked 399th on Rolling Stones list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The bridge for "Creeping Death" was originally an Exodus riff that Hammett took with him to Metallica.
  • 1979
    Age 16
    Hammett's musical interests eventually drew him into the fledgling thrash metal genre. In 1979, he formed the band Exodus at the age of sixteen, along with vocalist Paul Baloff, guitarist Gary Holt, bassist Geoff Andrews, and drummer Tom Hunting.
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  • 1978
    Age 15
    After purchasing a 1978 Fender Stratocaster copy, Hammett attempted to customize his sound with various guitar parts, before eventually buying a 1974 Gibson Flying V.
    More Details Hide Details Hammett also took a job at Burger King as a youth before quitting once he saved enough money to purchase a Marshall amplifier.
  • 1962
    Hammett was born on November 18, 1962 in San Francisco, and raised in the town of El Sobrante, California.
    More Details Hide Details He is the son of Teofila "Chefela" (née Oyao) and Dennis L. Hammett (a Merchant Marine). His mother is of Filipino descent and his father was of part Irish ancestry. He attended De Anza High School in Richmond, California. While attending De Anza High School, he met Les Claypool of Primus, and they remain close friends. Hammett has a well-known passion for horror movies; that stretches back to the late Sixties. After spraining his arm in a fight with his sister at the age of five, Hammett’s parents placed him in front of the television. It was during this time that he first watched The Day of the Triffids. After that, Hammett found himself drawn to his brother’s Frankenstein figures, and it wasn’t long before he was spending his milk money on horror magazines. For the better part of the next decade, Hammett dove deep into the horror scene.
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