METALLICA's KIRK HAMMETT: I've Been Obsessed With Horror For A Long Time

Kenny Herzog of The A.V. Club recently conducted an interview with METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett about Kirk's book, "Too Much Horror Business - The Kirk Hammett Collection". A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

The A.V. Club: You got hooked on horror after hurting yourself and catching "The Day Of The Triffids" while recuperating. Would you say being a horror buff usually coincides with an indoor-kid personality?

Kirk Hammett: Getting sequestered and not really knowing what to do with your time and then discovering, "Oh, I can watch a bunch of horror movies" has probably played out in a lot of people's discovery of horror. For me, one of the most perfect times to watch a horror movie is when it's cold and raining outside and there's pretty much no outdoor activity to be done. It kind of sets the mood.

The A.V. Club: Do you see a parallel between loving these movies that slowly gained a cult following and being in METALLICA, which developed mainstream recognition very gradually?

Kirk Hammett: Yeah, it kind of happens over a lot of artistic genres. People sometimes just need time to catch up to what other people's artistic endeavors might be. A lot of times, it's not the easiest thing to ask a person to digest something that they've never been in contact with before. I think horror films are no different in that regard. That happens often. Look at Van Gogh. He died poor. His paintings sell for $100 million, but at the time, no one really knew what to expect. It was so radically different from anything anyone had ever done, and I think that holds true for a lot of horror movies too, and music. When people are confronted with something they've never seen before, they really don't know how to react.

The A.V. Club: Because of how public your life with METALLICA has been, is it important to have this collection as a sanctuary?

Kirk Hammett: Definitely. For years, I told people this is the thing I do other than music. And it's true. I've been obsessed with music for a long time, but I've been obsessed with this stuff for a long time, and it's a nice thing to have as an alternative place of refuge mentally and artistically that I can run to whenever I feel burnt out from the whole METALLICA thing. The fruits of my collecting are so great now that that's why I'm putting out this book. One day I turned around and I thought, "Oh my God, I have to share this with people," because it's grown into a monumental collection of stuff. It would be a shame for me to not let other people see it.

The A.V. Club: Have you considered following Rob Zombie's lead and making the jump into actually directing horror movies?

Kirk Hammett: I'd still like to think I have a lot of time left to do whatever I want to do. Now that I'm actually going above ground and establishing myself as a big horror guy. Because for the longest time, it was very personal and private, but my collection has forced me to become overt about it. So now I'm seeing where this all leads me. I have a lot of options in front of me, and I have an interest in film. We'll just see where it goes. I would not rule out any of that. Over the years, I've stockpiled a lot of different ideas, so we'll just see which ones I choose to act on.

Read the entire interview from The A.V. Club.


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