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KIRK HAMMETT Explains Why He Likes His "Lux Æterna" Solo

"I don't want to listen to exercises and warm-ups every time I hear a song."

Kirk Hammett
Photo by Brett Murray

Metallica announced their new album 72 Seasons with the brief thrasher of a single "Lux Æterna", which as everything modern Metallica does, drew some criticism.

Some fans called out Kirk Hammett's solo in the song for feeling improvised and just generally not being that technical. In an interview with Total Guitar, Hammett concedes that "my fucking friends down the street could probably play a better solo than 'Lux Æterna' — but what's the point?" before adding that "For me, what's appropriate is playing for the song and playing in the moment."

Hammett later added he doesn't feel the need to write this big, technical solo, and instead wants to improvise solos that don't sound like "exercises and warm-ups" on guitar.

"I was just laughing the whole time. I could string together like six or seven three-octave arpeggios in 16th notes, sit there every day and practice it and go, 'Hey, look what I can do!' but where am I gonna put it? That won't work in any Metallica song. Arpeggios? Come on! In a guitar solo, mapped out like a lot of people do, four or five chords with a different arpeggio over each one? It sounds like an exercise. I don't want to listen to exercises and warm-ups every time I hear a song."

Hammett recently voiced his discontent over having to play the "Master Of Puppets" solo note-for-note every single show, saying he doesn't "view them as solos anymore; they're parts." So it's not surprising that Hammett is approaching modern Metallica solos with a sense of abandon and joy – dude gets to improvise them every single night now.

Hammett also mentioned in that same interview that the solos on 72 Seasons were all improvised, and that he pretty much let drummer Lars Ulrich and producer Greg Fidelman sort out what solos went where.

"With this album I went in intentionally to improvise 20, 30 solos, give them all to Lars and Greg, and go, 'You guys edit them!' I know I'm gonna play something completely different live. That's my thing these days and if people don't like it, that's just tough. But I can offer something a lot different than what people hear on the album, and I can offer something different every time you see Metallica."

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