James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett opened up to the Los Angeles Times about their views on remaining relevant in an industrial climate that is thriving on the past.
From the feature: In the last year, Van Halen played what might have been its final gig with singer David Lee Roth; Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister died from cancer at age 70; and the ailing Brian Johnson quit (or perhaps was fired from) AC/DC. Black Sabbath is nearing the end of what it’s calling its farewell tour.
And though a reunited Guns N’ Roses made millions of dollars visiting stadiums over the summer, the flamboyant hard-rock band that famously toured with Metallica in 1992 performed no new material in its recent shows, sticking exclusively to oldies.
“Unfortunately, they’ve turned into somewhat of a nostalgia act, which to me is kind of sad,” Hammett said.
In contrast, here’s Metallica — all four members are in their early 50s — with a fresh batch of blistering, densely composed songs that take up modern themes like global warming, artificial intelligence and the illusory nature of Internet celebrity.
“I don’t want to think we’re trying to stay young by writing new stuff, but it makes us feel relevant,” said Hetfield. “It makes us feel like we’re still progressing.”
The band is poised to release Hardwired…To Self-Destruct, determined that the project “doesn’t sound weighed down by history; it’s leaner and more immediate than Death Magnetic.”
From their official website: Less than two weeks to go now! We’ve already told you that we’ll be celebrating the release of Hardwired…To Self-Destruct with a short visit to our friends in Europe and we’re excited to report that it all kicks off in Berlin, Germany on Monday, November 14th.
Our first stop is a special appearance that is still a bit top-secret as we’ve been asked to keep the details under wraps for just a few more days. But we want you to be there with us!