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Metallica Guitarist ‘Bored’ Recording Landmark Album

Kirk Hammett
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Metallica’s third album, 1986’s Master Of Puppets, is regularly cited as the band’s finest hour and was recently voted “Greatest Heavy Metal Album of All Time” by the readers of Rolling Stone magazine. But lead guitarist Kirk Hammett told the magazine that he was mostly “bored” during the making of this hard rock landmark. Hammett explained, “At the time, we were just making another album. We had no idea it would have such a range of influence that it went on to have. It was the first time that we could spend time in the studio and work on guitar sounds for a couple of days, really experiment with different sounds and overdubs . . . and I played a lot of poker with (late bassist) Cliff Burton in the studio. We’d just play poker, wait for Lars (Ulrich, drummer) to finish a track — which would sometimes be days — and we’d be bored.”

Hammett added that Burton, who died in a tour bus crash just six months after the album came out, was a “pretty good poker player. But if he lost too much, he’d get pissed and start swearing and get up and walk away. He was a little bit of a sore loser when he wasn’t winning.”

Hammett spoke with Rolling Stone to promote this week’s publication of Too Much Horror Business: The Kirk Hammett Collection, a coffee table book featuring over 300 photos of Hammett’s extensive horror memorabilia archives.

Hammett, who figures he has the second most extensive collection in the world, began his hobby at the age of six — years before he picked up a guitar.

Among his many treasures are Frankenstein masks, models of Japanese monsters Rodan and Ghidorah, vintage film posters from films like The Day Of The Triffids and The Mummy, and much more.

Hammett said about the book, “I put my heart and soul into this book, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out . . . It really has been a labor of love, and I’m just very proud of it.”

As for Metallica’s timetable for recording a follow-up to 2008’s Death Magnetic album, Hammett said, “Right now, we’re kind of preoccupied with dealing with this 3D movie that we shot up in Canada last month . . . But once we’re done with that, we’re going to start hunkering down and putting riffs together. That’s all going to happen soon.”

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