Metallica's Kirk Hammett Reflects On The Black Album: "Those Songs Feel As Recent And Contemporary As Ever To Me"

Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett explains why the Black Album doesn't feel as old as it actually is

Metallica's Kirk Hammett Reflects On The Black Album: "Those Songs Feel As Recent And Contemporary As Ever To Me"

Today, August 12, 2020, marks the 29th anniversary of Metallica’s self-titled record – aka The Black Album.

Packing such anthems as Enter Sandman, Nothing Else Matters, Sad But True and The Unforgiven into its staggering tracklist, the thrash icons’ fifth full-length sent them stratospheric and cemented them as the biggest heavy metal band of all time.

But despite the record celebrating the big 2-9 today, to guitarist Kirk Hammett, it feels like it was released only yesterday…

“It’s the anniversary already!? Twenty-nine years – it really has been that long! But it doesn’t feel like it,” he jokes, when Kerrang! mention the anniversary.

“We played Sad But True for the Drive-In show recording, and we rocked it like we always have. We played Nothing Else Matters, Sandman, and it still feels as good to play as it ever has. Those songs feel as recent and contemporary as ever to me. When we play that stuff, it doesn’t feel like I’m stuck in 1991, you know?”

READ THIS: The 20 greatest Metallica songs – ranked

He continues: “It doesn’t feel like that album is 29 years old, because I’ve never really had any time away from those songs. Our audiences have, and other people outside the band have, but when we write songs, they become part of our musical life, they’re always in the background. And especially when you have songs that are really popular with us, or the audience, they’re just kind of always there, they don’t ever really go away.

“I guess it doesn’t feel that old because we see them day in, day out. We play them every night on tour. It’s almost like seeing a family member ever day, and it’s hard to see the change over time – you don’t realise how old they’re getting! And they still sound brand new, they don’t sound 29 years old to me. It’s not like something from the ‘60s sounded to me when we made that album!”

As noted by Kirk, Metallica are gearing up for their first show of 2020, which will be aired exclusively in drive-in theatres across North America later this month. Those who buy tickets for the show will receive four digital downloads of Metallica’s upcoming S&M2 album, which is due out on August 28 via Blackened Recordings.

Pre-sale begins via Metallica’s Fifth Member fan club on August 12, while general sale kicks off on August 14.

READ THIS: Every Metallica album ranked from worst to best

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