METALLICA's KIRK HAMMETT goes solo with 'Portals' instrumental EP
METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett has recorded “Portals”, a four-song instrumental EP, and will be celebrating Record Store Day with its worldwide release exclusively at local independent retailers and in the Met Store on Saturday, April 23. Available across digital platforms, on CD, and as an ocean blue vinyl EP (including a download card), you’ll be able to pick up a copy at your friendly local record store that day or place an order on Metallica.com to be delivered to your front door just as soon as the postman can get there.
Says Hammett: “Initially, before I even had the idea for a solo EP, I was inspired by the need to create some sort of soundtrack music to accompany The Kirk Hammett Collection for the first ‘It’s Alive’ exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, 2017. I wanted to conceive music to play on a loop in the background as people walked through the exhibit. I sat down one night with a progression, and before I knew it, all the parts were there for ‘Maiden And The Monster’.
“The initial concept for ‘Portals’ started with that one song. Following that, I realized I could create different soundtrack moments. These songs are what I call ‘audio cinematic’; I’m creating sounds and pieces of music for the movies playing in my head. Hopefully they’ll create movies in other people’s heads in a similar fashion.“
True to its title, “Portals” is a collection of gateways to musical and psychic destinations. Recorded around the world, from Los Angeles to Paris to Oahu, “Portals” is the result of Kirk’s life’s journeys and an invitation to tap into your own inner world. Heavily influenced by classical music, soundtracks, horror movies, and maybe a little Ennio Morricone, Kirk wanted the EP to span the decades and touch upon all the horror he loves. The idea behind the EP was to have all the songs flow into each other, so he relied on a whole cast of his friends to record the four songs.
Produced by Kirk, “Portals” is comprised of the songs “Maiden And The Monster” and “The Jinn” on side A, followed by “High Plains Drifter” and “The Incantation” on side B. The latter two were co-written with Edwin Outwater, whom you may remember from “S&M²”. Outwater also contributed keyboards and led the orchestral players from the LA Philharmonic on “Portals”.
Other familiar names amongst the “Portals” players include drummers Jon Theodore (Kirk’s fellow WEDDING BAND member) and Abraham Laboriel, Greg Fidelman on bass, Emmy-winning arranger Blake Neely and Bob Rock.
“Portals” will be available to order on the Met Store and the Probity U.K. shop on Saturday, April 23.
Born in San Francisco in November 1962, Hammett quickly found himself obsessed with watching monster movies and reading books and comics. Transitioning through his teenage years meant taking up guitar and teaching himself how to play by ear for hours on end.
In 1979, Hammett named and founded the metal band EXODUS. After recording a three-song demo in 1982, Hammett was called out to New York to audition for METALLICA, and by the time “Kill ‘Em All” was released in July of 1983, he was officially part of the METALLICA plan for world domination. Adding his style and passion into the mix helped define and shape the sound of METALLICA as they grew into the band they are now, and Hammett’s solos and signature licks have inspired a legion of musicians young and old.
From Hammett’s early sonic experiences with a guitar out of a Montgomery Ward store catalog special, progressing to hitting Hendrix vibes with a ’78 Fender Stratocaster, then moving on professionally to Gibson Flying Vs and Les Pauls, and customized ESPs. It goes without saying that Hammett is a guitar geek and has an affinity for anything with six strings including his 1985 Jackson Randy Rhoads Flying V or a frequently played Gibson 59 Les Paul Standard that once belonged to the immortal genius of both Peter Green and Gary Moore — affectionately known and celebrated worldwide as “Greeny.” Now as METALLICA celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2021, Hammett is ready to let those strings shine once again.