Metallica Guitarist Kirk Hammett’s Biggest Regret That Overshadowed 15 Years Of His Life

Feyyaz Ustaer

During a revealing Q&A with Kerrang in 2020, Kirk gave us a deeper look into his life, sharing everything from his biggest life regret to the backstory of Metallica’s iconic ‘The Black Album.’

The guitarist revealed that quitting alcohol was a hard choice he had to make while he was still enjoying it. In hindsight, he expressed he would’ve liked to drop the habit much sooner if he could.

On the creation of ‘The Black Album,’ Kirk stated:

“As we were wrapping up the Damaged Justice tour back in 1989, we were already bouncing new musical ideas off each other. That’s when the ‘Sad But True’ riff was born. Our then-bassist, Jason Newsted, had really melded with us, and we had grown into a more cohesive band during that tour. We were feeling good and ready to make another powerful statement in music. Around this time, MTV and radio had started playing our music, and the mainstream media was catching on. Everything was falling into place.”

Turning toward more personal matters, Kirk opened up about his past struggles with alcohol that affected his life for about 15 years:

“If I could rewind time, I would’ve quit drinking a good 10 or 15 years earlier. I won’t lie, there was a time when I relished my wild, alcohol-fueled adventures. But then the tables turned, and alcohol became more of a foe than a friend.

Each drink I took seemed to do more harm than good, moving me further away from enjoyment and relaxation. That’s the catch with alcohol – if you’re not careful, it can suddenly turn things upside down.”

Sharing more about this chapter of his life, Metallica star added:

“I used to party all night after shows for decades. Then I’d return to my hotel room, play guitar for hours, and the next day, I’d draw a blank. I’d look at my recordings and think, ‘What’s all this?’ But since quitting alcohol, now when I play, I remember everything.

I can pick up where I left off the previous night. I still see myself evolving as a musician, and I appreciate having a clear mind and a strong bond with my music and my instrument. I just wish I’d arrived at this point earlier in life. But, as they say, everything happens for a reason.”

Want to read the original interview? Click here.

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