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Kirk Hammet Talks About Eastern Vibe In New Metallica Album

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METALLICA started recording its ninth studio LP in Los Angeles this week. According to the band's site, this is the first time METALLICA has recorded outside of the Bay Area since they spent "an eternity" at One on One Studios recording their 1991 self-titled release, popularly known as The Black Album.

In the latest issue of the METALLICA Club (the group's official fan club) members-only magazine "So What!", guitarist Kirk Hammett was asked if there are any common musical themes running through the 14 songs the band is recording for its new effort. "There is a really unusual theme that's working its way into the music," he replied. "I'm not really sure how to react to it. Maybe it's someone else trying to tell us that we should react to it, but a lot of the music has an eastern harmonic flair to it, a harmonic minor flair to it, and when I say harmonic minor, that could be construed as like eastern sounding or Middle Eastern sounding or maybe Arabic? I don't know if it's just the zeitgeist, a sign of the times, or maybe because like, you know, Middle Eastern culture is so prevalent, or maybe the negative things about Middle Eastern culture. Maybe artists are conscious, just want to shine light on the positive aspects of Middle Eastern culture, i.e. the music. But there's passages that sound, that use harmonic minor and dominant, and those sounds are distinctly Arabic sounding or Middle Eastern sounding, and you hear them in all the songs. At the less likely times, all of a sudden they'll turn a corner and there we are, smack, right dab there in Syria or Iraq, as far as culture is concerned. We're playing notes that were played, have been played for thousands of years, that aren't born in western culture, and it's just a trip to see. And maybe I'm the first to really vocalize it, but it's just there."

Unlike the troubled, turbulent sessions for the band's last album, 2003's "St. Anger", drummer Lars Ulrich told Launch that pre-production for the new effort had a whole different vibe. "It's frighteningly tame (laughs)," he said. "The four of us show up and we hang out and we have a great time, and there are no psychiatrists in sweaters, there are no film crews, it's very much like it used to be. It's pretty mellow around here. All that 'St. Anger' stuff seems like a movie (laughs)."

The group plans to work in the studio until early June, take a break for its European tour, then finish recording in August. As for whether METALLICA will release the new album in 2007, Ulrich said, "I'd like to try and get it out this year, I hope we can get it out this year. If it doesn't come out this year, then it will be out at the very beginning of next year."

Source: Blabbermouth

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40 Comments on "Hammet Talks About Eastern Vibe In New Album"

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Anonymous Reader
1. death crush writes:

f***n metallica

# Mar 19, 2007 @ 1:09 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
2. Diamond Oz writes:

I REALLY don't like the sound of that Eastern influence!

# Mar 19, 2007 @ 1:10 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
3. efleming writes:

Yeah, good idea Kirk. Because so many of your fans are listening to sitar music. Not really a great way to make any new friends. But hey, way to expand that Al Queda fanbase!

# Mar 19, 2007 @ 1:35 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

4. deathbringer writes:

Well if it takes them back to the Black-album era Metallica it's a massive step in the right direction. At least that's when Kirk was playing the sitar (that I recall). It is an odd thing to focus on when they know everyone's got high hopes, or at least their remaining fans.

# Mar 19, 2007 @ 2:17 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
metal2death's avatar

Supporter

5. metal2death writes:

wow just wow. could it get any worse

# Mar 19, 2007 @ 2:29 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
6. dmasa writes:

people are blowin this out of proportions (or just retarded) it just means all the guitar work will be in minor harmonic such as the solo in eye of the beholder and domination by pantera which are great solos in the minor key that gives it a darker feel and has been used in a lot of metal it doesnt mean its gonna sound like f***in arabs blowin each other up music!

# Mar 19, 2007 @ 2:45 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
7. Ostracised writes:

Have any of you heard Orphaned Land? They're from Israel and they're pretty heavy, and have a definite Mid-Eastern vibe. I have my reservations about the new Metallica album (for good reason), but everything's pretty much been done musically that can be. There's only so many ways you can play the same notes before they sound stale. So adding in musical styles from other parts of the world is a sign to me that they're at least trying to NOT remake Black/Load/Reload/St. Anger. They're at least pushing their boundaries again. The real trick for any good musicians is to find a way to combine everything in a way that sounds fresh and doesn't sound like you're copying everybody else.

Now Playing: "Rescue Me" from Mercenary

# Mar 19, 2007 @ 2:50 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BoltThrower's avatar

Supporter

8. BoltThrower writes:

Eastern influence can sound good like in Rainbow's "Gates of Babylon" but I didn't care for Orphaned Land.

# Mar 19, 2007 @ 3:25 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Shmotz101's avatar

Member

9. Shmotz101 writes:

eastern influences or not,you can not get any worse than st. anger, this new cd might actually be good.

# Mar 19, 2007 @ 3:48 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
10. razor writes:

James needs to start drinking again.

# Mar 19, 2007 @ 5:02 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
11. metalhead644 writes:

i like the sound of this, take metallica to a different level, hopefully not a sh**ty one...

# Mar 19, 2007 @ 6:09 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
12. blakscorpion21 writes:

i like the eastern sound alot. should be interesting. i tried to find some indian influenced metal a while back but only found a couple bands and couldnt find anything by them except acouple sound clips. anyone know of some bands like this.

# Mar 19, 2007 @ 6:28 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
metal2death's avatar

Supporter

13. metal2death writes:

razor that is the best idea ive heard yet

# Mar 19, 2007 @ 6:45 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
thrashmania's avatar

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14. thrashmania writes:

metallica should stop wondering around music and go back to what the fans want to hear

# Mar 19, 2007 @ 10:52 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
15. The Coroner writes:

Wow, it sounds like it's gonna be 14 tracks of the first 20 seconds of Wherever I May Roam, over and over again...can't wait.

# Mar 19, 2007 @ 11:13 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
16. riku888 writes:

Sitars are from India and not the Middle East.

# Mar 20, 2007 @ 4:23 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
17. the antihippy writes:

thrashmania, that's the definition of selling out.

# Mar 20, 2007 @ 5:36 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
18. DDD writes:

Hey guys, we haven¡t heard any of it yet! Could be that the whole "eastern" thing is like 2 or 3 intros to the tune of Where ever I may roam... maybe it's not all THAT eastern. If it IS, then... oh well...

# Mar 20, 2007 @ 8:54 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Jomama's avatar

Supporter

19. Jomama writes:

Whatever it's going to sound like, I just hope this cd comes out before Chinese Democracy!

# Mar 20, 2007 @ 10:04 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
20. !Nailgun! writes:

We all know it's going to suck Rino balls.

# Mar 20, 2007 @ 12:44 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
21. DDD writes:

!Nailgun! don't crusify it just yet. Let's hear it first. IF it's similar crap than St anger or all the loads and reloads, I'll join you.

# Mar 21, 2007 @ 4:30 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
22. CrawfordTexasJingoJango writes:

Blah, blah, blah. They're just trying to create buzz. The album won't sound like ANYTHING except for dollar-bin biker-bar rock by the time it's finished. When they say "eastern influence" they mean that Kirk grew another really gay mustache.

Quit taking these dumbasses so seriously.

I quit taking Metallica seriously after the two and a half hours of orchestra garbage!

# Mar 21, 2007 @ 8:34 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Neurotictim's avatar

Supporter

23. Neurotictim writes:

^ Couldn't have said it better myself. If there are any fans left, they're going to hear a lot of "yee-haws" and they're going to hear whatever the producers told them will make money.

It's almost as if they're going, "Well, Black was okay, but we changed direction on Load, and it blew. Re-load was more of the same... so we changed direction and recorded St. Anger... which blew, so we changed direction for the new album..."

If I said some s**t like that while driving around, I'd be lost... Perhaps they ought to stop and ask for a map.

# Mar 21, 2007 @ 9:32 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
24. gravedigger3 writes:

you know,metallica aint been "metallica" since "and justice for all". and we all might as well get over the fact,they are a bunch of tools that sold out their true fans over 15 years ago,so why anticipate the release of something that sounds so ridiculous compared to trivium or a REAL metal band!! WHO IN THE F!@K is metallica? we have seen them continuously shame there band name,with SYNPHONY S@#T! and st. anger and a couple of loads that would not impregnate a donkey!!. i once was a loyal fan of theirs and got thrown out of school for whearing a "metal up your ass" t shirt, but now id rather whipe my as with it!! hopefully this next album is good and i choke upon my words. TRIVIUM ROCKS!

# Mar 21, 2007 @ 12:44 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
25. hipocrytes suck dick writes:

too all you fa**ots bashing metallica, please do not listen to a single new song from their new album...but you know ALL of you are going to buy it anyway. f***ing losers, metallica rules

# Mar 21, 2007 @ 2:53 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
26. Cliff_Lives writes:

Shmotz101, u can get worse than st anger, load and reload, every1 percieves st anger to b ther worst album, but load is alot crapper, id rather hear some unpolished fast paced metal songs over some gay arse alternative rock with really crappy lyrics/themes and sh**, load/reload only had 1 good song which is mama said, and thats accoustic. st anger had frantic, st anger and some kind of monster, which were pretty crappy compared 2 kill - black album sh** but it was still good. at least half the band hav long hair, which means the musicall imput from hammet and trujilo will b good and improve the sound, but the core (lars and james) need 2 grow ther hair so the music can b even better (ther bad writing ability must hav something 2 do with ther hair)

# Mar 22, 2007 @ 1:51 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
27. the antihippy writes:

^^ hetfeild looks way better with his crop cut look.

# Mar 22, 2007 @ 2:23 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
28. Dakota writes:

This is a bunch of bullsh**, MetallicA is the greatest band in the whole f***in' world, I've been an avid listener since i was 7, and they will always be the best. The new album is gonna be bad ass, Death Is Not The End is such a good song, and the Woah! song sounds like kill 'em all. What more do you want from them?? And St. Anger is waaaaayyyyyyy better than Load and Reload, Frantic is one of their best songs and James' voice sounds heavy as sh** on it. I can't wait for this album but I think it would be sooo f***in' cool if it had 8 songs, the 2nd song was the name of the album, The last or 2nd to last song was heavy as sh**, and then the last or 2nd to last (Whichever is left) was a long a$$ instrumental like 8 and 1/2 minutes. Take it back to the old format and it should kick major ass.

# Mar 22, 2007 @ 8:09 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
29. gravedigger3 writes:

"hipocrytes suck d***", sounds like a c** guzzlin homo to me,that sh** aint metal dude give me a f***in break, i say if they dont go back to and justice for all on this one, they need to change there f***in name cause that bullsh** they have been puttin out the last 15 to 17 years is a bunch of mainstream a$$ politician pleasin garbage,that aint the real metallica, and y do u think after this damn long its gonna be any different,damn you are such a tool, how bout you go drink fuzzy navels and zimas with the rest of the war protesters,you dont know what metal is dude, you should be voted off this website. give me your address and illl send you some celine dion records and some tampons

# Mar 22, 2007 @ 5:34 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
30. gravedigger3 writes:

i appologise to the "NEW" metallica fans for my last comment, but that guy dont know sh**! everyone is entitled to their own opinion. creeping death, whiplash,disposeable heroes,damage inc. and of course trapped under ice, that is real metallica, and i cant even see how people are still even giving them the benefit of the doubt. truthfully the last album by them that i purchased was load, and i was so dissapointed i quit buying there albums period. and megadeth was still hangin in there after youthanasia! and i say that album rocks ! i really do hope they get there sh** together on this next album, they might just get their old fanbase back, but that will take alot. hypocrites suck d*** might feel differently, but tell me im wrong!!

# Mar 22, 2007 @ 6:02 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
31. DDD writes:

Okays, Metallica hasn't released anything that amazing since Justice, true, but let's see if Rubin can make a difference this time. Also, Frantic and St. Anger where their best songs since Justice (shame the rest of St Anger was f***ing dismal), so let's see... Rubin can make it happen with Slayer, album after album, so...

# Mar 23, 2007 @ 3:57 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
32. Kirk Hammett Is the Best writes:

How can you blame Metallica when they're not young and fast anymore. Who cares they still play hardcore music Kirk Hammett is 44 years old now.

# Mar 23, 2007 @ 5:18 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
33. Danny Wright writes:

These guys are getting older and playing the same thing over and over gets boring. so what if they don't sound like Justice album. They were in there late 20's early 30's when they made that album and most of them are almost 40. And justice for all was my favorite album from them but there musicians that play what they can play and if they want to try something knew then let them. Also i want to see you guys play some of the sh** metallica plays on Load and and the newer albums.
St.Anger and Some Kid of Monster was one of Lars hardest drum beats to play.
So before you rag the band you know you are going to buy there new album from, its just music and it will not kill you and it should not hurt you at all,
Metallica lives.

# Mar 23, 2007 @ 9:54 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
34. Dawnallica writes:

I totally agree, they are getting older, maybe there musical interests have changed? But not that they can't giver sh** live!!!! I know I can't be hardcore all of the time, you need some mellow time. Absolutely every song from Ride, Kill em, GARAGE DAYS INC!.Puppets,and Justice were crazzy good.Then they got really popular with Black, that's when popularity went all to their head. They assumed that every one follow them no matter how their musical interests changed. I agree Load ..etc..were not as heavy as in the past, and the didn't really sound like Metallica any more most of the songs still rock, as long as you don't concentrate on the name(metallica) too long. Middle Eastern? What the hell?
I pray to the Metallica Gods above that the Metallica that we all once knew and loved comes back with a hardcore vengance. Please, please, please give us something good!

# Mar 24, 2007 @ 1:16 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
35. blah writes:

Kirk's a little p***y. Nigtallica is a better suited name. f*** nigtallica.

# Mar 25, 2007 @ 8:49 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
SexBloodandMetal's avatar

Member

36. SexBloodandMetal writes:

Well I can agree with Hammet on that. Even my solos sound with mid-eastern influence

# Mar 28, 2007 @ 5:07 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
37. Kill Fall Out Boy!!!!!!!!!!!!!! writes:

I agree with everthing everone said, except for "blah". We can only hope for kick a$$ speed metal on the next album, but as long as its not any of that green day/falloutboy/punk bullsh** its acceptable to me. Remember- these guys are in their 40s now!

# Mar 29, 2007 @ 10:09 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
SexBloodandMetal's avatar

Member

38. SexBloodandMetal writes:

post #37, correct, they're in their 40s, so they're too old to play ghey music on stage

# Mar 29, 2007 @ 5:41 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Shmotz101's avatar

Member

39. Shmotz101 writes:

Metallica, I think should make one more great assed album, dont have to be the best, but just great, go on a massive world tour and then break up. that would be a great end to a great band, so they would go out with a bang. I know they have the potential to make a great album too.

# Mar 29, 2007 @ 6:15 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
RememberMetal?'s avatar

Writer/Reviewer

40. RememberMetal? writes:

I think the quality of this album rests squarely on James Hetfield.
I can envision every other band member bringing something good to the plate...but James has picked up some crippling habits since Black.

The vocal tics (mentioned in post 23) have reached fever pitch. Worse, the lyrics have taken on a terminal illness. I'm sounding like a broken record at this point, but read/listen to the lyrics of the title tracks of Master of Puppets and St. Anger.

Really get analytical with it and then be honest with yourself.

If you don't conclude that theres some severe deterioration in quality, then bias got in your way.

It's alot to ask to want Metallica to be genuinely great again, too much really...But it would be nice to see them come out of a 15 year rut with a solid album.

They are responsible for more people being fans of "real" metal than any other band (possibly even Sabbath at this point) than anyone will ever know...

# Mar 29, 2007 @ 8:38 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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