METALLICA’s KIRK HAMMETT Says We Don’t Tour Enough

METALLICA’s KIRK HAMMETT Says We Don’t Tour Enough

METALLICA’s KIRK HAMMETT Says We Don’t Tour Enough

In a recent episode of “The Metallica Report” podcast, Kirk Hammett, the lead guitarist of Metallica, shared his thoughts on the band’s touring schedule. Hammett expressed his enthusiasm for being back on the road with the “M72” world tour after a six-month hiatus. He emphasized his love for performing live and his belief that Metallica doesn’t tour as much as he would like.

“I’m just happy to be out here and bringing the music to the people,” Hammett said. “I miss the feeling of being a working, touring band because I don’t believe we tour enough. But that’s just how it is. So, what I can get out of this, I’m always up for it. It’s just, like, ‘Yeah, bring it on.’ This is what it’s all about, playing guitar, writing, recording, and going out on tour. I don’t feel that there’s enough of it in my life right now.”

When asked if the “M72” tour felt like a new beginning after the break, Hammett responded that it felt more like a continuation. “Walking out to see the stage in Munich after six months felt familiar. Everything looked the same—familiar stage, familiar monitors, familiar crew, familiar guitars, familiar songs. It was easy for me to slot right back into place.”

Hammett also discussed his preparation for the shows, which includes collaborating with bassist Robert Trujillo on final arrangements for their duets. He also makes sure to stay physically active, despite having knee issues. “I hook up with Rob during the day, and I’ll make sure I hop on a Peloton for about 20 minutes to keep my knee strong. Once I get to the gig, I usually do my yoga routine and sporadically play guitar throughout the day.”

Regarding his lifestyle, Hammett mentioned that he maintains a physically active routine even when he’s not on tour. “When I’m at home, I’m continuously walking, biking, and swimming. I can’t run or surf these days because of my knee, but hopefully, that’s just a transitional thing. Going into this tour, I was totally ready and in shape, which is remarkable considering my responsibilities at home. But I managed to get it all together miraculously.”

Hammett’s sentiments about the band’s touring schedule echo those of drummer Lars Ulrich, who in a 2017 interview with Noisey, explained that Metallica’s commercial success has allowed them to control their touring schedule. “When you become successful, you can become more financially independent,” Ulrich said. “We’ve been able to put parameters on how we tour so we can spend more time at home. We have a two-week rule: we don’t leave home for more than two weeks at a time, 16 days at the most. It’s not the most cost-effective way of touring, but you can’t put a price on sanity.”

The “M72” tour, in support of Metallica’s latest album “72 Seasons,” features two-night, no-repeat shows in each city. The band has been performing on a massive ring-shaped stage with the Snake Pit in the center and four drum sets spaced around the stage, allowing Ulrich to get closer to the audience at various points during the show.

After stops in Munich and Milan, Metallica continued their European tour with performances in Spain, Denmark, Norway, France, and Poland. The North American leg of the tour will begin on August 2 in Foxborough, Massachusetts, with additional stops in Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, and Edmonton. The band will conclude their 2024 touring season with four shows in Mexico City at the end of September.

According to Billboard, Metallica’s production travels in 87 trucks, with 45 dedicated to the band and its setup, and two groups of 21 each for the steel stage and towers. The band’s crew consists of 130 people, plus 40 steelworkers, local hires, and truck drivers. Metallica’s manager, Cliff Burnstein, noted that between 80% and 90% of fans at each concert attend both shows.

The “M72” tour launched in late April 2023 in Amsterdam, featuring opening acts such as Five Finger Death Punch, Ice Nine Kills, Mammoth WVH, Pantera, Architects, Greta Van Fleet, and Volbeat. A portion of the proceeds from the shows goes to Metallica’s All Within My Hands foundation, which aims to assist and enrich the lives of community members who have supported the band, combat food insecurity, provide disaster relief, and offer scholarships.

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