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KIRK HAMMETT: “‘Master Of Puppets’ Is My Favourite Metallica Album.”

| Music

By Underground Press

Published Friday, 31 March 2023 15:44

MARCH 31, 2023 — As thrash legends Metallica return with a new album, 72 Seasons, Rock Candy Mag goes back to 1986 to look at the band’s classic Master Of Puppets over 14 pages. Guitarist Kirk Hammett discusses the making of the album, how it changed Metallica’s career trajectory, and how he looks back on ‘Master…’ today.

 “We weren’t trying to make an album that 35 or so years on people would put on and think still sounded great,” Hammett tells Rock Candy Mag editor Howard Johnson. “We didn’t set out to do anything, really. We were just trying to make the best album we possibly could and that’s what came out.”
 
Released on 3 March 1986, Master Of Puppets was the thrash band’s third album – recorded in Denmark with producer Flemming Rasmussen – and it went on to sell over six million copies in the US alone.
 
“From a technical viewpoint, when I listen to the album I’m really surprised at how good it sounds so long after the fact,” says Hammett. “The recording of the album, the recording of the songs, the production… it all holds up still.”
METALLICA
 
Master Of Puppets proved to be Cliff Burton’s swansong with Metallica. The bassist sadly died on 27 September 1986 in a coach accident while on tour promoting the album.
 
“Cliff’s contribution to ‘Master Of Puppets’ was very melodic and very musical,” explains Hammett. “His contribution wasn’t so much the big heavy riffs. It was all melody bass, and it was a lot of really, really cool stuff. When Cliff went it was the end of an era, and we all knew it. We knew it.”
 
More than 35 years after it was first released, Master Of Puppets is an acknowledged classic of the thrash genre and proudly sits in the US Library Of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry on account of being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”Hammett thinks he knows why.
 
“A lot of the music from that time now sounds samey and similar,” he says. “But there’s really nothing on ‘Master Of Puppets’ that dates it to any particular period – sound-wise, production-wise, recording-wise. ‘Master Of Puppets’ is my favourite of all the albums we’ve ever done.”
 
You can read our 14-page Metallica special, together with fascinating stories about L.A. Guns, Kansas, Bad English, Winger and many others in issue 37 of Rock Candy Mag. For more details visit www.rockcandymag.com.

Updated on:
>> Friday, 31 March 2023 16:08

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Metal, Metallica, Master of Puppets


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Metallica

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About Metallica

Metallica formed in 1981 by drummer Lars Ulrich and guitarist and vocalist James Hetfield and has become one of the most influential and commercially successful rock bands in history, having sold 110 million albums worldwide while playing to millions of fans on literally all seven continents.
They have scored several multi-platinum albums, including 1991’s Metallica (commonly referred to as The Black Album), with sales of nearly 17 million copies in the United States alone, making it the best-selling album in the history of Soundscan. Metallica has also garnered numerous awards and accolades, including nine Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, and multiple MTV Video Music Awards, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009.
In December 2013, Metallica made history when they performed a rare concert in Antarctica, becoming the first act to ever play all seven continents all within a year, and earning themselves a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. Metallica’s latest studio album 'Hardwired...To Self Destruct' was released on November 18, 2016 on Metallica’s own Blackened Recordings record label and debuted at No. 1 around the world, selling over 800,000 copies worldwide in its first week.

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Rock Candy Mag

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Rock Candy Mag is a 100-page, full-colour bi-monthly rock mag, created in the UK. It covers the sights, sounds and smells from the greatest era in hard rock music, the ’70s and ’80s. The brainchild of: respected UK rock journalists Derek Oliver, Howard Johnson and Malcolm Dome – all frontline writers for the legendary Kerrang! magazine in the golden era.

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