Metallica had a reputation for heavy drinking in their early days. So much so that the band was nicknamed Alcoholica, but guitarist Kirk Hammett says that if he could change one thing, he would stop drinking sooner.
Kirk was asked by a fan via Kerrang! "If you had the chance to go back to the start and do it all again, would you do anything differently?" He responded, "I would have stopped drinking 10 or 15 years ago.
"I'm coming up to five years sober without alcohol and I really enjoy it. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed being a raving alcoholic lunatic, but then everything turned against me.
"Every time I had a drink, it worked against me rather than helping me to enjoy myself in a recreational manner. That's the thing about alcohol: if you're not paying attention and something happens, it could flip on you and next thing you know, you're on the down side of things rather than on the upside.
"For f***ing decades, I'd go out after a show and carry on all night. I'd go back to the hotel room and play guitar for two or three hours and not remember anything the next day. I'd pick up the recorder and think, 'What the f*** is this garbage?'
"I did that for f***ing decades. I stopped drinking and now I go back to my room and play guitar and remember everything! I can pick it up from the night before. I still feel like I'm growing as a musician, and I like having that clarity of mind and having a really strong relationship with my instrument and the music. I wish I had gotten to this point a lot earlier in my life. But hey, everything's meant to happen for a reason."