Metallica's Kirk Hammett Streams 'High Plains Drifter'

Bruce Henne | 04-16-2022

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Kirk Hammett Cover art
Cover art

(hennemusic) Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett is sharing the track, "High Plains Drifter", as a preview to the April 23 Record Store Day release of his debut solo project, "Portals."

Movie fans will recognize the song's title from its inspiration, the classic 1973 Clint Eastwood western of the same name. The song "was not meant to be specifically music for that film, but it was once it was written, I immediately thought it conveyed the same sentiment as the film, so the piece was christened accordingly," explains Hammett. "The music for 'High Plains Drifter' initially came from a flamenco piece I had written. It was a two-and-a-half-minute piece, and I really liked it, but it was one of those riffs that would be hard to integrate into Metallica.

"I knew I wanted to do something with it, even though it came out spontaneously. I had been sitting outside messing around with a flamenco acoustic guitar I'd just bought, and it flowed out in the moment. I was determined it would have a life. It would have its moment."

Recorded around the world - from Los Angeles to Paris to Oahu - the four-song instrumental EP "Portals" is billed as "the result of Kirk's life's journeys and an invitation to tap into your own inner world."

Heavily influenced by classical music, soundtracks, horror movies, and the work of iconic Italian composer Ennio Morricone, Kirk wanted the EP to span the decades and touch upon all the horror he loves.

Stream "High Plains Drifter" and read more here.

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