In a brand new interview with The Inquirer, Kirk Hammett praised his METALLICA bandmate James Hetfield for for investing emotional tumult in each song he writes. “James is a poet, man,” Kirk said. “Every time an album comes to bear, I’m surprised at his wordsmithing, his sensitivity toward human nature, and the human dialogue. You don’t get that when speaking or hanging with him, but he’s way sensitive and very in tune. He’d probably be uncomfortable if he knew I was calling him all this.”
Hetfield told the METALLICA fan magazine So What! that the lyrics to “Hardwired”, the opening track on the band’s new album, “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct”, are “so simple, it is not Shakespeare, I know that. But gosh, are humans really doing the right thing? You know. And in the history of time, we’re a little blip. And are we gonna be gone? Are we phasing ourselves out with electronics? Are we becoming this? Are we gonna self-destruct because of our egos and all of the stuff that makes humans human? That whole sentence ‘hardwired to self-destruct’ came from a friend of mine that was just throwing it out there as a struggling addict. Is that what it’s like for us? Is our default just to die? Earlier than we’re supposed to. Wreck. Destroy our lives; are we hardwired to self-destruct? And that just caught my ear. [Another new song] ‘Moth Into Flame’ is pretty literal. These days everyone [has] an obsession with being famous. Being popular. Whether it’s your Facebook account or walking around the street, watching someone doing selfies of themselves as they’re walking down the street. Like what? What are you doing?”
In a recent interview, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich discussed the meaning of the “Hardwired” track, explaining how the band’s fans interpreted the song in a variety of ways. He told Q magazine: “Unfortunately, as much as I would tell you that it’s the soundtrack to the crazy political time we’re living in — and maybe I should say that [chuckles] — but it really… isn’t. Or at least it wasn’t given birth to in that sense.”
Focusing on the lyrical theme behind the tune, Lars added: “James had this thing about how it’s somewhat inherent in most people who wanna do good — what if we’re sorta hardwired that the choices we make are wired within us, it’s part of our DNA to screw up instead of to do the right thing. Literally, it was, like, ‘That sounds great! Done!’ We wrote and recorded it in less than a week. Then when it came out in August as the first track, all the sudden people started associating it with the crazy ways the planet is spinning right now.”
Lars continued: “For me, it’s important that there’s no right or wrong way to listen to METALLICA music — there’s no right or wrong way to listen to any music, or interpret anything creatively.
“So if that’s what people make of this song, I’m not gonna tell them they shouldn’t do that. But it certainly wasn’t given birth to as, ‘Now we’re gonna write an anthem for the fall of 2016.'”
The drummer added: “The great thing about James‘s lyrics is how ambiguous they are most of the time and how people can take almost any of the lyrics and work them into something that fits their vision of the world. I think the best art really has that kind of ambiguity to it. If that’s what people wanna do with it, I’m just really happy that people want to do anything with our music at this point. [Chuckles]”
“Hardwired… To Self-Destruct” was certified platinum last month by the RIAA (Recording Association Of America). The recent gain in the disc’s sales is owed mostly to a concert ticket/album bundle sale redemption promotion with the band’s stadium tour that went on sale on February 17. Redemptions of albums included with the purchase of a concert ticket register as a sale in the week the customer redeems/receives the album.