MOTIVATION FOR THE GUITARIST: KIRK HAMMETT
There is one guitar riff that I can easily play at any time, even if I am woken up abruptly in the middle of the night, because we played this song hundreds of times. It seems to me that I’m the only one who can play it, find the right sound for it. Since everyone is looking at me, I should always set an example. And if I do not practice the game of this riff, then my level of ownership of the instrument will fall.
I was not motivated by the things that other people can be motivated by. I was just motivated by the desire to play the guitar well. In fact, after watching a movie about Jimmy Hendrix, on the way home I remembered that I had a guitar at home, and I literally dug it out of the pantry.
I haven’t even touched her before. I remembered how I bought a guitar, but it was a thing that I almost immediately said “goodbye” and “good night” and sent it to the pantry, not paying attention to it. But after watching this movie, I went straight to the pantry, took this thing, and as I remember now, I said to myself: “Well, I’m starting to learn to play you!”. It was a very distinct period in my memory, significantly unlike the previous one.
I recall that there was nothing more inspiring in my life than just sitting there and doing the same thing. It’s as if a guitar were stuck in my head. It was a wonderful moment for me, and I wanted to learn how to play the guitar as good as possible. And I don’t know if people know this, but I wrote this riff (chorus of the song “Creeping death”) when I was only 16 years old and is still with me after so many years. This is actually a very simple and aggressive sound riff. Because of this, I always feel a slight bitterness in my heart.
I first started using the ESP guitar in 1987. This was the discovery of my friend who just found it for himself. He told me that working with ESP is very interesting, and he can make me such a guitar as I want. So I ended up at an ESP guitar factory in New York. There I told them that I needed such a neck, such a deck and such a configuration of pickups, and asked to paint it black. And I did it! When I received the guitar, I said that this is really my instrument, an instrument for me. And I played it constantly, and I will continue to play.
My guitar is called White Zombie – this is a film shot in the 30s of the last century. Really, a very cool movie. I like the posters for this movie. I love this film and accordingly I filled a poster for him on my guitar. I let the master who made the guitar add his own touches and I really liked it. I love this guitar, I love these bats and spiders on frets. This guitar has everything I need: it sounds great, it looks great and it’s good to play it.
Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Ron Wood, Joe Perry – these guys made me, when I was 15-16 years old, sit for hours in the living room and try to grab and learn how to play their riffs. Looking back from the heights of rock and roll fame to a child who is sitting in the bedroom and trying to pick up the motives of Jeff Beck, Led Zeppelin’s songs, it becomes very pleasant. I also remember myself in those moments when I was still in graduation classes and was completely absorbed in this music and these musicians. It was crazy! But there was also another period when I caught myself thinking: “Damn it, I’m going further and further into my youthful dream.”
That was when I went to a Rush concert and after the concert I had the opportunity to chat with Alex Lifeson. We just hung out, hung out, drank and talked about guitars. And then I thought: “I really did it, I’m really here and now with Alex behind the scenes and drink wine with him!”. What could compare with this then? I think it’s not necessary to think that you should play. But I think that it really shows your passion for the instrument, for your music, it is obvious and true.
Probably the most important thing is that you can just go and do it, finding passion and just being involved in your occupation. I like to be overly involved in something, I love the feeling of natural restraint that is characteristic of me. I also like to take something from someone else, as if to wrap myself in some new wrapper. This is the purest expression of his work. I like to be overly involved in something, and I know that people call it differently, I feel my natural stay in this state. It is just indescribably great for me. It also for me, like rejuvenation, takes me to a place where I can stop and be inspired even more.
Sometimes, when I feel very depressed, when I am in a bad mood, then I just pick up my guitar and start playing. And I instantly move somewhere into another dimension. I love the guitar for this very reason. She is one of the best things that I have discovered for myself in this life.