'I would just lash out': Metallica's Kirk Hammett nearly 9 years sober

Kirk Hammett has a new approach to life since quitting booze credit:Bang Showbiz
Kirk Hammett has a new approach to life since quitting booze credit:Bang Showbiz

Metallica's axe-slayer Kirk Hammett is almost nine years sober.

The 60-year-old guitarist says he credits ditching booze with his "personal growth" in many areas of his life.

He told the band's fanzine So What!: "I'm going on nine years sober pretty soon. I [attribute] so much of my own personal growth to getting sober. And I wish I would've gotten sober a long time ago, but it just wasn't in the cards, you know? But since getting sober, everything is improved in my life, pretty much everything is improved. I have focus, and I put myself in situations now that I know are positive and win-win situations, where it contributes to everyone else's well-being. And the best thing that I can do nowadays is to find ways just to contribute to other people's well-being, whether it's through art, music, just hanging out with people, doing cool creative stuff, connecting with people, being positive, and just working toward the well-being of everyone. That's what I want to do these days."

Before abstaining from alcohol, the 'Enter Sandman' rocker admits his life was chaos and he would get himself into "trouble all the time", describing his former self as an "emotional animal who would just lash out."

He continued: "I'm not as chaotic as I used to be. And I know that I'm not as unpredictable as I used to be. When I was younger, I had this thing; I always had this feeling that I needed adventure. I was mischievous. So, I would get myself into trouble all the time, only because that was the energy that was in me. But I don't have that anymore. I feel like I'm very well grounded. I also feel that I am my own person, and I will always be my own person. And everything that has anything to do with me begins with me and ends with me. At the end of the day, it really doesn't have anything to do with anyone else. And having that realisation? It's changed me. It's changed my approach to just about everything. It's given me an awareness so that I'm less reactive and more responsive to almost every situation. Whereas back in the day, I was a reactionary, emotional animal who would just lash out all the time without even thinking because I was conditioned."

Kirk says his anger stemmed from his childhood.

Referencing the group's latest LP '72 Seasons', he added: "That was the situation around me as I was growing up. Those are my '72 seasons,' you know? Being in a totally reactive mode all the time because I had to be that way because that's what people need to be for survival. You know, during those 72 seasons, most of it was spent in survival mode for me. And you know, it gets tiring being in that mode. I've found a way to just write myself out of that narrative and be my own person. And I realise that's all I can do, so that's what I do now."

Frontman James Hetfield, 59, has also battled alcoholism over they years, with the metal legend entering rehab as recent as 2020.