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Sounds Like Metallica’s James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett Are Beefin’ About Riffs

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 15: Musicians James Hetfield (L) and Kirk Hammett of Metallica perform at the Fonda Theatre on December 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

James Hetfield sounds a little peeved about the riff situation on the latest Metallica album, last year’s actually-pretty-damned-good Hardwired… to Self-DestructThe problem, as Hetfield sees it, is a distinct lack of riffs from his fellow guitarist Kirk Hammett.

As Stereogum and Ultimate Guitar point out, at around the time of the album’s release, Hetfield told the world that Kirk wasn’t bringing the riffs. From a December Metal XS interview transcribed by UG:

“Kirk was not part of the writing. Kirk obviously came in and did the solos. Lars and I always have done this, but with contributions from other people on their riffs and things.

“Kirk’s riffs weren’t there.”

Now, as a Metallica fan, you might be saying to yourself: of course Kirk’s riffs weren’t there–Kirk lost 250 riffs he’d written for the album and stored on an iPhone in early 2015, and those riffs haven’t been recovered to this day. Well, James thought about that too. Here’s what he said about the lost riffs in an episode of the Meltdown podcast, again as transcribed by UG:

That’s what he claims. I’m sure he did [lose the phone], but it doesn’t make sense that he wouldn’t have [the music] on his computer, either. But, whatever… Yeah, Kirk had some riffs that he… I guess submitted — it’s not a very nice word to be used if you’re in a band. But you know, we all submit our tapes, and we sit there and we listen to them and we pick the best stuff. There was not much stuff from Kirk. Whether his phone was lost, or whatever…

Damn, James is really calling Kirk out about the riff situation! We know these guys have had their disagreements in the past, but they seemed to truly be enjoying each other’s company when we caught them on this year’s unbelievable WorldWired tour. We hope they’re not beefin’ too hard. Whoever’s riffs made it onto Hardwired, they were pretty good ones.

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