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Kirk Hammett Reveals Cinematic Single From Debut Solo EP

‘High Plains Drifter’ was inspired by the score to the 1973 film of the same name
Kirk Hammett
(Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett has revealed the first taste of his debut solo EP, Portals, which arrives April 23 via Blackened Recordings. The instrumental “High Plains Drifter” was inspired by the music from the 1973 film of the same name and sports contributions from Queens Of The Stone Age’s Jon Theodore, longtime Metallica collaborator Edwin Outwater and members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

“The music for ‘High Plains Drifter’ initially came from a flamenco piece I had written,” Hammett says. “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.”

Portals was recorded in Los Angeles, Paris and Oahu and also includes the songs “Maiden and the Monster,” “The Jinn” and “The Incantation.” It will be available digitally, on CD and as a blue vinyl Record Store Day exclusive.

Metallica will be on tour throughout the spring and summer, beginning April 27 in Santiago. The group will perform at a host of major festivals in the coming weeks, including Boston Calling in Boston over Memorial Day weekend and Lollapalooza in Chicago in late July.