Metallica’s Kirk Hammett Slams Trump, Vows to be More Vocally Political
It’s been a bit surprising to see the members of Metallica speaking out publicly on politics. The world’s biggest metal band — and one of the world’s biggest bands, period — has fans all across the political spectrum, and to use their platform to preach their political opinions could risk alienating a huge segment of their fanbase. But it’s refreshing to see the band members’ newfound voices, joining established metal stars like Corey Taylor and Robb Flynn. These times demand we not keep quiet, and no one’s voices are more important than those with a massive audience.
Last week Lars Ulrich shared his left-leaning views — and how they differ from those of James Hetfield, with whom he never, ever discusses politics — and now the band’s ordinarily demure guitarist Kirk Hammett is speaking out, too. That doing so risks alienating the band’s fans is not lost on Hammett, and he said as much in an interview with Billboard:
“The thing is, Metallica appeals to such a wide range of people. We have people on the left, people on the right, in droves. Part of the reason why we don’t consider ourselves a politically oriented band is because when you start talking about politics you draw a line in the sand, and all of a sudden [there’s] division, and that’s not what we want. We want everyone to be in this together, experiencing the music together. We see politics as a completely different thing. It’s like music and NASCAR racing, that’s how different politics are to Metallica.
“That’s why I’ve chosen my words carefully, that I — not Metallica, but I — will take it upon myself to get involved, if there is something I see that is seriously wrong, and I really feel that it’s my job to say something, and to call out people who need to be called out. I believe in fairness. I believe in equal ground for everyone. I believe in equal opportunity and I believe that everyone is equal. That guy [Trump] doesn’t even believe in that! He does not believe that everyone is equal.”
And what does Hammett think of our fearless, toupeed leader?
“For me, a good leader is someone with integrity, honesty and altruism, and a general sense of what is right and what’s wrong. We don’t have that in our leadership right now, and that puts me in a state of awareness and attentiveness, and it puts me in a state of wait and see what will happen. But if anything happens that I’m not okay with, I’m going to be super vocal about it for the first time in my life.”
Not exactly, “Fuck this guy! He’s a piece of shit racist!” but probably about as close to that as you’re gonna get from a member of such a huge band. His intent is certainly clear enough, and perhaps his delicately chosen words will do more good than an angry rant anyway.
You go, Kirk! That’s the venom we knew you had within you when the band shut down your guitar solos on St. Anger!