Enlarge Kirk Hammett photo via Wikimedia Commons. Kurt Cobain illustration: Rose Robin via Wikimedia Commons

Kirk Hammett Says Kurt Cobain Was a “Big Metallica Fan”

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When we typically think of the rise of grunge we associate it with the downfall of metal. And indeed, when Nirvana, Pearl Jam and their ilk burst upon the scene in 1991/1992, the fall of a certain type of band with big hair and even bigger machismo was fast and furious.

But not all metal simply disappeared. For Metallica, for example, 1991 was their biggest year yet, with the release of the Black Album taking them to new levels of fame that only grow higher throughout the decade.

And so, while we wouldn’t by default peg Kurt Cobain as a Metallica fan, it’s not at all uncharacteristic: we know he liked other heavy music (the Melvins, for example), and the raw grit of Metallica’s early days captured a similar energy as Nirvana. If you’d’ve told me he was a Poison fan, on the other hand… yeah, no.

In a new chat with Classic Rock, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett relayed a story about how Cobain attended one of the band’s shows, and adds that the two were friendly. He explained:

“Kurt Cobain came to one of our shows in Seattle on the ‘Black Album tour.’ I knew Kurt kind of well, and I hung out with him quite a bit. He was a pretty big Metallica fan — I was surprised at how much of a Metallica fan he was.”

Hammett goes on to give himself credit for Nirvana’s success, a claim which might have a bit of merit but with which I don’t entirely agree:

“Rock radio embracing our sound — our heaviness — helped the whole grunge thing take hold. Not long after the ‘Black Album’ came out, Nirvana put out ‘Nevermind.’ I like to think we had something to do with the acceptance of Nirvana.”

Mull that over and tell us what you think in the comments.

Metallica have been deep in “some pretty serious writing” for their next album since last November with the most recent update, indicating ten songs were partially written, coming this past May via frontman James Hetfield.

Upcoming Metallica live dates:

9/24/21 – Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life at Highland Festival Grounds at KY Expo Center [tickets]
9/26/21 – Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life at Highland Festival Grounds at KY Expo Center [tickets]
10/8/21 – Sacramento, CA – Aftershock at Discovery Park [tickets]
10/10/21 – Sacramento, CA – Aftershock at Discovery Park [tickets]
11/4/21 – Hollywood, FL — Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino [tickets]
11/12/21 – Daytona Beach, FL – Welcome to Rockville at the Daytona International Speedway [tickets]
11/14/21 – Daytona Beach, FL – Welcome to Rockville at the Daytona International Speedway [tickets]
12/17/21 — San Francisco, CA — Chase Center [fan club only]
12/19/21 — San Francisco, CA — Chase Center [fan club only]
6/15/22 – Copenhell – Copenhagen, Denmark [tickets]
6/17/22 – Firenze Rocks – Florence, Italy [tickets]
6/19/22 – Prague Rocks – Prague, Czech Republic [tickets]
6/22/22 – Rock Werchter – Werchter, Belgium [tickets]
7/1/22 – Mad Cool – Madrid, Spain [tickets]
7/6/22 – NOS Alive – Lisbon, Portugal [tickets]

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