Kirk Hammett Says He’s Never Written a Guitar Solo with a Wah Pedal
Kirk Hammett and the wah pedal go together like… well, Kirk Hammett and the wah pedal. The two things have been synonymous for as long as any metalhead can remember, so much so that even Kirk is in on the joke nowadays, engaging in a “wah-off battle” last year.
Despite his rich history with the pedal, Kirk claims he’s never written a guitar solo with it, saying that the effect is always added in later in the process. True or not (and I see no reason to doubt him), the difference seems insignificant — whether you add salt to a dish while you’re cooking it or after still makes it taste salty — but this is exactly the type of thing the internet goes nuts over, so don’t come at me, I just work here!*
In this month’s issue of Guitar World, Hammett spoke about his favorite pedal for a bit, explaining:
“I think a lot of that was just a culmination of having been on tour for ‘…And Justice for All’ and just having fun on stage, stepping on my wah for a lead break, or in between songs, or whatever.
“But when I really think about the solos on the ‘Black Album,’ I came up with all of them within about a week. ‘Enter Sandman’, I had that one complete by the second or third time we played it.
“Because when the songs are strong, the solos come easy. And back then, I’d compose a solo and then, if it felt appropriate in the studio, I’d bring in the wah and see if it brought anything more out. I’ve never really written a guitar solo with a wah pedal. It’s always been after the fact.”
Now you know. Do you feel enriched with your newfound knowledge?
In a 2019 interview, Hammett revealed the first time he ever heard a wah was in the Thin Lizzy song “Warrior:”
“This solo was the first time I’d ever heard a wah pedal. I remember that when that sound came out of the speakers, it startled me. The one guy that I’ve always thought did not get enough credit, was Brian Robertson, and his style and feel is something that I aspire to.”
Metallica will release a super-duper-extra-special-deluxe thirtieth anniversary reissue of the Black Album this Friday, September 10. Additionally, on October 1, the band will release The Metallica Blacklist, an album that “celebrates the enduring influence of Metallica with an unprecedented 50+ artists spanning an unbelievably vast range of genres, generations, cultures, continents and more, each contributing a unique interpretation of their favorite Black Album cut.” The collection includes such as Corey Taylor, Volbeat, Weezer, Biffy Clyro, Ghost, the Hu, by Miley Cyrus, Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma, Chad Smith, and Robert Trujillo, Phoebe Bridger, and more.
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]
*actually I own the site, sorry