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Kirk Hammett Didn’t Use Wah Pedal When Writing Black Album Solos

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Metallica’s Kirk Hammett recently explained that he doesn’t use the wah pedal when writing his guitar solos, something he said is true of his solos from the songs on the band’s 1991 “Black Album,” the landmark heavy metal LP that celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

The guitarist’s effects pedal revelation might come as somewhat of a shock since gear-minded listeners know that Hammett is no stranger to the wah — indeed, the rocker makes blistering use of it throughout the self-titled album that’s come to be identified by its color.

So is it surprising to learn that the Metallica member didn’t use the effect when composing those leads? And, come to think of it, how did he end up incorporating the wah in the first place?

“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,” Hammett tells Guitar World.

“But when I really think about the solos on the black album,” he continues, “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.”

The musician adds, “I’ve never really written a guitar solo with a wah pedal. It’s always been after the fact.”

In commemorating the “Black Album” elsewhere as of late, Hammett has recalled the way Metallica’s audience changed with the record and how Kurt Cobain was a big Metallica fan. The guitarist has also hinted at his band’s future and said Metallica hasn’t yet peaked.

A remastered and expanded “Black Album” arrives on Sept. 10, the same day that The Metallica Blacklist, a collection of Metallica songs performed by over 50 other artists, comes out.

Past weeks have found Metallica sharing rare versions of “Black Album” tunes such as “My Friend of Misery,” “Sad But True,” “Of Wolf and Man,” “Nothing Else Matters,” “Through the Never” and “Wherever I May Roam” from the reissue’s bonus tracks. Weezer, Phoebe Bridgers, Volbeat, Biffy Clyro, St. Vincent, Royal Blood, Miley Cyrus and others have previewed their respective Metallica Blacklist covers.

Metallica: A Photo Timeline of Their Remarkable Career



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