Kirk Hammett has unveiled the first chapter of an online horror project in which a narrative has been posted to his reddit account with an accompanying soundtrack featuring a haunting blues guitar loop.
Titled I Have To Get Rid Of This Guitar I Found [Part One], the mysterious story reads very much like an internet narrative equivalent of a found footage story. It has a chain-letter quality, the story kicking off up with a lede from an Abigail Forte, who has turned a cassette of field recordings over to Hammett – who is presumably on both sides of the fourth wall here.
Forte is in search of her brother, William. As the title suggests, there is a guitar involved, and while we have all had nightmares of trying to shift an unloved and unwanted acoustic guitar, there’s something even more sinister going on here than an ignored listing on Reverb.
“I recently found a lead that might help in the search for my brother, William “Wills” Forte,” writes Forte. “A journal he had written, along with a cassette that was filled with what can only be described as very unusual field recordings. Seeing as the nature of these recordings seemed to push towards an evil energy, I sent the tape to a friend to help me understand the music, who in turn sent it to guitarist Kirk Hammett.”
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- "Jimi Hendrix has played that guitar, Rory Gallagher, Jeff Beck, George Harrison… I mean, the list goes on and on" – Kirk Hammett on owning Peter Green's legendary 'Greeny' 1959 Gibson Les Paul
Hammett, in real life or in story, transposes the music of this fictional cassette, with the first piece of music, Crossroad Magic Blues, posted to his Tik Tok page. This is the soundtrack, and it suggests some kind of cursed story of a piece with the legend of Robert Johnson, albeit one told in the mode of M.R. James.
That Hammett would move into soundtracking and horror storytelling should come as little surprise. The Metallica guitarist is a horror superfan, whose fleet of ESP signature guitars bear custom graphics of the most notorious of Universal Picture’s monsters – Dracula, Wolf Man, Frankenstein. He also has an ESP KH model paying tribute to F.W. Murnau's seminal vampire film, Nosferatu (1922).
In July, he moderated a panel talk at Midsummer Scream, a horror convention hosted at Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center, California. His horror-inspired debut solo EP, Portals, was originally intended as background music to It’s Alive!, an exhibition of Hammett’s horror memorabilia and ephemera.
Upon its release, Hammett spoke of his ambition to soundtrack movies, and revealed that he had spent lockdown writing in all different styles of music. Speaking to Total Guitar (opens in new tab), he said that that writing soundtracks “was pretty much a given for the future”, and that recording the all-instrumental Portals was freeing.
“It was great that I was able to get out of that structure of riff, verse, chorus, huge middle part, then back to the riff, verse and chorus,” he said. “I’m glad I was freed of that and free to go wherever the music wanted to go. That’s pretty much how these arrangements came about.
“The whole process was a lot simpler and a lot smoother than I expected it to be, and I can tell you one hundred percent that it sounds a lot more complicated than it was to make or record, and that really is a beautiful thing.”