KIRK HAMMETT Reveals The Unexpected Guitarist Who Shaped METALLICA’s Kill ‘Em All

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In a recent interview with Metal Mayhem ROC commemorating the 40th anniversary of Metallica’s seminal album Kill ‘Em All, Kirk Hammett delved into a discussion about his musical influences. Unveiling a hidden facet of his admiration, Hammett expressed a profound appreciation for the British hard rock legends UFO and shared a mesmerizing encounter with their former guitarist, Paul Chapman.

Having never witnessed Michael Schenker’s legendary tenure with UFO, Hammett initially harbored skepticism about seeing the band with Chapman. However, any reservations he had were shattered by Chapman’s on-stage prowess, leaving a lasting impression on the iconic Metallica guitarist.

Reflecting on the experience, Hammett confessed, “I had never seen UFO with Michael Schenker. The first time I saw UFO, my all-time favorite band, was with Paul Chapman. I showed up a little skeptical to that gig, but then I saw Paul on stage, and he blew me away. It wasn’t fair to compare him to Michael Schenker because they’re two completely different players.”

Years later, Hammett’s dream materialized when he had the opportunity to meet Paul Chapman, a pivotal figure in shaping UFO’s distinctive sound. Meeting Chapman allowed Hammett to “close that circle” and connect with the individuals who played a crucial role in influencing UFO’s musical landscape.

Closing in on this full-circle moment, Hammett enthused, “I felt like I was finally closing that circle; meeting everyone who was instrumental in shaping UFO’s sound. When I met him, I was just so stoked. I can play a lot of his stuff, not just Michael Schenker’s licks, and especially on Kill ‘Em All. Now that I think about it, there are Paul Chapman licks all throughout Kill ‘Em All.”

Hammett’s admiration for Chapman transcends mere inspiration, as he contemplates the prospect of learning directly from the master himself. Recalling a conversation with Chapman about his current endeavors, Hammett shared, “I asked him, ‘What do you do nowadays?’ And he said, ‘I play in local bands and I give guitar lessons.’ And, for a second, I thought, ‘Maybe I should get a guitar lesson.'”

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