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October 31, 1991 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-31

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The Michigan Daily Thursday, October 31, 1991 Page 5

'Exit light': Metallica storms


by Annette Petruso

M etallica virtually redefined
metal in the '80s. With their new
LP, Metallica, the band has once
again pushed the bounds of heavy
metal into a new stratosphere of
noise. Talking to lead guitarist Kirk
Hammett from his hotel room in
Evansville, Indiana, he was, atfirst,
more concerned with his home than
his band (which includes drummer
Lars Ulrich, guitarist/vocalist
James Hetfield and bassist Jason
"y've had a really stressful cou-
ple days. I'm in Evansville, right?
And I live in North Berkeley, which
is where that big fire was,"
Hammett explains. "And when I
landed in Evansville, I called to
make sure everything was all right
at home, and I found out it wasn't all
right. As it ended up, the fire
stopped like two blocks above my
* house, and like three blocks to the
north of my house... I didn't know
whether I should go back home,
whether I could get into my house,
'cause they evacuated my neigh-
borhood. And my girlfriend rescued
four cats, thank God, so..."
Fortunately, Hammett, his girl-
friend, his cats and his house are in
one piece. Though what follows
could be called arrogance- or a dis-
'* play of a large ego, Hammett's spo-
ken attitude is more self-confidence
and pride than big-headedness. If
you were in Metallica, you'd be
like that too.
Annette Petruso: Why are you do-
ing a circle in the round thing?
Kirk Hammett: Well, it's not re-
ally -in the round, and it's not really
a circle. I mean, I don't really want
# to go into depth about it because we.
want it to be a surprise to everyone,
the whole stage concept. We're do-
ing it because we're basically tired
of the standard stage set-up where,
you know, one person is always on
one side of the stage, and another
person is on the other side of the
stage, and you run from one side of
the stage to the other, and it's, like,
boring after a while. And no matter
how much junk you put on the stage,
you're basically going to do that,
you know, in every situation:. So we
just decided to throw all that out
the window and just do something
different this time. And, I've been
saying this to a lot of people, it's

we cut our teeth on press in the mid-
Eighties and late Eighties, because
we never got any sort of airplay and
we weren't an MTV band at that
point, so, you know, press is very
important to us, and it still is im-
portant to us. Whatever you can do
to bring the music to the people or
spark people's interest is important.
And our whole philosophy is that,
"So what if this little magazine has
a circulation of like three thousand
and SPIN has three hundred thou-
sand?" It's still equally' as impor-
AP: So what do you think of Sub
Pop and grunge, etc.? I mean, you
said you liked it. Who are your fa-
vorite bands?
KH: Well,-I was just listening to
the Soundgarden album. Nirvana is,
like, my favorite band at the mo-
ment. I love Nirvana. I love
Mudhoney. But I like Alice in
Chains. I like Soundgarden. I like
Tad. I like a lot of the other stuff
that's coming out of Sub Pop that
isn't from Seattle, like Smashing
Pumpkins and L7 and the Fluid... I
think it's really good. Really really
good. You know, it's a good altema-
.tive for me, because we started as a
thrash band, and we influenced a lot
of thrash bands. And when I listen
to a lot of those bands like
Sepultura and Lawnmower Death
and Morbid Angel, and whatever all
that other stuff is, I don't hear a
whole lot of originality. Because of
that, I just kind of like shied away
from that a few years ago and went
looking for other types of music
that was heavy and had a lot of ag-
gression, and I found this whole Sub
Pop thing. And I just love it. I .lis-
ten to most of the stuff that comes

Metalli-fuckin'-ka is: (-r, in the back) James Hetfield, Kirk.Hammett and Jason Newsted, with Lars Ulrich up front. -Is the band alternative? Heavy,
metal? Alterna-metal? MC Hammett seems to be into lots of Sub Pop types, but does that mean anything?

there's so less actual stage space
that that wouldn't be possible. at
all. I mean, it's a crazy thing... I
mean, that doesn't rule out the pos-
sibility that we're going to be not
playing on any standard stages any
more, because we obviously will
still, And when we're on stages like
that, we'll have opening acts,, you
know? But for this portion of the
tour, we just'decided to go with a
video introduction. You know, kind
of like what Paul McCartney did or
the Cure did..
AP: Why are you allowing taping at
concerts now?
KH: You know, it's just kind of a
cool thing. It's also a good way to
support the underground tape trad-
ing that goes around. And heck yeah,
if you're an avid fan or a real avid
collector of live tapes, and. come to
the gig, and make like fifty copies of
that particular gig to give to all

'I mean, any gig is no less important than any
other place, but some places have a different
atmosphere. Like, I don't know, for some
reason Detroit, the people in Detroit, are just
so much more maniacal and just so much
more extreme. I mean, it's the same thing
with San Francisco. The people there are so
much more extreme'
-Kirk Hammett,
on the Motor City

go out and dish out forty bucks for
the same gig just put out by a boot-
AP: Did Elektra give you a problem
with this?
KH: No, not yet. I mean, it's some-
thing that other bands have done
too. Well, I should say another band
has done. That's the Grateful Dead,
and they've been doing this for a
while. And there's been people
who've popped up who, like, do
nothing but trade and collect
Grateful Dead live, tapes. And-I
think we feel it would be a good
thing if we could get something like
that started with our fans.
AP: Is there a definite set list every
night or do you go out -and play
KH: We're not Guns N' Roses.
They play just whatever. There is a
definite set list, but it's structured
so we can go off on different varia-
tions of a theme, you know? I think
in the first part of the tour, it's go-
ing to be changing a lot, 'cause that's
the way it always happens. It
changes quite a bit. Other than that,
we have a lot of room for a lot of
different things, and we're going to
try a lot'of different things this
AP: Is there a difference in your ap-
proach or in the audience's response
when you play an out of the way
place that rarely gets concerts, like
Saginaw, (as opposed to) when you
play a big concert city like Detroit?
KH: Well, I mean, any gig is no less
important than any other place, but
some places have a different atmo-
sphere. Like, I don't know, for some
reason Detroit, the people in
Detroit, are just so much more ma-
niacal and just so much more.ex-
treme. I mean, it's the same thing
with San Francisco. The people there
are so much more extreme. I mean;
the approach is different from the

audience's point 'of view. I mean,
from our approach, we just go out
there and play the gig, whether it'.s
in front of ten people or ten thou-
sand people, whether we're in Butte,.
Montana or Boise, Idaho or, you
know, wherever, Los Angeles. I
mean, we go out and play to. our
AP: Why are you so intense live? A.
Metallica show is always a mind-
boggling experience.
KH: We like to play. That's one
thing. We like to play the type of
music that we like to play. And, uh,
I think a lot of it has to do with the
four personalities on stage. I think
we all hold up our part, our role in
the "band, -to the fullest. And every-
one's always pushing, and Ithink
that- has a lot to do with it. It's just
the way our band is, I guess. And
we've always played like that, and
we've always.pushed it to the limit.
And I think it has a lot to do with
the energy .of the songs, the aggress
Mion of the songs, our approach to it,,
and just the energy level overall.
AP: Do you guys get sick of singing
older stuff?
K H: No, not at all. Those ,older
songs still hold up for us. They're.
still real fun to play live for us.
.And .I think they've gotten a lot
better. Like "Seek and Destroy,"
we've played that'song since 1983,
and now it's gone through a lot of
different changes and it's still a real
fun song to play. Every time we go
out on tour, the songs change a little
bit more;'We try to make them a lit-
tle more interesting than they were
last time around. .And when we
make' it a little more interesting to
play for us, -undoubtedly, it's going
to be interesting for. the audience
AP: What about your audience? You
seem to have the kids on one hand,
the critics who love you, and then

'Nirvana is, like, my favorite band at the
moment. I love Nirvana. I love Mudhoney. But
I like Alice in Chains. I like Soundgarden. I like
Tad. I like a lot of the other stuff that's
coming out of Sub Pop that isn't from Seattle,
like Smashing Pumpkins-and L7 and.the
Fluid... I think it's really .good. Really really
-Kirk Hammett,
on a few of his favorite things

who were playing us in 1983, 1984,
1985, on the college stations.. And
they just thought that we're differ-
ent enough- for back then, we had a
different enough vibe- that we're
cool enough to play on college sta-
tions. And, what I'm trying to get
to, is that sort of vibe has still stuck
with us. You know, that different
kind of alternative deal has still
stuck with us.-Actually, I'm a big
fan of alternative music. I.-listen to a
lot of it.. A lot of it has to do with
when we first came out, when
Metallica first came out... a lot of
hard core fans and people who dug
that kind of music were attracted to
us because of the raw energy that
our first album had. And, you know,
I think we have a place in'those peo-
ple's hearts still. We've grown and
so have those people and they've al-
ways' found us exceptional, and they
still find us exceptional.
AP: What about fanzines, 'cause on
the one hand you're in Metal Edge,
which most alternative people find
.a joke, and then you're on the cover
of SPIN? And then you're in every
kind of press-in between.
K H: Well the whole press thing,

out of there.
AP: Do you think they'll ever be,
like, collaborations between
Metallica and someone on Sub Pop?
KH: Well, see, I'm the biggest Sub
Pop fan in the band. I mean,; the
other guys, they're not as interested
in it as I am. So, I' doubt it. But I
mean, I'm friends.with the guys in
Soundgarden and I got' them on the
bill for Day on the Green, which is
this big festival we have in the Iay
area every year, and I got
Soundgarden on the bill, 'cause
they're great and they're friends of
mine and they're new album's won-
AP: What do.you think the state of
the metal nation is, then? Better?
Worse? Becoming one big clich6?
KH: Well,.it's breaking off into a
lot of different sub .genres. You
know, you have your funk-metal,
you have your grindcore, you have
your rap-metal, you have pop-metal.
And then you have your heavy
metal, thrash metal, speed metal,
death metal, and a lot of it isn't so
hot, but then, on the other hand, a
lot of it is really good. And I.think
See METAL, Page 8

the alternative- people who ,
wouldn't listen' to much other. -
metal? Why had this happened?
KH': Those alternative people, or a
lot of those. people, are the people

. -ambitious.To say the least:
AP: Why not use any opening act? A
spot on your tour would give a new
band a lot of good exposure.
KH: We realize that, and we would
if we could, but I don't think it
would be practical to have an open-
ing band on this stage, you know,
what I mean? You know how on a
regular stage opening acts perform
on the same stage,. in front of the
other band's equipment? Well,

your friends, that's great, because-
that's fifty less people who will go
out and buy a bootleg album...
AP: But aren't you afraid bootleg-
gers are going to come and do it too?
KH: They will, but chances are
there might be one bootlegger there
and, like, fifteen tapers who, like,
just circulate the tape anyway. So,
now this gives people a choice,
whether or not to, like, just find a
tape, which makes it kind of fun, or

Farcical Court blinds
justice with Silence!
by Mike Kolody game, there comes a battle," says director


In a timely coincidence with the recent Hill-Thomas
hearings, the production of Vijay Tendulkar's
Silence! The Court is in Session at the Performance
Network dramatizes a similar kind of crucifying
courtroom procedure.. Produced by Blue Donkey
Productions in cooperation with Shaman Drum, the
play is a comedy that presents a farcical mock trial
which eventually leads to rather sinister results.
The story deals with a part-time theater troupe in
India missing one of its usua1 actors. that decides to

Knox. "It becomes a mob thing."
The play was first produced in 1970, and is clearly
about the human condition, as opposed to being a his-
torically and culturally bound piece of work.. As
contemporary Indian critic Kumud Mehta writes,
Tendulkar is "acutely conscious of the violent im-
pulses behind a respectable facade and of the over-
whelming compulsions of sex" - instinctive drives
that are obviously not Indian or American, but rather
Though Silence! is set in India and was written by

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