Interview: Kirk Hammett of Metallica Talks "Fear FestEviL" and More
Thu, 16 Jan 2014 11:59:30
"We're trying to make this more of an experience rather than something to gaze at," legendary Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett says of his forthcoming Fear FestEviL [February 6-8 at the Regency Ballroom San Francisco, CA].
With all of the surprises Mr. "Kirk von Hammett" has in store for attendees, he's undoubtedly going to accomplish his mission. FestEviL boasts treasures from his own "Crypt" as well as appearances by genre icons such as Kane Hodder, Greg Nicotero, and more as well as performances by Carcass and Exodus. However, one of the coolest things about the fest is you can actually "get scared" there with one-of-a-kind haunting areas, which Hammett promises will be totally creepy. This is unlike any other horror experience and a must for aficionados and metal fans alike.
In order to get inside Fear FestEviL, ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino spoke to Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett about the fest, the future of horror, the impending DVD release of Metallica: Through The Never January 28, and so much more.
How did you differentiate the Fear FestEviL?
You know the whole point was to make something that was completely different from everything else that's out there. I guess it's the influence of approaching everything a certain way. After doing that for three decades with Metallica, it's just rubbed off on me. I approach everything through a Metallica sort of filter. In Metallica, we always try to do something new and different and we tend to challenge ourselves. I found myself in the exact same place here with this convention. There are a lot of conventions out there that pack the show with all sorts of events, visuals, and eye candy. It's really easy to get lost in all of that stuff. When I went to San Diego Comic-Con last year and a few years before that, I was so struck by how much conventions have changed. My whole approach to Fear FestEvil is not like that. My whole approach is rooted in the approach that conventions took in the late seventies and eighties. It was a lot more personable. We're trying to make this convention much more personable. I want it to be a complete human experience for whoever comes to it. It'd be easy for me to fill the convention hall with a bunch of neat, flashy cool stuff. I don't want to do that [Laughs]. It's been my goal to personalize this and make it a real experience with real human interaction so it's not like you're just staring at a bunch of stuff, if you know what I mean. That's basically what I'm trying to do here.
How cool is to actually be able to get scared with the "haunting areas"? No other convention does that.
It's great! That's where it all comes from, right? [Laughs] It's the feeling of getting scared. It's the feeling of excited where you don't know what's behind that door or what's coming at you. You're in a situation where you're like, "Uh, this is mysterious and scary!" That's a fun feeling. I want to make this convention as fun as possible. What's important for me is the interaction. We're doing a lot of things. We're bringing down a bunch of art from lots of different artists. We're bringing in a taxidermist that'll be doing a demonstration. We're just dressing the place up so it's really unique. We're bringing in tattoo artists. This is along with all of the usual things you'd see at a horror convention like a bunch of vendors and special guests like producers, actors, directors, makeup artists, and production people. Then, we're bringing in bands who I personally think fit the whole genre really well. I learned something from doing my "Crypt" at the Orion Music + More festival last year and the year before. The more hands-on you can be and the more interactions you can get with the people who are coming and the event itself, the more people will feel they had fun and had an experience rather than going somewhere staring at a bunch of stuff and being a consumer.
Horror can become sterile at these conventions. The bands and "haunting areas" add a vitality.
How would the 13-year-old Kirk Hammett experience this?
I would absolutely one-hundred percent say that I'd be oohing and aweing the entire time [Laughs]. I would be in heaven. I would be seeing all the people who I'd wanted to see. I'd be experiencing all of the cool things I wanted to experience. It's more of a convention in that there's a lot of interaction. You're not just staring at a lot of stuff. We're going to dress up the hall so that when you walk in the ambience is super heavy. It's going to feel like it sounds. That's the goal to make a true Fear FestEviL—a festival of fear and evil and a lot of great heavy metal to boot.
What is the evolution of horror now? What are you excited about on the horizon for the art form?
There was a time where horror movies were starting to get a little bit similar from movie to movie. There was a formula that someone could clearly see and map out if they'd seen enough horror movies. In the last decade or so, the plots and storylines have gotten that much better. I think the reason for that is people want to see movies that are more interesting and don't rely on the same old gags, same old plots, and same old situations. I think it's a really exciting time for horror right now. There's so much good stuff out there between what's going on in terms of cable television as far as True Blood (TV Series) is concerned, American Horror Story (TV Series), and Game of Thrones (TV Series). All of that stuff is just so great. For me, I think it ups the ante for people who are really serious about this genre and good decent films. To make a successful horror movie nowadays, you can't rely on all of the old standard tricks. You have to offer something different. I think that's a really great and healthy thing for the genre and the storytelling process we're in right now. It's a great time for horror movies much better than it was in the nineties. There was some great stuff that came out in the nineties, but a lot of it was the same. I hate to say.
What was the scariest moment of Metallica Through the Never for you?
One of my favorite scenes in that movie wasn't so much scary as it was ominous. That was when Trip was just walking and he found himself in between the two fighting factions. Those fighting factions were the people who were rioting and the riot police. He was right in the middle of them! The riot police were banging their truncheons on their shields right in time to the music. Whenever I see that scene, it brings goosebumps down my arm completely.
What would you love for people to say when walking out of the ballroom?
That they had a complete and total experience…I'd love for them to feel like they got good value for their money and they saw something unique and different that they'd want to come back to next year.
Will you be attending the Fear FestEvil?
See what James Hetfield had to say while reflecting on …And Justice For All here!