In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Metallica’s landmark first LP, Kill ‘Em All, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett recently appeared on the Metal Mayhem ROC podcast to discuss various photos and stories from the recording sessions. Early on, he – alongside assistant engineer Andrew Wroblewski – reminisces about the otherworldly occurrences at Music America Studios in Rochester, N.Y.

A few minutes into the interview (posted to YouTube on Nov. 30), Wroblewski shows three photos from the studio that Hammett says he’s “never seen . . . before.” Wroblewski clarifies that it’s “the ballroom above the studio” before mentioning that Metallica’s approach to making the album was inspired by how Led Zeppelin “rented [a] country manor [Olympic Studios]” to get a “raw” sound for their 1969 debut record.

Wroblewski continues: “That picture of Lars [Ulrich], that’s where, if you remember, he was seeing the ghosts?” Hammett replies: “Yeah. I remember [that] the upstairs – or the whole building was supposedly haunted.”

Wroblewski elaborates:

Yeah, the whole building. Lars was in the bathroom, you know, and at that time, I went by Andy. [Lars] kept saying, “Hey, you guys. Why is Andy walking by the room all the time?” And Chris [Bubacz], the other engineer, said, “No, he’s sitting here right next to me.” Then, after that, I had to go sit with Lars ‘cause we’d put his drums in the bathroom. We . . . put [everything] in the bathroom and . . . I used to sit with him and stuff. It was really a spooky place.”

Finally, Hammett adds: “I remember you guys put the toms [drums] in the bathroom to try to get a bigger sound for the drum fills . . . but it just didn’t happen [Laughs]. I remember that it just was not happening.”

You can watch the full clip below.

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Of course, this isn’t the first time Metallica’s eerie experience at Music America Studios was explored. For instance, Ulrich previous told Metal Hammer:

The actual studio was in the basement of this huge old colonial-type of clubhouse. On the second floor there was a huge ballroom; perfect for getting a good drum sound. The problem was the place was fucking haunted – I had to have someone else up there the whole time I was recording. My cymbals would start spinning for no reason, shit like that. It was scary.

So, had you heard about this before, or did you just learn something new about Kill ‘Em All’s behind-the-scenes scariness? Let us know!

As Loudwire reported yesterday (Dec. 1), Metallica’s 72 Seasons “had the biggest first week sales of any rock or metal artist in 2023.” On that note, the quartet’s latest LP made our list of “The 25 Best Rock + Metal Albums of 2023,” just as its title track earned a spot on our list of “The 30 Best Rock + Metal Songs of 2023.”

Although Metallica are almost done touring for 2023, they’ll hit the road once again during the middle of 2024. You can see the full list of dates here and grab tickets here.

Kirk Hammett Discusses Ghostly ‘Kill ‘Em All’ Recording Sessions on ‘Metal Mayhem ROC’ Podcast

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Gallery Credit: Loudwire Staff





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