Kirk Hammett was "shaking" at one point during Metallica's 'S&M 2' set

Publish Date
Friday, 28 August 2020, 11:33AM

It's not unusual for musicians to feel nerves when the red light comes on in the recording studio. Many more get anxious before playing live in front of an audience.

It's not hard to imagine those feelings being multiplied when recording a live album — let alone one accompanied by a symphony — and that's the delicate headspace Kirk Hammett was in last September as Metallica recording its S&M 2 album.

Hammett tells Rolling Stone that he was especially dreading the moment the set got to "Wherever I May Roam," and he had to put down his guitar momentarily.

"I had to play the intro on a Coral sitar," Hammett recalled. "My hands were shaking so much, and I kept on thinking to myself, 'Don't mess up. Don't mess up. Don't mess up.'

"And I played it right for only the second time out of 75 attempts. By the time I was playing the guitar for the meat of the song, I was still recovering from that high-pressure moment."

The guitarist wasn't the only one who felt like he was playing a show on the razor's edge.

Drummer Lars Ulrich acknowledged that he went off script during the intro for "One," when he joined the percussionists with his drum kit.

"The percussion players were fairly close to me physically, and I have a tendency to get restless when I'm waiting so it was like a magnet brought me there and gave me a chance to get into some shenanigans."

S&M 2 is out now.

Coming up on Saturday, August 29, is the premiere of Metallica's brand new live quarantine concert, which fans can experience at the drive-in!

This article was first published on and is republished here with permission