Why Metallica’s Kirk Hammett Won’t Push His Kids to Have a Career in Music
To be clear, Hammett is not against the idea of other musicians' children entering the music industry, but he has his reasons as to why it's not an ideal fit for his own kids.
Thinking back to his own first 72 seasons — or 18 years — of life, Hammett said he felt that he was always reactive and in survival mode. He's learned a lot about himself over the years, which has come through change and understanding.
Hammett has also learned a lot of lessons about the music industry, which he uses as a tool to reason why he won't encourage his sons — 16-year-old Angel and 15-year-old Vincenzo — to follow in his footsteps.
Kirk Hammett on the Ups and Downs of the Music Industry
Embracing an inner peace, the guitarist said, "I recognize that whatever happens in my life, I will always be playing guitar. I will always be making music because that’s my calling. I recognize that this is my universal calling: to play music, with or without anyone. This is what I do. And to me, the realization – I realized maybe 10-15 years ago that this really was the only option I have in my life – was great! There’s no questions about why I’m doing this."
Hammett went on to note the level of commitment and the amount of personal sacrifice that the music industry demands of musicians, each of whom hope to enjoy a modicum of success.
"There’s no guarantee of success," the Metallica axeman cautions, "and you might get killed in the process. That’s what being in this business is like, and I can only say that now looking back."
Recollecting how in the band's early days, the members all shared common traits (hungry, innocent and with something to say) and that they started off "on the same page."
"But because of the industry, because of the music, because of popularity, status, sex, drugs, and rock and roll, not all of us made it to this point. [Kirk is speaking about the music business in general, not specifically Metallica.] Some people got fucking devoured and spat out. Some people just got devoured and never came back. I got extremely affected by it. Other people in the band got extremely affected by it. I feel like I’m a fucking survivor, and I think that every one of us in this band is a survivor because, man, it’s a screwed-up industry," Hammett frankly assessed.
Why Kirk Hammett Won't Encourage His Sons to Go Into the Music Industry
Metallica are very much the exception rather than the rule when it comes to success in music. And as Hammett outlined, not everyone is cut out to deal with the pressures and demands of this industry, including his sons.
"My kids are really sensitive and shy, like me. I wouldn’t push them into this. I don’t push my kids into music or going into this career," he confessed.
"Yes, it’s been amazing," the 60-year-old continued, "This side [of the struggle toward success] is amazing. Everyone always sees this side, but you have got to frigging be aware of “this” [other] side too… and “this” side almost frigging killed me."
Returning to his children, Hammett reasoned, "If I push my kids into this, there’s no guarantee they’re going to have the same success. So, I don’t want my kids to be subject to that."
Kirk Hammett On His Bandmates' Kids Pursuing Careers in Music
James Hetfield's son Castor currently plays drums in Bastardane, Lars Ulrich's sons Myles and Layne make up the duo Taipei Houston and Robert Trujillo's son Tye is in OTTTO, having also toured with Korn at age 12.
"The other guys’ kids are different from my kids. Rob [Trujillo's] kids, and Tye in general, he’s a perfect example of a kid who’s grown up in this business and already knows what he wants," Hammett notes, citing personality differences that make Trujillo's children better suited for the trials and tribulation of the industry.
"And he has full support of his family, and that’s great," Hammett added, stating that was not the case for him growing up. "When I started off [as a child], I didn’t have the full support of my family, and I doubt if any of the rest of us did. In fact, my mom hated it when she found out I was thinking of becoming a musician. Literally, she yelled at me for two or three hours, saying, “What are you doing? Are you nuts?'"