Kirk Hammett On Hearing Black Sabbath First Time: “I Actually Got Scared”

Kirk Hammett On Hearing Black Sabbath First Time: "I Actually Got Scared"

Metallica lead guitarist Kirk Hammett sat down with Gibson for a Halloween special to discuss his passion for horror movies. He touched on the first time he heard about Black Sabbath, which was scary for him.

Kirk Hammett‘s fascination with fear is even greater than many fans’ fascination with music. He first fell in love with horror when he was only a kid who sprained his arm in a fight and sat in front of the television to watch something fun, like cartoons. So instead of the others, Hammett watched horror movies and had fun with them. For him, the following years would come to collecting horror magazines with a huge passion.

“My earliest monster memory would be around the time I was five years old,” Kirk says (as transcribed by “It’s a little story that’s wrapped around it too. I sprained my arm as a kid, a five-year-old kid, went to the doctor and put my arms sling, and the doctor told my parents I couldn’t go outside and play. So, I just sat in front of the television and started switching the channels. And I found a movie called Day Of The Triffids. From that point on, I was just riveted, and I watched the entire movie. And I thought, ‘This is way better than any of the cartoons.'”


Hammett then discussed how horror and music came together for him back in the day. He recalled first hearing Black Sabbath while camping with his friends. Saying that he was only 16 when he first heard the heavy metal pioneer, Hammett admitted that he got scared after he heard Black Sabbath in the middle of the night.

“Horror and music came together for me when I first heard Black Sabbath,” Kirk discloses. “It was quite a thing for me because I remember I was 16 years old, and I was with a bunch of friends; we went out camping. It was at night around the campfire, someone put on the first Sabbath album [self-titled album released in 1970], and I’d never heard it before.

“I actually got scared, actually got scared! I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘This is like a horror movie!’ It was all dark, and there was a fire. Everyone got silent, and I was listening to the [songs from the album]; I actually got scared. But Sabbath; it was the first enmeshment of the two.”

He had heard Black Sabbath before but had not had the opportunity to listen to it. The fact that the first hearing experience was in such a place made the group even more attractive to Hammett.

“I knew about Black Sabbath, and I knew that they’d gotten that title from a horror movie, Boris Karloff horror movie, but I never really, really got around to listening to them,” he adds. “I was into Cream and Jimi Hendrix and Pat Travers and UFO, weird stuff like that, [and] Deep Purple. And I was making my way. Eventually, I would have gotten around to Sabbath sooner or later, but it was a moment because we were outside camping, and it was scary as fuck.”

For Hammett, being a fan of Black Sabbath was not only related to the band’s horror theme. Ozzy Osbourne was just one of the musicians he named an inspiration: “Being around other musicians is always inspiring. I would say tonight, knowing that Ozzy is going to be there, and other incredible musicians, pushes me.”

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