Metallica’s guitarist Kirk Hammett recently spoke about Kurt Cobain in an interview with Louder Sound and shared his thoughts about Metallica’s influence on Nirvana. He stated that he thinks Metallica influenced the acceptance of Nirvana’s music.
Metallica entered the rock scene in 1981 and released their self-titled fifth album, also known as the ‘Black Album’ 10 years later. This album was the band’s peak point where they took a risk and switched from thrash metal to a more refined, slow, and heavy sound. The album included some of their best-known songs and gave the band its never-ending fame.
Metallica is often noted as a source of inspiration by many bands in both the metal and rock scene. Nirvana was one of the bands influenced by their music and style, especially with the turn of sound in the ‘Black Album.’
Kirk Hammett stated that Kurt Cobain was a huge fan of Metallica and that they once hung out together. Because the ‘Black Album’ first earned acceptance with its heavy sound, Kirk thinks that they eased people into that style which later allowed Nirvana to get accepted with their grunge style.
Here is how he stated his opinions:
“Kurt Cobain came to one of our shows in Seattle, on the Black Album tour, I knew Kurt kind of well, and I hung out with him quite a bit. He was a pretty big Metallica fan. I was surprised at how much of a Metallica fan he was.
Rock radio embracing our sound – our heaviness – helped the whole grunge thing take hold. Not long after the ‘Black Album‘ came out, Nirvana put out ‘Nevermind.’ I like to think we had something to do with the acceptance of Nirvana.“
Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ was also released in 1991 and has gained huge success ever since. The album includes the band’s most known songs ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit,’ ‘Come as You Are,’ and ‘Lithium.’ According to Hammett, these songs wouldn’t be appreciated and loved as much if Metallica hadn’t introduced the style first.