Premier Guitar features affiliate links to help support our content. We may earn a commission on any affiliated purchases.

Kirk Hammett Announces Debut Solo EP, 'Portals'

Kirk Hammett Announces Debut Solo EP, 'Portals'

Kirk Hammett of Metallica makes his solo debut with Portals, a four-song instrumental EP to be released April 23, 2022 across digital platforms, on CD, and as a Record Store Day Exclusive vinyl.

Portals is described as a collection of gateways to myriad musical and psychic destinations. Recorded in multiple locales ranging from Los Angeles to Paris to Oahu, Portals was created to be the result of musical and metaphysical journeys. An invitation to inner worlds accessible only by music and the psyche it fuels.

“This music was created with what I describe as an Audio-Cinematic approach. They’re soundtracks to the movies in your mind.” - Kirk Hammett

Produced by Kirk, Portals is comprised of the songs Maiden and the Monster and The Jinn on side A, followed by High Plains Drifter and The Incantation on side B (both co-written with Edwin Outwater, who contributes keyboards and leads the orchestral players from the LA Philharmonic on Portals — and with whom Kirk had previously collaborated on Metallica's S&M2 concerts and releases). Other familiar names amongst the Portals players include drummers Jon Theodore and Abraham Laboriel, Greg Fidelman on bass, Emmy-winning arranger Blake Neely, and Bob Rock.

Photo by Ross Halfin

The trio bandleader and Jason Mraz backer breaks down her journey through guitar academia, how to play with other musicians, and whether theory still matters.

Read MoreShow less

Amazon Prime Day is here (July 16-17). Whether you're a veteran player or just picking up your first guitar, these are some bargains you don't want to miss. Check out more deals here! https://amzn.to/3LskPRV

Read MoreShow less

A technicolor swirl of distortion, drive, boost, and ferocious fuzz.

Summons a wealth of engaging, and often unique, boost, drive, distortion, and fuzz tones that deviate from common templates. Interactive controls.

Finding just-right tones, while rewarding, might demand patience from less assured and experienced drive-pedal users. Tone control could be more nuanced.

$199

Danelectro Nichols 1966
danelectro.com

4.5
4
4
4.5

The Danelectro Nichols 1966, in spite of its simplicity, feels and sounds like a stompbox people will use in about a million different ways. Its creator, Steve Ridinger, who built the first version as an industrious Angeleno teen in 1966, modestly calls the China-made Nichols 1966 a cross between a fuzz and a distortion. And, at many settings, it is most certainly that.

Read MoreShow less

The author standing next to a Richardson gunstock lathe purchased from Gibson’s Kalamazoo factory. It was used to make six necks at a time at Gibson in the 1950s and 1960s.

Keep your head down and put in the work if you want to succeed in the gear-building business.

The accelerated commodification of musical instruments during the late 20th century conjures up visions of massive factories churning out violins, pianos, and, of course, fretted instruments. Even the venerable builders of the so-called “golden age” were not exactly the boutique luthier shops of our imagination.

Read MoreShow less