It may surprise you, but in the year-end edition of Total Guitar magazine, Metallica's Kirk Hammett posits that much of the music-listening public likely forgets most songs' guitar solos. But Hammett has a theory as to why.

He tells Total Guitar (as shared by Guitar World), “I hate to say it for all your readers out there, but non-musicians, who are the majority of the fucking listening world, they are not going to remember guitar solos.”

Elaborating on his theory, he adds, “They are gonna helluva remember a great melody, and they’re really gonna remember a great song – especially a song that’s gonna bring them to a different place from where they were five minutes previously.”

Hammett, who has crafted many a solo over his years in Metallica, is more of the mindset that the solo should serve the song, explaining, "I figured it out when I was 15 years old."

He recalls, “John Marshall [former guitar tech] and myself had literally been playing guitar for six months when I said to him, ‘We need to start writing tunes. Look at KISS, they write all their own songs... and Aerosmith, Van Halen,’” Hammett elaborated. “So John and I started writing music. And it was a lot of crap, but it was something!”

READ MORE: Metallica's Kirk Hammett Responds to Critics of His 'Lux Aeterna' Guitar Solo

Songs with great melody .... and guitar solos? Metallica have some of those, including material from their most recent album 72 Seasons that came out earlier this year.

The band continues to tour in support of the effort, even allowing moments to highlight Hammett's guitar work. Having concluded their North American touring for the year, the band will start off 2024 in Europe. See all their scheduled dates here.

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