It's no secret that Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett is a huge horror nerd. From his 2012 photo book Too Much Horror Business: The Kirk Hammett Collection, a visual inventory of his extensive collection of monster-movie memorabilia, to last year's It's Alive! exhibit in Salem, Massachusetts, the guitarist made a point to wear his zombie-adoring heart on his sleeve. Hammett showed his love for the horror genre yet again yesterday (May 28th) on Gilbert Gottfried's "Amazing Colossal Podcast!", chatting with the comedian about his introduction to fright films, his priceless acquisitions (including several paintings by famed artist Forrest Ackerman), his soft spot for "misunderstood" monsters and more.
Hammett explained that his obsession with horror — his self-described "first love," surpassing even music — has yet to fade since a childhood viewing of Day of the Triffids, a 1962 sci-fi film about killer plants. "It just feels so fun, so great, so comfortable, so relatable," he gushed. "This is my very first love, the horror genre. Music came a lot later. This was a complete world I created for myself: reading all the comic books, reading all the monster magazines, seeing the movies and watching the Saturday night horror shows."
Recalling his hours poring over comics at the San Francisco Comic Book Company, America's first-ever comic book store, Hammett remembered a time he fainted in the shop (this is why you always eat breakfast, kids), prompting owner (and underground comix pioneer) Gary Arlington to drive him to the hospital. ("I was thinking, 'You're like my dad, only cooler,'" he said of the legendary artist with a laugh.) Elsewhere, he recounted purchasing Boris Karloff's costume from the 1934 horror movie Black Cat, which he proceeded to wear with pride: "Once I finally did acquire it, the first thing I did was put it on ... I wore it around the house for about an hour just pretending I was the Black Cat," admitted Hammett.
Speaking of all things horrifying, did we mention the part where Hammett fesses up to committing sea-monkey manslaughter as a kid? "You're supposed to let them grow from Monday to Friday," the rocker said somberly, "but by Wednesday, mine would all be floating at the top of the water." Don't beat yourself up about it, dude: We've all been there.
Below, watch Kirk Hammett tour the Salem Witch Museum in Salem, Massachusetts: