During their stop-off in Switzerland, amid the recent European leg of their WorldWired tour, Metallica's Kirk Hammett and Lars Ulrich paid a visit to the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN): the largest, most prestigious particle physics laboratory on Earth. Following a private tour of the facilities — including the world-famous Large Hadron Collider and the Antimatter Factory — the guitarist and drummer sat down with CERN's Connie Potter to discuss their lifelong loves of science.
"I was an avid science student," Hammett says proudly, going on detail his childhood obsession with astronomy. "At one point, I wanted to be an astronaut, when I was going to elementary school; I was into model rocketry, I built rockets" he explains. "I always maintained my fascination with science — from basic physics all the way to quantum physics." Later, the axeman speculates that, had he been gifted with a scientific skillset, he may very well have ended up working as an astronaut or aerospace engineer. "Don't forget science," he instructs at the end. "It's important to know!"
Ulrich's interest in science, on the other hand, is largely a family affair. "Most of my schooling came not only from the Danish public school system, but hanging out with my dad, and staring into space and the night sky, and talking and listening," he explains. The drummer was clearly taken aback by the visit, as he jokingly floats the idea of helping out around CERN should he bow out of music entirely.
"I could maybe be the first guy shot around the accelerator," offers Ulrich. "I could do, like, the human cannonball."
Metallica's European tour is set to run through May 11th, with a North American trek to follow. Find a full itinerary here.