Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett was recently interviewed on the Backstaged: The Devil in Metal podcast, and discussed suffering child abuse.
“I had a bad childhood. I experienced a lot of darkness early on in my life that I probably shouldn’t have been exposed to. Unfortunate things happened to me as a child. And so that real-life darkness came to me way too early in my life. Basically, guitar playing and music saved my life. And it was a type of therapy for me. It made me feel better when I knew that I wasn’t feeling great. nd I was so young. I didn’t understand why I was feeling this way. And I didn’t know this was because of circumstances and situations. I didn’t put that together.
I just knew that guitar playing helped me feel better and calmed me down as an adolescent, as a teenager, as an adult, up to like now. I mean, I have a lot of anxiety and I’m prone to depression-like most people. My guitar helps me through all that. A good heavy metal song is like a good horror movie. It’s intense, it’s unpredictable. It has a lot of the same feelings, of the darker things in life…
Your brain just gets that feeling. Like myself, there’s a lot of people out there that when they hear that darkness, that gloom, it’s cathartic. It feels good, you know? It feels like you can get to the darker parts of your life and experience them without really experiencing them.”