Speaking with the L.A. Times, Hammett pointed to the fact that Guns N’ Roses haven’t produced any music in almost a decade. The group’s most recent album, Chinese Democracy, was released in November 2008.
“Unfortunately, they’ve turned into somewhat of a nostalgia act, which, to me, is kind of sad,” Hammett said.
The guitarist was contrasting Metallica’s efforts to create new music with those of other groups that launched in the Eighties but now focus on touring and performing their classic material.
In the same interview, Metallica frontman James Hetfield explained the group’s drive to create new music. “I don’t want to think we’re trying to stay young by writing new stuff, but it makes us feel relevant,” Hetfield said. “It makes us feel like we’re still progressing.”
Metallica will release their latest album, Hardwired…to Self-Destruct, on November 18.
Hammett’s comments are similar to those he made in 2014 when asked by Ecuador’s El Comercio if he can imagine Metallica ceasing to make new music.
“I hope not,” Hammett replied. “There’s a lot of different aspects to this band that we need to tend to. But I really think that the touring part supports the recording part, and the recording part — the creativity, the songs — supports the touring part. Both of those things kind of support each other and need each other for us to move forward.
“So I think that we would always need to write music, write songs, record them.”
On that same theme, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich told The Pulse of Radio not long ago that the band no longer wants to devote large periods of time to individual projects.