Released in 1983, Metallica’s first LP – Kill ‘Em All – is one of the most influential thrash/speed metal albums of all time. In a recent interview with the Metal Mayhem ROC podcast, Kirk Hammett revealed that late UFO guitarist Paul Chapman indirectly shaped how he approached Kill “Em All.

Two months prior, Chapman’s daughter – Brittany – appeared on the show and talked about how excited Hammett was to meet her father many years ago. When prompted to “share a story” about Chapman, Hammett reflects:

I mean, you know, I’d never seen UFO with [guitarist] Michael Schenker. The very first time I’d seen UFO – who’s my favorite band of all time – it was with Paul Chapman. I showed up a little skeptical to that gig, but then I saw Paul play on stage and it blew me away. Then, I just realized it wasn't fair to compare [him] to Michael Schenker. They're two different players! Completely different players.

I was just so into everything that he did with UFO, but I’d never gotten a chance to meet him. I’d met everyone else in UFO – Michael, you know, and all of the other guys – but for some reason, I never got a chance to meet Paul Chapman until that time we were in Florida. I was so excited because I felt like I was finally closing that circle of meeting everyone who was instrumental in shaping UFO’s sound and albums.

So, yeah, when I met him, I was so stoked ‘cause I can play a lot of his stuff. I can play a lot of Paul Chapman’s guitar licks. It’s not just Michael Schenker licks that I play; I play a lot of Paul Chapman licks, too, and I guess this is the very first time I’ve ever copped to this. [That’s] especially [true] on ‘Kill ‘Em All.’ There’s, like, Paul Chapman licks all throughout ‘Kill ‘Em All.

I remember hanging out with him in Florida and I said, “What do you do nowadays?” and he goes, “Oh, you know. I play in local bands and I give guitar lessons.” For a second, I thought, ‘Maybe I should get a guitar lesson from him’ [Laughs]. I’m the biggest [UFO] fan in the world.

You can watch the full clip below.

READ MORE: Robert Trujillo Is Ready to Sing for Metallica Again

Of course, Hammett has been quite open about his love for UFO over the last several decades. Luckily, he was able to play with them on stage back in October of 2019 (to perform “Doctor Doctor” and “Shoot Shoot”).

Tragically, Chapman – who first joined UFO in 1974 and remained intermittently until 1983 – passed away on June 9, 2020. Ironically, it was also his 66th birthday, and within a few days, numerous peers and fans (including Motorhead’s Phil Campbell and Arch Enemy’s Michael Amott) shared remembrances and condolences on social media.

In related news, Hammett's controversial remarks regarding “non-musicians” forgetting guitar solos recently drew criticism from guitarist Angel Vivaldi. In fact, Vivaldi even claimed that Hammett is “why guitar solos are dying!”

As for other members of Metallica, James Hetfield and Robert Trujillo chatted about their favorite new and classic songs to play live. Papa Het also offered up an uplifting message – as well as some future goals – as he heads into 2024.

So, were you already aware of Chapman’s influence on Kill ‘Em All, or does the revelation come as a complete surprise? Let us know!

Kirk Hammett Discusses UFO + ‘Kill ‘Em All’ on 'Metal Mayhem ROC' Podcast

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Stats last updated on Dec. 26, 2023 (via setlist.fm).

Gallery Credit: Joe DiVita

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