Rock stars, they’re just like us. Take Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, for example. Or take his phone, because someone must have. In an interview on Jamey Jasta’s podcast, the guitarist explained that he lost his phone, which had ideas for about 250 songs on it. Apparently, the way he composes music is that he’ll jam riffs on his guitar into his phone. Sadly for him, one of the richest guitarists in the world didn’t think to back up his phone, and he lost everything:
“I put riffs on my iPhone, but something very unfortunate happened to me about six months ago. I lost my iPhone [containing] two hundred and fifty musical ideas. And I was crushed. It didn’t get backed up. And when it happened, I was bummed out for about two or three days. I walked into the house. My wife saw me and she said, ‘Uh-oh, what’s wrong? Did you get a phone call from a relative?’ I said, ‘No.’ She said, ‘What’s going on?’ I told her, and she understood.
“I lost [the phone]. I just plain lost it. I can’t find it. I’m still looking for it to this day. I just set it somewhere and… It still might turn up. I’m hoping it will. To try to remember those riffs…? I can only remember, like, eight of ’em. So I just chalked it down to maybe it just wasn’t meant to be and I’ll just move forward with it.
“For me, music comes at all times of the day. When I get a riff, sometimes it’s a complete riff and I can just play it and there it is, sometimes it’s half a riff and I have to tweak it. Sometimes it’s just a rhythm or a note selection. Or sometimes it’s just something that I hum in my head. But it can come from anywhere, and I put it on my phone, and I make sure the phone is fucking backed up.
“All you musicians out there who use your phone, make sure it’s backed up. Right?!
Well, that’s pretty lazy. It’s kind of one of those “you had one job” situations. If you’re trying to record your first album in seven years and you’re stockpiling riffs, you should probably have them in more than one place, and should back up often. Just saying. And there’s also a “find my iPhone” app that he definitely should have had installed as well. On the other hand, if Hammett can only remember eight riffs out of the 250 that he had, then that must mean that he wrote about 242 forgettable riffs. Elsewhere in the interview, he mentions that Greg Fidelman is involved with the follow-up to Death Magnetic, which was released all the way back in 2008.