Issue 781 (December, 2016) is out today, available via the usual stockists and our online store.
Our cover-story feature is an exclusive interview with Metallica. Editor Rod Yates spends time with all four band members in New York as they prepare for the release of their 10th studio album Hardwired... to Self-Destruct.
When Metallica took the stage at Webster Hall last night, they did so knowing it was 30 years to the day since the death of bassist Cliff Burton, who was killed when the band's tour bus crashed in Sweden in the early hours of September 27th, 1986. Their performance of "Orion" – the Burton-co-penned instrumental from Master of Puppets that in many ways has become the bassist's musical signature – concluded with Hetfield looking upwards and saying, "Love you, Cliff."
"I knew it was Cliff's death day yesterday," sighs Hammett. "John Marshall, who was my guitar tech during the Master of Puppets tour, texted me early yesterday morning just one word: 'Cliff'. And that sent a fucking huge lump to my throat, and I thought, well, this is one of the fucking rare occasions where we're actually playing a show on his death day, let's play 'Orion' as a tribute to him. It was a very emotional moment for me last night." His voice breaks. "I still get emotional talking about Cliff. As time goes on I miss him more. I just long for his presence."
The issue also features a new interview with Van Morrison, on his legacy and new album Keep Me Signing.
The answer is quick, blunt and impatient. "Yeah, yeah, I agree," Van Morrison says, responding to a question about a song on his new album, Keep Me Singing. There is a brief silence. "What's next?"
I had asked him about the first lines on the record, which sum up Morrison's life in music over five decades: "Put another coin in the wishing well/Tell everybody got to go to hell." Pressed for additional comment, Morrison, 71, curtly declines. "No, you got it," he says in his low brogue. "There's no need to explain it any further."
We also catch-up with rising Aussie rapper Tkay Maidza, talk to Bruce Springsteen about his new memoir, profile pop sensation The Chainsmokers and spend some time with the world's hottest architect Bjarke Ingels.
At 41, Bjarke Ingels could be fairly described as architect-famous, meaning people outside of his profession might be able to finger one of the buildings he's designed, but not the man himself. In person, he exudes a boyish charisma that one minute suggests a Silicon Valley wunderkind and the next a president of a frat house. He speaks basically flawless English and often seems amused by the world around him, especially if there's a hurried or chaotic element to the scene – a mood he'll signal with a roguish grin, as if he's revelling in everyone else sweating it. His most distinctive features are his eyes, which are such dark pools you can practically see your own twin reflections in them. Though not today: Here in the desert, he's wearing a pair of aviator sunglasses with lenses so flat that to look upon them feels disorienting, like staring at the surface of a glass office tower designed to repel birds and bullets and building-scaling human flies.
The issue also contains features and interviews with Deborah Conway, Empire of the Sun, Jimmy Eat World's Jim Adkins, comedian Fred Armisen, Sturgill Simpson, Angel Olsen and Birds of Tokyo's Ian Kelly.