Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett wishes he'd stopped drinking earlier.

The 57-year-old rockstar previously revealed he was addicted to cocaine, but beat his addiction by spending thousands on comic books to keep his mind occupied.

Kirk is now also coming up to five years without alcohol, but has said he wishes he had kicked his drinking habit a decade earlier.

He told Kerrang!: ''I would have stopped drinking 10 or 15 years ago. I'm coming up to five years sober without alcohol and I really enjoy it.''

Kirk first gave up drugs after the cocaine began making him depressed.

And though he is enjoying his life being sober, he does miss the times he was a ''raving alcoholic lunatic''.

He continued: ''Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed being a raving alcoholic lunatic, but then everything turned against me. Every time I had a drink, it worked against me rather than helping me to enjoy myself in a recreational manner.

''That's the thing about alcohol, if you're not paying attention and something happens, it could flip on you and next thing you know, you're on the down side of things rather than on the upside.''

Now, he enjoys having ''clarity of mind'' by remembering the events of the day before and has grown a ''strong relationship'' with his music.

He added: ''For f***ing decades, I'd go out after a show and carry on all night. I'd go back to the hotel room and play guitar for two or three hours and not remember anything the next day. I'd pick up the recorder and think, 'What the f**k is this garbage?' I did that for f***ing decades.

''I stopped drinking and now I go back to my room and play guitar and remember everything! I can pick it up from the night before. I still feel like I'm growing as a musician, and I like having that clarity of mind and having a really strong relationship with my instrument and the music. I wish I had gotten to this point a lot earlier in my life. But hey, everything's meant to happen for a reason.''