Metallica’s Kirk Hammett says he wanted ‘Enter Sandman’ to be the next ‘Smoke On The Water’

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The guitarist also elaborates on how Soundgarden inspired the classic track

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Metallica’s Kirk Hammett has revealed that when he first sat down to write “Enter Sandman,” he wanted to make the next “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple.

  • Read more: Metallica and friends: “The Black Album was a victory for the underdogs”
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Speaking in a new interview, the guitarist elaborated on the making of the classic song and how Reef was inspired by Soundgarden.

“I sat down and I said to myself, as I always do, ‘I want to write the next ‘Smoke on the Water,’ and I just started messing around,” Hammett said. Guitar World. “I felt like a swing, and then I was thinking about Soundgarden and how they were using the dropped tunings.”


He explained that the song’s riff was conceived in the early hours of the morning in a hotel room while listening to Soundgarden’s “Louder Than Love” during the band’s “Damaged Justice” tour.

“This was when grunge was in its early stages – we’re talking late 1989. No one was even calling it grunge yet. But I was loving it a lot, and it affected me to some extent.” It was,” said Hammett.

“I wasn’t playing in a drop tuning, but with those tunings it’s often octave work – you get a low D, and then you go to an upper D and it sounds really heavy. I’m not into drop D. Yes, I was just in E, but I was messing with the lower and higher octaves, and then I threw a tritone in there, an A#, went to A, and that riff that came out.”

He continued: “I remember when the first part of this came to me, I thought, ‘It looks like it’s asking a question, and now I have to solve it.’ So that’s where the chunky chord part with G and F# came in. And famously, when I originally wrote the riff, that happened at the end of every line.”

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich then put the finishing touches on the “Black Album” single, Hammett explained. “Then Lars said, ‘Repeat the first part.’ So we changed it up to where we repeat the first part three times and then the chunky chords come in,” he recalled. “It made it hooker and bouncy—less heavy metal. It made a good sounding riff fucking great. “


He continued: “But if you think about the way the riff was originally – chunkier, more metallic – you know, maybe it could have ended on ‘…and justice for all’.”

Meanwhile, Ulrich has shared an update on the status of Metallica’s long-awaited new material.

Speaking in a new interview with Zane Lowe apple music 1 On the show, the 57-year-old drummer was asked where the band is in relation to the follow-up to 2016’s “Hardwired… to Self-Destruct.”

“Of course there’s new music coming out, there’s always new music. It keeps us alive, you know what… Listen, I wish I could… I mean, of course there’s new music, but anything cohesive No. There’s no story, nothing really to back it up yet.”

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