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Metallica’s Kirk Hammett discusses Soundgarden inspired the riff behind “Enter Sandman”

Posted by on September 14, 2017

Metallica are currently traveling throughout Europe for their WorldWired tour. They recently performed ManUNkind live for the first time along with consecutively closing each night with the classic song, “Enter Sandman.” Whether you’re a die hard fan of these legends or only know a few songs through family and friends, it is safe to say, anyone and everyone will recognize the opening riff to the 26-year-old tune. We wouldn’t be surprised if this song is used to literally tuck their children in at night and enforcing them to sleep with one eye open. However, it’s the riff that is most recognizable and instantly sucks you into the track.

Guitarist Kirk Hammett spoke to 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich” yesterday (13) and revealed Soundgarden’s Louder Than Love (1989)  inspired him to pick up his guitar and write down the famous riff.

The guitarist said:

“It was very specific, I have a very specific memory. It was about two or three o’clock in the morning. I had just been listening to ‘Louder Than Love’, the [second] Soundgarden album. It was when Soundgarden [was] still somewhat underground and [was] on an independent label. I just love that album; it’s a great Soundgarden album. And I heard that album, I was inspired, I picked up my guitar and out came that riff.”

He continued:

“It was a cool riff. You kind of get an idea that a riff is cool, ’cause when you play it, if it’s a cool riff, you can just instantly groove on it. So, yeah, [I thought], ‘Yeah, this is pretty cool. It’s a good feel, it’s a good sound, it’s a good combination of notes.”

Later, he expressed how his bandmates reacted to the riff:

“When Lars heard the riff, he said, ‘Repeat that first part four times,’ and I did, and he said, ‘There you go,'”

Speaking of guitar riffs, Metallica are gearing up for their reissue release of Master of Puppets, which arrives on November 10th. The group recently shared an excerpt from the book, which will be included in the Master of Puppets deluxe box set.

The piece is from Michael Wagener, Mixing engineer for the album and reads:

“There were more guitar tracks than usual, which contributed to the thick guitar sound on the album, and James had a very definitive vision of where he wanted to go with the guitar sound. Lars also knew exactly what he wanted to hear in his drums. It was easy for me to just follow their vision and try to realize what they wanted to hear. During the mixing sessions the band was always present at the studio and didn’t miss a minute of the project. I would mix a song to a point where I thought we got it close and then the band would come into the room with fresh ears and gave their comment. Usually, I was sitting in the middle behind the console, James was to my left and Lars sat to my right. Cliff even got hands-on involved for the intro of ‘Orion.’ He was making all kinds of suggestions about how he would like to hear the bass, so I sat him down at the console and let him mix the intro himself. It took us a while to get it right to where Cliff wanted it, but it turned out very well.” – Michael Wagener, Mixing Engineer for “Master of Puppets” ✞ ✞ ✞ Excerpt from the book included in the “Master of Puppets” Deluxe Box Set”

 

 

“There were more guitar tracks than usual, which contributed to the thick guitar sound on the album, and James had a very definitive vision of where he wanted to go with the guitar sound. Lars also knew exactly what he wanted to hear in his drums. It was easy for me to just follow their vision and try to realize what they wanted to hear. During the mixing sessions the band was always present at the studio and didn’t miss a minute of the project. I would mix a song to a point where I thought we got it close and then the band would come into the room with fresh ears and gave their comment. Usually, I was sitting in the middle behind the console, James was to my left and Lars sat to my right. Cliff even got hands-on involved for the intro of ‘Orion.’ He was making all kinds of suggestions about how he would like to hear the bass, so I sat him down at the console and let him mix the intro himself. It took us a while to get it right to where Cliff wanted it, but it turned out very well.” – Michael Wagener, Mixing Engineer for “Master of Puppets” ✞ ✞ ✞ Excerpt from the book included in the “Master of Puppets” Deluxe Box Set, available everywhere on November 10. Pre-order now at Metallica.com or wherever you buy music. ✞ ✞ ✞ Photo courtesy of Michael Wagener #metallica #masterofpuppets

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