Metallica Reveals How They Created Iconic “Enter Sandman” Riff

via The Howard Stern Show / Youtube

Metallica has always been a band that has pushed the boundaries of heavy metal music. Their albums have sold millions of copies worldwide, and their live performances have left audiences in awe. One of their most iconic songs is “Enter Sandman,” which has become a staple of their live shows. During a recent appearance on the Howard Stern Show, Metallica shared some insights on how the song came to be.

The band revealed that the song’s signature riff was written by guitarist Kirk Hammett, who came up with it in the middle of the night. According to Hammett, he woke up at 3 a.m. with the melody in his head and recorded it on a small cassette recorder. The next day, he brought it to the band, and they immediately knew they had something special.

Hammett’s riff, which opens the song, is simple but incredibly effective. It starts with a series of power chords that are instantly recognizable, followed by a descending chromatic riff that leads into the verse. The riff’s simplicity is part of its appeal, and it’s a testament to Hammett’s talent as a songwriter that he was able to come up with something so iconic.

Metallica’s frontman, James Hetfield, explained that the song’s lyrics were inspired by the idea of a child’s bedtime prayer. Hetfield, who has children of his own, was thinking about the fears that children have and how they cope with them. The song’s lyrics are a reflection of those fears and how they can manifest in nightmares.

The song’s production was also an important part of its success. Metallica worked with legendary producer Bob Rock, who helped them achieve a polished, radio-friendly sound without sacrificing their heavy metal edge. The song’s opening riff is still one of the most recognizable in rock history, and it’s a testament to Metallica’s talent and creativity that they were able to create something so enduring.

In the years since its release, “Enter Sandman” has become one of Metallica’s most beloved songs. It’s a fixture of their live shows, and fans still respond to it with the same level of enthusiasm as they did when it was first released. Its success is a testament to the power of a great riff and the enduring appeal of heavy metal music.

Watch the video below: