Metallica have released a behind-the-scenes video that shows how they constructed their latest song, “Hardwired,” from the riff up.
The song is the opening track on Hardwired…to Self-Destruct, the group’s upcoming album, slated for release on November 18.
The nine-minute video reveals that the song had the working title “Riff Charge.” The clip begins with James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich recording the guitar riff and drum rhythm for the song.
Hearing Hetfield’s guitar riff, Ulrich comments, “That’s the first riff people should hear on this record.”
“That’s where the moshpit starts,” Hetfield says.
Adds Ulrich, “The mission statement is: Write an opening song for this record that’s super thrash-y and fast and aggro.”
Hetfield and Ulrich are later joined by Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo, who add their parts to the track. For one part of the clip, Hammett can be seen soloing on his 1959 Les Paul Standard, the storied guitar once owned by former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green and used to record several of that band’s classic tracks, including “Black Magic Woman,” “Albatross” and “The Green Manalishi (with the Two-Pronged Crown).” Hammett recently revealed that he bought the guitar with the encouragement of Jimmy Page.
Metallica released “Hardwired” last Thursday and gave the song its debut live performance at their show in Minneapolis this past Saturday.
“That’s actually the last song we wrote for the record,” Ulrich told RollingStone.com. “We started this album by throwing different ideas around. The shape of it, as a collection of songs, didn’t come into focus until we were deep into it. At that point, the songs were getting tighter, shorter and leaner.
“A couple of months ago, we were sitting there taking stock of the record and thought maybe we should write one more fast, little crazy song, and that became ‘Hardwired.’ It just kind of happened. I think James and I wrote and recorded it in less than a week, which, for us, is basically a nanosecond.”
In related news, Ulrich says Metallica are planning to tour extensively in 2017 in support of Hardwired…to Self-Destruct.
“We’re going to start pretty much full-on touring in January and are looking to figure out what we're doing in North America, but there will definitely be some pretty extensive touring in America."