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Kirk Hammett recently discussed the grunge influences of Metallica's iconic "Enter Sandman" in an interview with Guitar World. His aim for the song was to write the next "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple.

“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. I got the swing kind of feel going, and then I was thinking of Soundgarden and how they were using dropped tunings."

He revealed the riff of the song was born at three in 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 at its earliest stage – we’re talking late 1989 or so. No one was even calling it grunge yet. But I was loving a lot of it, and it was influencing me somewhat.

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

"I remember that when the first part of it came to me, I thought, ‘It sounds like it’s asking a question, and now I’ve got to resolve it.’ So that’s where the chunky chord part, with the G and F#, came in. And famously, when I originally wrote the riff, that chunky thing happened at the end of every line."

He then revealed how Lars added the finishing touches to the Black Album single.

“Then Lars said, ‘Repeat the first part.’ So we changed it to where we repeat the first part three times and then the chunky chords come in. That made it hookier and bouncier – less heavy metal. It made a good-sounding riff fucking great."

 “But if you think about the way the riff was originally – chunkier, more metal – you know, maybe it could have ended up on …And Justice for All.”

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