Kirk Hammett Isn’t A Fan Of Metallica’s ‘Super-Busy Riffs’

Metallica’s Kirk Hammett recently had conversation with Rick Beato about Metallica’s stand-out riffs. Rick posted a clip of that interview on his Instagram account where Kirk shared Metallica riffs that are effective versus ones that are super-busy.

The guitarist shared why the riffs on the track ‘The Thing That Should Not Be’ works; he explained:

“That’s [‘The Thing That Should Not Be’] one of my favorite riffs. That song was written in 1985 and we tuned down to C sharp and you know that one riff… [plays the riff] It’s really cool but really simple and basic. Like super simple and basic, but it’s effective you know?”

Besides talking about riffs that fit in tracks and serve a purpose, Kirk also mentioned that he’s not in favor of tracks where riffs overpower the whole song. The guitarist added:

“Progressive stuff that gets to the point? Yes! Simple stuff that are super effective? Yes! Super busy stuff or a lot of unnecessary notes? No!”

Metallica has produced many riffs for their albums over the years between Kirk and James Hetfield. The situation was no different for their last album ’72 Seasons.’ Hammett came to the recording session with 700 riffs for the band to tackle.

Producer, Greg Fidelman, recalled the ‘daunting process’ of categorizing riffs during his So What! interview for Metallica’s website. He expressed:

“I started going through riffs, helping Lars [Ulrich] go through the ridiculous amount of ideas. It was hard to even begin sifting through them. So me and Lars would listen to riffs together, and we’d categorize them really quickly. It’s a fast riff, it’s a slow riff, it’s a ‘picking patterns,’ it’s metal. And then give it a grade.”

You can watch the Instagram clip Rick Beato posted here and listen to ‘The Thing That Should Not Be’ as well as ’72 Seasons’ below.