Kirk Hammett has revealed he had been listening to Seattle grunge rockers Soundgarden “all day” when he came up with the infamous riff on ‘Enter Sandman’.

In a recent interview with Classic Rock, Metallica guitarist Hammett discussed the band’s iconic 1991 classic Black Album.

“We didn’t want to go down the same progressive, demanding route. We had our sights set on bigger things,” Hammett explained of the band’s mindset at the time.

“You have to remember that there had been some mega albums around that time – Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Bruce Springsteen – eight million, nine million copies sold. And we wanted that.

“It’s obvious. We wanted a Back in Black.

Hammett continued: “The ‘Enter Sandman’ riff was a riff that just fucking appeared. It was three o’clock in the morning, I was sitting in my bedroom.

“People say, ‘What were you doing up at three o’clock in the morning?’ Well, I was still in tour mode. I was playing my guitar, I had nothing else to do.

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“I’d been listening to Soundgarden all day. They were a band that me and James [Hetfield] loved. I was just trying to capture that feel. That riff came out of nowhere.

“The best parts of that album kind of just wrote themselves. Solos and music and songs felt like they just appeared out of nowhere. It was like the universe handed it to us on a platter. Not like the first four albums.”

It’s not the first time the rocker has spoken of his love for Soundgarden.

Back in 2017, when asked if he ever got a chance to tell the Soundgarden guys that they were the inspiration for the song that eventually became Metallica’s breakthrough hit, Hammett said: “It doesn’t sound like a Soundgarden riff, it doesn’t sound like a Soundgarden song. I was inspired by Soundgarden for sure — without a doubt — but I moved on to create something completely different.”

You can read more about this topic on the Metal Observer.

Check out ‘Enter Sandman’ by Metallica: