Metallica’s Kirk Hammett on Writing the ‘Die By My Hand’ Riff in High School, “I was trying to write something heavier than the bands I was listening to”

Metal Hammer: Kirk Hammett was in high school when he wrote the riff for Metallica’s first great anthem. Read the entire article @ this location.

I was in high school when I wrote the riff,” says Kirk. “I was trying to write something heavier than the bands I was listening to, and that felt like the first time that I’d done it. Kind of, like, ‘Wow, I’m on to something!’”

The guitarist and his bandmates in Exodus worked the crunching riff up into a song, Die By His Hand, which featured on a two-track 1983 demo of the same name. A few months after joining Metallica, he was surprised to hear his new bandmates cranking out the same riff as part of one of the new songs they had written.

“James and Lars hammered Creeping Death out in a day and then called me down to the rehearsal space,” Kirk told Metal Hammer in 2014. “They got to the Die By His Hand riff and they started grinning at me and I laughed because I’d had that riff kicking around for so long, but it just worked in Creeping Death so well.”READ MORE

In another interview with Metal Hammer, Exodus/Slayer Guitarist Gary Holt said:

I recall calling Kirk up and giving him a great deal of grief. He said, ‘Ah, I thought I asked you if it was OK.’ I’m like, ‘No, you didn’t.’ So I’ve had the pleasure – and I use the term loosely – of watching 60,000 people chant ‘Die by my hand!’ at Metallica shows, yet I’ve never received a penny for it.”