METALLICA's LARS ULRICH And KIRK HAMMETT Look Back On The Making Of Ride The Lightning - "We Were Creating Our Own Playing Field"
May 23, 2020, 3 months ago
Metal Hammer's Dave Everley caught up with Metallica's Lars Ulrich (drums) and Kirk Hammett (guitars) for a song-by-song breakdown of the making of the band's second album, Ride The Lightning. Following is an excerpt from the rundown.
"Fight Fire With Fire"
Kirk: "The main riff was around on the Kill ’Em All tour. I remember hearing it on a riff tape, so the seeds were around even then. The acoustic intro was something that Cliff would play on the acoustic guitar all the time – and I mean all the fucking time (laughs). We weren’t trying to provoke anybody with that intro – it was a natural thing. I didn’t see any limitations to what we wanted to do. The possibilities were sky high. And you have to understand, we were creating our own playing field here. We were going to places that no one else had gone before, and we were happy going there. It made sense to try weird new things out – why not?"
Lars: "It’s become this folklore that I hate 'Escape'. It’s not true! It was the last song that was written for the Ride The Lightning sessions, and it was purposely kept a little shorter than the other songs. We thought of it in the spirit of Iron Maiden’s 'Run To the Hills' or Judas Priest’s 'Living After Midnight' – dare I use the words ‘radio songs’? So instead of turning it into an eight minute 'Seek And Destroy' type of thing, we kept it on the short side. Then it got a bad rap, and I don’t know why. I don’t have a particular problem with it, but it never became a live staple like the other songs on the record. It just goes to show that you’re better off not trying to do things on purpose."
Lars: "Musically, it was one of those songs that came quickly, and then became its own thing just as quickly. Lyrically, when I was a kid I was obsessed with the movie The Ten Commandments, with Charlton Heston. We didn’t have a VCR, so James and I went down to Cliff’s parents house with The Ten Commandments, and we sat and watched the movie. There’s a scene where Moses goes back to try and get his people out of Egypt, and when the Pharaoh reneges on that, the firstborn must die. Then this fog appears out of the moon and comes down and starts creeping across the ground, smoke machine-style, and everybody who’s caught in it falls over and dies on the spot. That’s where the words ‘Creeping Death’ come from. If you watch The Ten Commandments and read the lyrics, there’s definitely a… how can I put this… similarity."
Read the complete interview here.