Kirk Hammett Admits Metallica’s ‘Shadows Follow’ Has Sonic Nod to ‘Batman’ Theme
And as it turns out, there is a knowing reference to the 1960s Batman TV series in the album cut, as Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett confirmed in a new interview. Holy Metallica, Batman!
The riff starts at 4:20 in the song — an octave guitar slide that brings to mind the bouncy, orchestral 1966 "Batman Theme" composed by Neal Hefti. Metallica identified it as such when writing the song.
"That's really funny, because we called that riff 'The Batman Riff,' and I know exactly what you are talking about," Hammett told Total Guitar when asked about the section. The riff repeats four times amid a chunkier, palm-muted guitar-led section, just before the tune's ending section.
Hammett didn't write the part — his bandmates James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich co-wrote "Shadows Follow" together. But Hammett does have co-writing credits elsewhere on 72 Seasons.
Batman + Metallica
The '60s TV Batman originally aired from 1966 to 1968 on ABC. It starred Adam West as Batman (Bruce Wayne) and Burt Ward as Robin (Dick Grayson). The show was known for its campy, colorful and comedic take on the DC Comics characters, and parts of that kitschy aesthetic still crop up today in pop culture.
Hammett was six years old when the show first aired, so it makes sense that the series serves as something of a touchstone to the band. Now, it's one that made it onto a Metallica record.
How many other TV shows get that kind of recognition? Especially from Metallica?
Metallica, "Shadows Follow" (Music Video)
"Batman Theme" (1966)
The Most Played Song Live From Every Metallica Album
Gallery Credit: Joe DiVita