i’m gonna be honest: there was a point where i just wasn’t feeling it this week.
Depression can do that to you. It’s inexplicable. It comes and goes in quick waves sometimes; other times it takes up a mass load of space. When i’m feeling tired and unmotivated i have to closely watch myself, to make sure i’m not entering a crisis. When playing music is not helping (and it certainly wasn’t helping this week), i know i’m verging on the edge of trouble. When i’m there everything that normally seems okay to play, i can’t seem to mentally make connections. Nothing i play comes out right. Fortunately, it passed right as it was about to get to that edge. As i was recording for this week’s session, a lot of what i was feeling began to pass.
i can’t believe it’s been five months since i’ve started these posts. Five months in this journey of not only Metallica being part of the soundtrack of living and learning post amputation; it’s also been a journey of me working on being okay with just letting go and allowing myself to JUST PLAY. i maintain that listening to and experiencing Metallica prior to the accident is extremely different than it is now. To echo the words of a Mr. Hetfield- When it comes to be a soothing ride towards a new day, there was a semi truck that came my way.
The positive of that will always be a reacquaintance with the things i never knew i would return to in the ways they have… not only playing music, but also myself. And while depression is not something that miraculously goes away, i have become better at reading when the freight train (or the semi truck, if you will) is approaching.
With that, we’ll start with something that might actually feel like a freight train to folks… one of the worst pains in existence on this earth: a toothache. Not too many things will down you faster than a toothache. Apparently Cliff Burton may have been thinking the same thing, because he made a tune (supposedly) inspired by it.
And while i absolutely love playing the bass to Metallica songs, i in no way shape or form am at the level of a Cliff Burton, so i did not play ‘Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth)’. i did play drums to it though. The thing i love about this song is that the band decided to do a song with BASS AS THE PRIMARY INSTRUMENT, AND NO GUITAR on their first album.
No… even better. The DRUMS came in after a couple of minutes. Bass and drums- the two instruments people love to make fun of all the time.
‘Hardwired’ is quite fun to play. It was the last song written for the album bearing it’s name (Hardwired…. To Self Destruct), and it was once again, the band saying, “We don’t need to prove our chops to you, but once again, here you go. Now shut up and stop complaining how we ‘sold out’.” It was a great opener to a pretty emotionally devastating (at least to me) album.
Come on. We had to get here eventually.
Yes, it is ‘Enter Sandman.’ Yes, it has been played to the point where everyone knows the song, whether or not they know the band who made it. As i’ve said several times though, there really is a difference between consuming a piece of music, and listening to a piece of music. ‘Enter Sandman’ really is a great song, in terms of its construction.
Thank you Kirk Lee Hammett for laying that groundwork. And thank you Bob Rock for encouraging the lyrical changes. ‘Disrupt the perfect family’ honestly is not as powerful as the contrast of Never Never Land and nighttime prayers, with nightmares and the sandman. Given that Metallica have also prided themselves on writing songs where the lyrics are open for interpretation, a song’s subject matter as specific as crib death honestly would not have worked as well, especially given the content of the other songs on the album. i don’t think ‘Harvester Of Sorrow’ pt. 2 would have worked.
i did switch it up a bit. Inspired by the switch-up of ‘The Unforgiven’, i half timed the verses, while the chorus (which was originally half speed) went in the other direction. Interestingly (but maybe not surprising to some), it gave the song a little bit more of a ‘Southern rock’ reading.
(This post is dedicated to Carly, who has helped me tremendously in dealing with some mental stuff. Thanks for the connection.)