Metallica snuck the Batman theme song into one of their riffs, Kirk Hammett admits

Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett and a photo of Batman and Robin in the 1960s
(Image credit: Michael Buckner/Billboard via Getty Images | Silver Screen Collection/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett has confirmed that their song Shadows Follow contains a knowing reference to the theme of the 1960s Batman TV show.

Shadows Follow appeared on the thrash metal band’s 11th album, 72 Seasons, which was released in April. The riff in question happens about four minutes and 20 seconds into the song, and was nicknamed ‘The Batman Riff’ during production.

When asked about the reference in a new interview with Total Guitar, Hammett admitted: “That’s really funny, because we called that riff ‘The Batman Riff’, and I know exactly what you are talking about.”

The admission follows months of speculation about the riff from Metallica’s fans. As Total Guitar reports, there was even a subreddit where a fan asked: “Anyone else here [sic] the 60s Batman theme song in Shadows Follow?”

“Yes! I immediately heard it and it honestly took me out of the song for a second,” said one reply.

“Man, I laughed my ass off at that part the first time I listened to the song,” wrote another. “Great track overall.”

Hammett also agreed with the categorisation of Metallica as a “rock ’n’ roll band” during the interview and likened the San Francisco outfit to AC/DC.

“One thing I noticed from watching AC/DC at [California metal festival] Power Trip is that AC/DC are actually a bunch of different bands. AC/DC is a fucking boogie-woogie blues bar band… a rock band… a hard-rock band… a heavy metal band. They are all those types of bands rolled into one. It goes from ‘Baby, please don’t go’ to fuckin’ Back In Black.”

Metallica are still promoting 72 Seasons. They recently became one of the first international metal bands to play Saudi Arabia and will continue their M72 world tour with a run of shows in mainland Europe, starting in May 2024.

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.