Helmet's Page Hamilton Breaks Down 'Betty' Track by Track

The singer-guitarist reveals how doggy biscuits, street crabs and cat-eaters helped inspire the Nineties' alt-metal classic

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'Biscuits for Smut'

The riff was an accident. I was visiting my family and I had a beautiful blue G&L guitar with me that I had just put new strings on. I picked it up a half-hour later and it was tuned to an open A7 chord. I loved the sound and the feel with that tuning, and I immediately came up with the harmonic thing at the intro.

The lyrics are kind of a combination of a few things. My grandfather, who we called Grandpa Bones, had told me a story about his dog, Smut, that he had growing up in Oklahoma. One day his mom — my great-grandmother Momo — made some biscuits, but she overcooked them and they were too hard so she threw them out the door for the dog. I liked that idea. Then I started thinking about a serial killer story, and I just put those two things together. I wrote the song in about 15 minutes.

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