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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'The Silver Hawaiian'

Henry came in with this great riff and I had no idea what the hell I was going to do with it. But we worked and worked on the arrangement and got it trimmed down to what it is. And the lyric is just wordplay. In the Eighties I played in this band in Brooklyn and the singer would always do that — he'd write nonsense lyrics, sort of as a placeholder. So I said, "I'm gonna write nonsense lyrics and it's gonna be the song." That's how you end up with lines like "Biscuits and jam and you're eating your pie, too."

I love playing this song live. I love the funkiness of the riff, and that low tone in my voice. I was a baritone in choir in community college so I like singing like that. It's really fun.

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