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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'Vaccination'

I wrote this on a four-track at my apartment on 16th St. It was kind of a home-jam-type song. There's a lot of tension, and then the tension just releases nicely into what I call the chorus — that kind of "grind" part. It's a blues, really, but a Helmet-style blues.

This is also one of our hardest songs to play live. The rhythmic displacement is what throws you off. When we started these Betty shows, it took some doing for sure to get it down. And I can't play the riff and sing the verse at the same time — I can either do the riff with the band or I can sing the words. Obviously I need to sing, so I lay off the guitar part. That's actually not an uncommon thing for me. I have the same issue with "Unsung" for some reason.

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