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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'Wilma's Rainbow'

The title came from a place in New Orleans that I believe was on Magazine Street, right next to the funeral home that Trent Reznor later bought for his studio [Nothing Studios]. Helmet was playing at Tipitina's and I was walking around before the show, looking for something to eat. Wilma's Rainbow was a shop that had shaved ice and wings. I thought, That's a great title for a song.

As far as the intro riff, there's a Gang of Four tune, I think it's on Entertainment!, that has a harmonic type of thing in that that I always thought was cool. I love how volume and distortion can help you achieve all these weird false harmonics at different places on the [guitar] neck. Then I added a weird chord at the end. I just trusted my ears. I hear something in my head and then I find it on guitar and go with it.