In the nine-minute video, posted on Metallica’s site (via The PRP), Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield record the basic riff and drum parts for the track, which had the working title of “Riff Charge.” “That’s the first riff people should hear on this record,” Ulrich says after Hetfield unloads the opening notes. “The mission statement is: Write an opening song for this record that’s super thrash-y and fast…” “Hardwired” is the opening track on the first disc of Hardwired… to Self-Destruct.
It’s not all hard work in the studio as there are moments of levity: At one point, Ulrich stands next to a thrashing Hetfield and simply keeps with his pointer finger glued to the guitar. “How many people wish they could do this while James Hetfield is playing? I just walk right up and do that,” Ulrich tells the person documenting the recording session.
During another take, Hetfield is asked whether the riff he just played is “the Nirvana version,” prompting the singer to muster up his best grunge impression.
In the latter half of the making-of video, Metallica continue to fine-tune the track as bassist Robert Trujillo and guitarist Kirk Hammett enter the studio to add their parts to “Hardwired,” with Hammett providing dozens of guitar solos takes.