Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine spoke in an interview with Matt Pinfield and claimed that if you hear the spider chord in any Metallica song, it means he wrote it. He said:
“‘Wake Up Dead’ is a song that has my personal favorite guitar solo in it – whenever we play this live I get really excited.
And every single night I swear this happens – I get excited and I get halfway in the solo and I forget where I’m at. And it’s one of those solos were you’re going… *gasps* So this song, we have a love-hate affair.
And there’s a part in there. I invented this one thing. I was really lazy at guitar and I thought that when you’re jumping [power] chords you have to lift off this chord. No matter how elegant you are, there was a little bit of time in between.
So I thought just dropped these two fingers [second and fourth finger on the fretting hand] when it’s still sustaining. There’s no loss, there’s nothing there. And I figured it kind of looks like a spider. So I call it a spider chord.
And we did that in Metallica a lot. [plays riff from ‘Ride the Lightning,’ the one at 1:57 in the embedded player below] You know that riff, right?”
Listen Metallica’s “Ride The Lightning” below.