Brow Beat

Metallica and the Roots Turn “Enter Sandman” Into a Bona Fide Lullaby on The Tonight Show

In the last 24 hours, Metallica has released a video for every song from Hardwired … to Self-Destruct, their first new album since 2008’s Death Magnetic. They’re a typically funsy lot, with all the self-mutilation and combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder you could hope for from a band that’s never shown much interest in lightening things up. Even the song titles—“Moth Into Flame,” “Here Comes Revenge,” “ManUNkind” (get it?)—are a strong indication that Metallica is more interested in re-plowing their own furrow than breaking new ground.

But hey, Metallica are fun guys. And what better way to prove it than swinging by The Tonight Show for the traditional kiddie-instrument jam with Jimmy Fallon and the Roots? James Hetfield sets aside his six-string for a toy clarinet, and Lars Ulrich trades his double kick drums for a Fisher Price model, bringing “Enter Sandman” a step closer to a bona fide lullaby. (It’s worth perusing the complete list of instrumentation on the YouTube clip, where the Roots’ Black Thought is credited with playing tambourine and “Brown Hat.”) It’s an adorable two minutes and 42 seconds, if a tad hard to watch given Fallon’s recent history of mainstreaming racist demagogues. He’d probably muss Ulrich’s hair if he wasn’t wearing that goofy hat.