Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine singled out his signature spider chord technique as one of the key elements to recognize his work in Metallica, telling Matt Pinfield (transcribed by UG):
“‘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?
“And then in ‘Wake Up Dead’… [plays ‘Wake Up Dead’ riff, the one at 1:49 in the player below]. That’s a spider riff.
“So that’s shown up in Megadeth songs and Metallica songs and that’s my part. So if you heard it in Metallica song – I wrote that song.”