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By Scott T. Sterling

Metallica live debuted the seven-minute-long track “Spit Out the Bones” at an October 24 concert in south east London.

Related: Metallica to Play Benefit Concert for California Wildfire Victims

The lengthy fan favorite is from the band’s most recent album, Hardwired… To Self-Destruct, but had never been performed live until the show at the O2 Arena.

[It’s] just the wonder and fear of what’s happening to man,” singer James Hetfield told Metallica fanzine So What about the meaning behind the song. “Without future tripping too much, just the possibilities of ‘Terminator,’ stuff like that. … We could be a much more efficient race if we just allow computers to help us. And yeah, they are helping us, but how far does that go? All of that craziness. So ‘Spit Out the Bone’ is that your bones aren’t needed. They break.”

“I have versions of that song that are two to three minutes longer,” drummer Lars Ulrich told Rolling Stone. “We just kept going and going and going. That was also the first song where we went, ‘Wait a minute, is there too much of a good thing here?’ And then we started peeling it back. It was one of those where you just keep going to different universes and different modes and areas because it was super fun. It was like this journey. Old-school Mercyful Fate–type stuff was kind of the inspiration for that.”

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