King Nothing

"King Nothing" is a song by American heavy metal band Metallica from their 1996 album Load.

"King Nothing"
Metallica - King Nothing cover.jpg
Single by Metallica
from the album Load
B-side"Ain't My Bitch (live)"
ReleasedJanuary 7, 1997[1]
RecordedMay 1995 – February 1996 at The Plant Studios, in Sausalito, California
GenreHeavy metal
Metallica singles chronology
"Mama Said"
"King Nothing"
"The Memory Remains"
Music video
"King Nothing" on YouTube
Audio sample
King Nothing

The song was written by James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, and Kirk Hammett. The song starts on a bass riff which develops into the main riff of the song. A single of "King Nothing" was released in the United States. It included a live version of the song "Ain't My Bitch", which is also on the album Load. A music video also accompanied the song. The guitars and bass are both tuned to Eb.

At the end of the song, the words "Off to never-never land" can be heard. This is a nod to one of Metallica's most famous songs, "Enter Sandman", which also features these words. The song also features a similar structure.

"King Nothing" was featured as background music in the ninth episode of the second season of The Sopranos, "From Where to Eternity", in a scene in which Tony Soprano is speaking with Paulie Gualtieri in the Bada Bing strip club.

On the US charts, the song reached number 90 on the Billboard Hot 100, while peaking at number six on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

The song circles around the theme of "be careful what you wish for". The lyrics depict a man who just wants to play the king and doesn't care about anything else. This ultimately leads to his downfall, as shown in "And it all crashes down, and you break your crown".

Music videoEdit

In the music video, "King Nothing" is seen wandering around a snowy wasteland, throwing away his crown, and then putting another one on. He does this so much, by the end of the video, there are crowns everywhere. At the very end, hundreds of other King Nothings surround him.


The demo of "King Nothing" was called "Load" (hence the title of the album on which it is featured) and was recorded in Lars Ulrich's home studio 'Dungeon' by James Hetfield and Ulrich on November 30, 1994. The official music video for "King Nothing", directed by Matt Mahurin, was filmed in Park City, Utah in December 1996.

Track listingEdit

Canada and US single
  1. "King Nothing" – 5:28
  2. "Ain't My Bitch" (Live – Irvine Meadows, California 4 August 1996) – 6:00
US promo Single
  1. "King Nothing" (edited version) – 4:59
  2. "King Nothing" (full version) – 5:28


  1. ^ "King Nothing". Release date. Archived from the original on June 23, 2013. Retrieved June 17, 2013.