Metallica makes statement about Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’

Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” is without a doubt the soundtrack standout from the recent season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” but for a few minutes in the season finale, the kids of Hawkins turn off the synth-pop and go full- ten heavy metals.

“Stranger Things” became a breakout hit in the mid-2010s thanks to its adorable adolescent cast and Dungeons & Dragons-style approach to sci-fi, but the music has always been a huge part of keeping the show authentic to its 1980s setting. Much of that’s due to the vintage synthesizer score supplied of Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon of the Austin-based band Survive, but in recent years as the show’s budget has ballooned to more than $30 million per episode, filmmaking duo the Duffer brothers have had much more to spend on music licensing.

In addition to recurring appearances of “Running Up That Hill” (Bush’s streaming royalties skyrocketed to $2.3 million as a result), the Beach Boys, Talking Heads, Kiss and the Police have all made appearances. But the most epic moment of all belongs to Bay Area legends Metallica.

Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson in “Stranger Things.”

Courtesy of Netflix

One of the most exciting additions to this season’s cast is Eddie Munson, the metalhead ringleader of Hawkins High’s Hellfire Club, a group of D&D misfits who get scapegoated for a series of brutal murders. Played by British actor Joseph Quinn, Eddie is a classic burnout upperclassman, unwashed hair draping down onto a faded jean jacket. On the wall of his bedroom hangs a custom BC Rich Warlock guitar produced especially for the show.

There’s some minor spoilers ahead, but if you’ve seen the trailer you have a decent enough idea of ​​what’s going on plot-wise. The Hawkins gang returns to the Upside Down to try to stop this season’s big bad, a demon named Vecna, who among other things controls a swarm of demobats. Eddie enlists his Warlock as a weapon in the fight, shredding out a rendition of Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” to create a diversion that attracts the bats and doubles as “the most metal concert ever.”

Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson "Stranger Things."

Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson in “Stranger Things.”

Courtesy of Netflix

According to the show’s music supervisor Nora Felder, using this specific song was non-negotiable. “No other song was discussed further, and we jumped in to clear it straight away,” Felder told Variety. It wasn’t the first Metallica song used in the series — season 2 featured “The Four Horsemen.”

Although immediately recognizable, “Master of Puppets” did receive a few tweaks for the screen, with an alternate guitar track recorded by none other than Tye Trujillo, son of Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo (who joined the band in 2003, 17 years after “Master of Puppets” was released in 1986). Quinn, who has been playing guitar his whole life, told Esquire that he did actually learn the song for the episode; however, he enlisted a heavy metal guitarist stunt double for close-ups during the more intense moments of the solo.

vecna in "Stranger Things."

Vecna ​​in “Stranger Things.”

Courtesy of Netflix

As far as Metallica is concerned, they were “beyond psyched” about the scene, sharing an Instagram post in which they express how blown away they were by the execution.

They also remarked on the sharp eyes of superfans who zoomed in on the guitar-playing in the trailer montage and identified the riffs from “Master of Puppets” without any actual musical cues before the episode was even released.

“How crazy cool is that?” the band wrote.

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