As any Metallica fan can tell you, the band has been quite protective of their music over the years, keeping strict control on how it is distributed and where it appears, which is why it took so many audiences by surprise to see their hit song "Master of Puppets" used prominently in Season 4 of Stranger Things. Rather than merely being a chance inclusion of the track, drummer Lars Ulrich recently explained how it was an active decision on their part to encourage the use of their music more often, as it allowed them to share their legendary tracks with new generations to ensure their sound lived on.
"It used to be, with Metallica, we were always the 'no' guys. 'Hey, can we have this song for this? Can we have that song for that? And it was, 'No, no, no, no, no,'" Ulrich shared with The Howard Stern Show. "We did a 180. We just said, 'You know what? This is stupid. Why are we hanging onto these [songs] like they're so important, like they're the crown jewels?' It's like, let's share our music with the world. So a couple years ago, we started saying 'yes' to everything. Let's share our music with the world."
While Metallica have been staples of the metal scene for decades, they're familiar with highs and lows in their career and the cycles of notoriety. Despite their excitement for Stranger Things, they couldn't at all prepared for the attention and enthusiasm that the use of their song would bring to them.
"Obviously, we're all somewhat familiar with the Stranger Things phenomenon but we got that [offer] 6-9 months ago and they wanted to build this whole scene to 'Master of Puppets' and we said, 'Of course,'" the musician recalled. "And then it came out over the summer and it was just such a mindf-ck to see how that became a phenomenon. And we were so proud. Who would've thought 40 years later that these songs could still have that impact? We were psyched to be part of it, absolutely."
He added, "We like to support other creative entities and obviously if somebody's got a great -- starting an independent project and needs a favor or whatever, we wanna support the community in that way. But the way this Stranger Things took off was just so unexpected."
The final season of Stranger Things is expected to premiere on Netflix in 2024.
What did you think of the song in the series? Let us know in the comments or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!