Metallica’s Lars Ulrich opened up in a new article about the band’s ongoing love affair with the Netflix smash series Stranger Things. And yes, the drummer admits: Decades ago, it would have been seen as “selling out.”
Many younger fans discovered Metallica when its 1986 single “Master of Puppets” appeared in Stranger Things. Actor Joseph Quinn, who plays lovable metalhead Eddie Munson in Season 4, shreds the banger during a key finale scene.
The show’s popularity helped to catapult “Master of Puppets” onto the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time.
Ulrich told the The New Yorker in a Metallica feature published Monday that things have changed in the years since the band’s early success.
“If you and I were sitting here twenty years ago, thirty years ago, back then it was really only about the music,” the thrash kingpin told Amanda Petrusich. “Partaking in these sorts of opportunities would have been considered selling out. But the culture is so much more forgiving of these types of things now.”
Metallica takes metal seriously but also knows how to have fun. In July, the band created a TikTok duet with the famous riff scene from Stranger Things.
Footage of Eddie Munson’s “Master of Puppets” scene flashed on-screen during the band’s set at Lollapalooza this past summer. Front man James Hetfield took it a step further by dressing as Eddie Munson for Halloween.
After Lollapalooza, Ulrich and Petrusich talked over tea.
“When you’ve been around as long as we have, you have to kind of ebb and flow,” the drummer told her. ” I don’t think there were any writeups about Lollapalooza this morning that didn’t mention Eddie, didn’t mention Stranger Things. And it’s not like…is the music not good enough?’ It’s like…it’s cool.”
Still, certain diehard fans appear annoyed by Metallica’s latest wave of popularity, with critics pointing out that such devotees are essentially gatekeeping the band itself.
Metallica has had a big year aside from Stranger Things.
On Monday, the metal titans dropped a new single and music video, “Lux Æterna.” The band also announced the release date for the upcoming studio album, 72 Seasons, and plans to embark on a massive world tour in 2023 and 2024.
Newsweek reached out to a representative for Metallica for additional comment.
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