Lars Ulrich on why Metallica let ‘Stranger Things’ use ‘Master Of Puppets’

"It was such a mindfuck to see how that became a phenomenon"

Lars Ulrich has explained why Metallica decided to let Stranger Things use ‘Master Of Puppets’ in the show.

The metal band enjoyed a huge resurgence of the 1986 single this year after it soundtracked a pivotal scene in the finale of the Netflix series’ fourth season.

Eddie Munson (portrayed by Joseph Quinn) plays the song on guitar in the Upside Down to distract a horde of demonic bats protecting the lair of sinister villain Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower).


‘Master Of Puppets’ went on to bag Metallica their first UK Top 40 single in 14 years. The group also entered the Billboard Hot 100 for the very first time, with the song peaking at Number 35. Additionally, online streams of ‘Master Of Puppets’ significantly increased.

During a new interview on The Howard Stern Show, drummer Ulrich explained how Metallica have changed their approach to licensing their music for other projects in recent years.

“It used to be, with Metallica, we were always the ‘no’ guys,” he said. “‘Hey can we have this song for this? Can we have that song for that?…’ It was just no, no, no, no, no.

“And a few years ago we kind of reversed it. 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?’ Let’s share our music with the world. So a couple of years ago we started saying yes to everything.”

Ulrich then recalled how Stranger Things “wanted to build this whole scene around ‘Master Of Puppets'”, to which the band agreed.


As for the reaction to the sync and the song’s subsequent resurgence, the musician said: “It was such a mindfuck to see how that became a phenomenon, and we were so proud.

“I mean, who would’ve thought 40 years later that these songs could still have that impact? So we were psyched to be part of it, absolutely. It was just so unexpected.”

Ulrich went on to talk about the process of Joseph Quinn preparing for the scene in question. You can watch the full interview in the video above.

Quinn jammed with Metallica backstage at Lollapalooza over the summer, with Ulrich and co. also paying homage to Stranger Things during their headline set at the festival.

Meanwhile, Metallica have announced their 11th studio album ’72 Seasons’ and shared its first single, ‘Lux Æterna’.

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