Ride the ‘Stranger Things’ Lightning

Metallica has embraced the “Stranger Things” collaboration – a rarity for the band.
Patricia DeLuca

August 9, 2022

Promotional image for "Stranger Things 4."
Promotional image for "Stranger Things 4."Netflix

Gen Z is now listening to thrash metal. During the fourth season of “Stranger Things,” rock band Metallica’s classic track, “Master of Puppets,” was featured in a now-pivotal scene from the series. Since the episode’s airing last month, the single – first released in 1986 – saw a

400% increase in streams

and has garnered a new generation of Metallica fans. 

We could chalk this up to

The Netflix Effect,

 as classic brands and artists are getting a new lease of life thanks to the streaming platform. However, the Metallica collaboration is different. The San Francisco-based band isn’t known for jumping on trends. Some may remember how the quartet, which formed in 1981, resisted making music videos for MTV (back when bands needed to make videos) until 1989 with “One” from the album, “… And Justice for All.” While Metallica has licensed its brand for

publishing

, 

spirits

and apparel lines with

Billabong

and 

J. Balvin

 (most with a tie-in to a charity), it’s rare when the band licenses songs from its catalog.   

Since

the resurgence of “Master of Puppets,” Metallica has

dueted

the song with “Stranger Things” wearing Hellfire Club baseball T-shirts on its TikTok channel and invited actor Joseph Quinn (“Eddie Munson” of “Stranger Things”) to

jam

with them backstage at Lollapalooza in Chicago, where they played the song as

clips from the series

flashed in the background. Metallica also released a collaboration with Netflix for a line of

“Hellfire Club” T-shirts

So, why did Metallica run with the “Stranger Things” ball? They’re fans of the series. In the TikTok clip with Quinn, vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield says how he and his family bond watching the series. Tye Trujillo, son of Metallica bassist Robert Trullijo, played guitar

on the remastered track

for the series’ soundtrack. It’s truly a family affair for Metallica, perhaps the most organic collaboration for the band outside of instrument endorsements like

Yousician

, where you can learn to play songs from the band’s catalog – including “Master of Puppets” – from Hetfield and guitarist Kirk Hammett. 

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