In the grand season 4 finale of Stranger Things, Metallica could be heard as Eddie (Joseph Quinn) caught the attention of monstrous Upside Down bats by playing the iconic metal band’s classic song Master of Puppets. It turns out that the band are fans and gave the okay for the song’s usage, as reported by Variety.
Nora Felder, the music supervisor for the Netflix series, got in touch with management for the band. She gave them the details of what was to be expected for full context. Besides Metallica being fans of Stranger Things, they liked the pitch enough to approve of the usage of Master of Puppets.
“I got in touch with Metallica’s management office and carefully went over the scene and what the intent would be,” Felder said on the crossover of Metallica and Stranger Things. “I knew the clearance would be taken seriously as we had used one of their songs (The Four Horseman) in season 2 and had learned at that time that they were fans of the show. Master of Puppets is a pretty significant song in their catalog, and I think it’s considered a favorite in their live shows. I wanted to be respectful in making sure that Metallica fully understood what context the song was being used in, plus how integral it was to the scene and for this exciting new character, Eddie Munson, who no one had met yet in previous seasons.”
Using ‘Master of Puppets’ in Stranger Things
Using Metallica in Stranger Things, especially this song, had to be specified. The Duffer Brothers had written it into the script. The song was essential for this scene of Eddie distracting creatures and the rest of the crew in action in their attempt to defeat Vecna.
“It was another one of those ‘it has to be this song,’ moments,” Felder said “This part of the story was anticipated to be a pivotal and especially hair-raising scene in which Eddie heroically stood tall for the fight of his life. I believe the Duffer Brothers felt that playing Master of Puppets throughout the extended scene was the clear choice. No other song was discussed further, and we jumped in to clear it straight away.”
The song was written about addiction. It could be interpreted in many other ways as people controlling others, like the powers of Vecna. It also spoke to Eddie’s arc and identity of being a metalhead Dungeons & Dragons player who has been an outcast his whole life and became framed for the murder of Chrissy (Grace Van Dien). Now, he got to end his life as a hero to save his friends.
“They share similarities in that they each have life-destroying powers that rob people of their essential personal powers,” Felder said. “The aggressive up-tempo metal sound belies its cautionary psychological and socially conscious lyrics, which are rooted in a sensitive concern for others. The sensitive side that we’ve seen in Eddie, which is clearly evident in the scene when he meets up with Chrissy, is similarly masked and concealed by Eddie’s abrasive public image.”
Joseph Quinn Played Metallica in Stranger Things Season 4
The most striking thing was not that Metallica approved Stranger Things using one of their most popular songs but that the actor playing Eddie learned the riffs to give authenticity to the scene. The scene’s framing ensured the audience knew, as some shots showed the actor playing his guitar while creatures flew around him and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo).
This past Friday (July 1st) was the release of the final two episodes of the sci-fi horror series. The show has now set up its endgame with its final fifth season, which begins writing this August. With so many recognizable needle drops, seeing what pops up next will be interesting. Maybe more Metallica in Stranger Things or some other classics.