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Metallica recently changed its tune on licensing out music, and now it’s paying off big time. In a Monday interview with Howard Stern, Lars Ulrich opened up about how the band’s game-changing collaboration with Stranger Things — which saw one of the show’s most pivotal season four scenes using “Master of Puppets” as a backing track — came to be, from start to finish.
“It used to be, with Metallica, we were always the ‘no’ guys,” Ulrich explained, saying he and his bandmates had never wanted to lend out their songs to TV and film projects until just a couple of years ago when they changed their minds.
“We did a 180,” the drummer shared. “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?’ We started saying yes to everything. Let’s share our music with the world.”
After the Netflix sci-fi series heavily featured “Master of Puppets” in its season four finale — during a scene in which Joseph Quinn’s character Eddie epically performs the 1986 track in the Upside Down — Metallica experienced a surge in streams. Nearly four decades out from its original release, “Master of Puppets” made its debut on the Billboard Hot 100, skyrocketing to a peak at No. 35.
“It was such a mindfuck to see how that became a phenomenon,” Ulrich continued. “It was totally unexpected. Who would’ve thought 40 years later that these songs could still have that impact? We were psyched to be part of it.”
This isn’t the first time Metallica has shown love to Stranger Things following the tribute. The band gave its seal of approval four days after the season four finale dropped on Netflix, writing on Instagram that they were “blown away.” And just last month, frontman James Hetfield dressed up as Eddie for Halloween.
Over the summer, Metallica also met up with Quinn for an epic jam session, which Ulrich also talked about with Stern. “He came, we played together, he knew the song,” he raved. “He was such a sweetheart.”
Watch Lars Ulrich talk about Stranger Things with Howard Stern below:
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.
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