Who would’ve thought that in 2022, Metallica‘s “Master of Puppets” would be one of the hottest songs going, some 36 years after its release? The popularity of the track has been brought about by its inclusion in the recently concluded season of Netflix’s Stranger Things, and even Lars Ulrich is surprised by the response it’s gotten.
“That whole thing is such a mindfuck,” explained Ulrich to interviewer Walt of Chicago’s Rock 95.5. “It’s so difficult to fathom. Obviously, we’ve been following it, and obviously Stranger Things have been an incredible phenomenon for years. And the fact that it kind of came out of the blue just three months ago, six months ago – ‘Master of Puppets’ [in] the season end. [We said] ‘of course.’ We were happy to participate.”
“We try to be very involved in letting our music be part of these cultural things that are out there and just to connect to fans and get the music out there,” Lars explained. And true to that point, Metallica have done their fair share in helping the momentum of the song following its Stranger Things appearance continue.
First it was revealed that Robert Trujillo‘s son, Tye Trujillo, shredded on the performance that was featured on the show. Metallica also shut down the gatekeepers who were bemoaning the new Metallica fans gained from the Stranger Things inclusion and even filmed their own TikTok duet, joining Eddie Munson’s “Hellfire Club.” Metallica also finally gave the song an animated lyric video, and most recently everything came full circle with Eddie Munson actor Joseph Quinn hanging with Metallica backstage at Lollapalooza and shredding “Master of Puppets” with the band.
“The way this thing has taken off. And who would have thought that — what is it? 36 years… So this song is 36 years old, and it’s now in the Top 40 in the U.K. It’s an eight-minute song, and it’s fucking making a statement,” says Ulrich.
He continued, “[It shows you] the power of film, the power of television, the power of just culture, and obviously any opportunity you get to turn new kids or younger kids on to music that may be a gateway into discovering whatever it is — whether it’s harder rock or different things, whatever is on their radar, is super cool. But this thing is just crazy. It’s kind of hard to fully comprehend, but it’s awesome. So we’re very psyched.”
Since the pivotal Eddie Munson scene in the season finale in which the character shreds “Master of Puppets,” Metallica’s classic song has cracked Spotify’s Top 50, received over 17 million Spotify downloads (and counting) and entered the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for the first time ever.