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Rock Candy Magazine Issue 37 Out Now Featuring METALLICA

MARCH 31, 2023 — As thrash legends Metallica return with a new album, ‘72 Seasons’, Rock Candy Mag goes back to 1986 to look at the band’s classic ‘Master Of Puppets’ over 14 pages. Guitarist Kirk Hammett discusses the making of the album, how it changed Metallica’s career trajectory, and how he looks back on ‘Master…’ today.

“We weren’t trying to make an album that 35 or so years on people would put on and think still sounded great,” Hammett tells Rock Candy Mag editor Howard Johnson. “We didn’t set out to do anything, really. We were just trying to make the best album we possibly could and that’s what came out.”

Released on 3 March 1986, ‘Master Of Puppets’ was the thrash band’s third album – recorded in Denmark with producer Flemming Rasmussen – and it went on to sell over six million copies in the US alone.

“From a technical viewpoint, when I listen to the album I’m really surprised at how good it sounds so long after the fact,” says Hammett. “The recording of the album, the recording of the songs, the production… it all holds up still.”

‘Master Of Puppets’ proved to be Cliff Burton’s swansong with Metallica. The bassist sadly died on 27 September 1986 in a coach accident while on tour promoting the album.

“Cliff’s contribution to ‘Master Of Puppets’ was very melodic and very musical,” explains Hammett. “His contribution wasn’t so much the big heavy riffs. It was all melody bass, and it was a lot of really, really cool stuff. When Cliff went it was the end of an era, and we all knew it. We knew it.”

More than 35 years after it was first released, ‘Master Of Puppets’ is an acknowledged classic of the thrash genre and proudly sits in the US Library Of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry on account of being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”Hammett thinks he knows why.

“A lot of the music from that time now sounds samey and similar,” he says. “But there’s really nothing on ‘Master Of Puppets’ that dates it to any particular period – sound-wise, production-wise, recording-wise. ‘Master Of Puppets’ is my favourite of all the albums we’ve ever done.” 

You can read our 14-page Metallica special, together with fascinating stories about L.A. Guns, Kansas, Bad English, Winger and many others in issue 37 of Rock Candy Mag. For more details visit

Rock Candy Mag is a 100-page, full-colour bi-monthly rock mag, created in the UK. It covers the sights, sounds and smells from the greatest era in hard rock music, the ’70s and ’80s. The brainchild of: respected UK rock journalists Derek Oliver, Howard Johnson and Malcolm Dome – all frontline writers for the legendary Kerrang! magazine in the golden era.

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METALLICA’s JAMES HETFIELD Dressed Up As ‘Stranger Things” EDDIE MUNSON For Halloween

For Halloween this year METALLICA frontman James Hetfield dressed up as “Stranger Things”‘ long-haired, leather-clad character Eddie Munson, who played an instrumental version of the band’s 1986 track “Master Of Puppets” where he fought demons.

METALLICA‘s official Instagram account shared a photo of James wearing a mullet wig, leather jacket and battle vest while throwing the horns. “Eddie Munson says Happy Halloween!” reads a message accompanying the image.

This past July, METALLICA met and jammed with Joseph Quinn, the actor who played Eddie Munson in “Stranger Things”, at a rehearsal for their headlining gig at the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago.

During the private meet-up, Quinn jammed with METALLICA and they gifted him a custom and signed B.C. Rich guitar just like the one Quinn played on the show.

Hetfield told the 28-year-old he’s been a fan of the hit Netflix show since its first season. “My kids and I, it’s been a bonding experience for us,” Hetfield said.

Quinn revealed he consistently listened to the tune over the past two years and felt “very connected” to the band. “Thank you so much for letting us use the track,” Quinn told the band. “Thanks for doing it justice,” Hetfieldresponded.

After their chat, bassist Robert Trujillo invited Quinn to a backstage jam session. Quinn, who has been playing guitar since he was a child, joked, “I’m a bit rusty, so I might need a lesson.”

Afterward, Quinn told the Netflix-owned fan site Tudum: “It was amazing! Opportunities to play ‘Master Of Puppets’with the most iconic metal band of all time don’t come around very often. A story for the grandkids.”

HetfieldTrujillo and the other METALLICA members — drummer Lars Ulrich and guitarist Kirk Hammett — have enthusiastically embraced the scene since it first aired this summer.

“The way The Duffer Brothers have incorporated music into ‘Stranger Things’has always been next level, so we were beyond psyched for them to not only include ‘Master Of Puppets’ in the show but to have such a pivotal scene built around it,” METALLICA said in an Instagram post on July 5. “We were all stoked to see the final result and when we did we were totally blown away. … It’s so extremely well done, so much so, that some folks were able to guess the song just by seeing a few seconds of Joseph Quinn‘s hands in the trailer!! How crazy cool is that?”

The band added: “It’s an incredible honor to be such a big part of Eddie‘s journey.”

The “Stranger Things” guitar solo was actually performed by Tye Trujillo, the 17-year-old son of the band’s bassist.