from netflix metal lords premieres on the streamer tomorrow, April 8. The coming-of-age film stars Jaeden Martell, Isis Hainsworth and Adrian Greensmith with Brett Gelman and Joe Manganiello. Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello is also serving as executive music producer for the film.
“Two kids want to form a heavy metal band in a high school where exactly two kids care about heavy metal. Hunter (Adrian Greensmith) is a die-hard metalhead—is there any other guy?—who knows the history of him and can shred,” reads the official synopsis. “His dream in life is to win the next Battle of the Bands. He recruits his best friend Kevin (Jaeden Martell) to handle the drums. But with classmates more interested in Bieber than Black Sabbath, finding a bassist is a struggle. Until Kevin overhears Emily (Isis Hainsworth) playing her cello. The motley crew must deal with school, parents, hormones and teen angst while trying to get along long enough for Skullf*cker to win the Battle of the Bands.”
ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke with metal lords writer and game of Thrones co-creator DB Weiss on the film, his own love of the genre, and more.
Tyler Treese: When I was a kid being in a metal band used to be the coolest thing and obviously times have changed and it’s not really the “in” anymore. So what inspired you to base yourself on a metal band and draw these outcasts to it?
DB Weiss: I think it’s interesting because, as you mentioned, it’s not as much as it was 10 or 15 years ago, definitely. I think it helps the movie because, like you said, it’s a movie about some kids who are outcasts, who are way out of the mainstream. And I think the more the music has moved away from the mainstream, the more it has helped make sense of the core of the film, if it makes sense at all. Like, I think Hunter would be the only guy in his high school that looks like that. Twenty years ago, he wouldn’t have been the only kid in his high school who looked like this. But today I believe it.
The film poses this question, “what is metal?” several times throughout, and we get a couple of different answers. When you think of metal, how would you define it?
That is a very good question. I mean, I think metal, at least as it’s used in the movie, is a way for kids who don’t feel empowered, find a way to feel strong and safe, and find the courage to face the world and face challenges. obstacles that are in front of them. I think it gives Kevin, especially, a sense of purpose, right? I think he’s a drifting kid until he finds this music that helps him fixate on a clue. And once he picks up on that clue, he realizes that he’s really good at something. He is a kid who never considered himself really good at anything. And he discovers that, against all expectations, he is really good at it. And that changes the way he sees himself and the way he sees the people around him.
The film is full of references to metal. Metallica, Ironman, and even Goblin Cock get a mention. Who are some of your favorite metal bands?
I mean, yeah, obviously like Metallica and Iron Maiden, Judas Priests, Pantera and newer bands like Mastodon and Anthrax, and I kind of go all over the map with that stuff. I love it so much that we’d be here for a long time saying band names, which probably aren’t that interesting to your listeners. But yeah, I’d say it’s a pretty wide range of the genre that I’ve always really liked.
What did it mean to you to have metal royalty Scott Ian, Kirk Hammett, Rob Halford and Tom Morello all in this movie?
I was just, I was just throwing you like some kind of Wayne’s WorldLike, “I’m not worthy,” like prostrate on the ground, arms outstretched, like “Please, please, please, be a part of this love letter to music that you guys have created,” you know? I will always be grateful to all of them for agreeing to be a part of this.