Netflix’s film Metal Lords follows a pair of high-school friends whose decision to form a heavy metal band sets off a series of events that tests their friendship and delivers more than a few hard lessons about life, love, and what it really means to be totally metal. And yet, Metal Lords is more than just your typical coming-of-age comedy, thanks to memorable performances from stars Jaeden Martell ( It ), Adrian Greensmith, and Isis Hainsworth, who play the pair of childhood friends and the talented cellist they recruit for their band, respectively.
Directed by Peter Sollett ( Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist) from a script penned by Game of Thrones co-creator D.B. Weiss, Metal Lords features a powerful soundtrack filled with new and classic metal and a story that takes some surprising turns as Kevin (Martell) and his friend Hunter (Greensmith) deal with family drama, high school bullies, and the trials and tribulations of love and life for today’s teenagers.
Digital Trends spoke to Martell about his preparation for Metal Lords, how the experience shaped his musical tastes, his wonderfully talented co-stars, and what he learned by throwing himself into heavy metal.
Digital Trends: Congratulations on a wonderful film! What was your reaction when you first read the script for it?
Jaeden Martell: Thanks! Well, initially, I loved how funny it was and how it seemed like it was written without a care in the world. I think when Dan [Weiss] wrote it, he wasn’t trying to please anyone but himself, really, because he’s obsessed with metal music, and it was so purely him. Ich liebte das. And I was in love with the characters he created — how intricate they were and how the story progressed, and specifically, how Kevin progressed throughout the movie.
That’s the perfect segue because Kevin changes a lot over the course of the film. How did you approach showing the way Kevin was changing?
Well, the easiest way was through the wardrobe and the hair. It all helped to show that evolution to the audience, but it also helped me, too. It was like, “Okay, I’m wearing sleeveless t-shirts now, so that means I’m a little bit more confident.” It was a good reminder of where Kevin was at in the story at any point. For me, it was just about trying to be more confident, but it really was all in the writing — how Kevin approached situations was different as time went on. He showed a little bit more anger later in the film, which is not necessarily a good thing, but in doing so, he showed more of himself rather than being so reserved.
Were you a metal fan before the film?
I was a little bit, but I wasn’t super knowledgeable. I had to get into it doing this film. Dan and Peter [Sollett] put together a playlist of all of these metal performances, and I just studied those and watched drummers play, and… yeah, I just love the genre. It comes across as this very emotional, no-holds-barred music, which it is in a way, but if you look closer and look at the details, there’s so much craft to it and it’s so precise. It’s like controlled chaos, you know?
Did you end up with any new favorites, music-wise?
Yeah, there’s always Metallica, of course. Sie sind die Besten. I listened to a lot. I can’t listen to metal too much, though. I come back to it when I’m in the mood. There’s this band Death Grips [that] I really like, which is a newer band, but they’re sort of on the metal side, and I listen to them all the time.
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In terms of prepping and getting used to drumming, was that something you had some experience in already or was it new to you?
I didn’t have any experience with the drums. I always did want to be a drummer, though. Watching drummers just go off is such a satisfying thing. We can all appreciate it. When I watch someone play the guitar, I’m like, “That sounds beautiful, but I don’t completely understand what you’re doing and how that sound is coming out of that instrument, but it sounds great.” With drumming, you see everything. It’s very physical. It’s very human. It’s very barbaric, in some ways. So I always wanted to get into it, but I never did. And now I really fell in love with the instrument throughout the process of making this film.
I was surprised to learn your costars haven’t been in a lot of films before this, because they’re so great in it. What was it like to be the veteran actor in that trio?
Es war wundervoll. They’re the most lovely people. It was a great learning experience for me watching them, too. Adrian works the hardest out of any actor I’ve ever worked with. He’s so invested in his character, and he knows [Hunter] so well, and he’s constantly asking questions. He’s obsessed, and it really inspired me. The same with Isis. She’s so naturally gifted. They both have a theater background, so to see them get comfortable with the camera was really amazing.
Was waren einige Ihrer Takeaways aus der Erfahrung, an diesem Film zu arbeiten? Was hast du damit verlassen, dass du nicht in das Kommen hast?
Nun, ich kann jetzt die Trommeln spielen, worüber ich mich freue. Ich werde das weiterhin für den Rest meines Lebens tun, hoffentlich. Ich liebe es. Und von der Zusammenarbeit mit Adrian und Isis und sehen, wie schwer sie funktionieren, möchte ich das replizieren. Es ist einfach, wenn ein Schauspieler selbstgefällig ist und immer wieder dieselbe Person spielt. Diese beiden Akteure unterscheiden sich also von ihren Charakteren, und das respektiere das wirklich.
Ohne etwas zu verderben, gibt es eine bestimmte Szene in Metal Lords Sie freuen sich auf das Sehen des Publikums?
Die Leistung gegen Ende des Films in der Schlacht der Bands ist ziemlich besonders. Es war so eine verrückte Erfahrung, wie sie es filmte und einen Blick in das Leben eines Musikers erweckte. Es war körperlich anstrengend, aber ich freue mich darauf, dass die Leute das sehen. Es ist eine solche lustige Szene.
Was ist als nächstes für dich?
Ich habe einen Film namens mr. Harrigans Telefon kommt auch auf Netflix heraus, der von John Lee Hancock geleitet wird. Und das ist es jetzt!
Netflix film metall lords is jetzt auf dem Streaming Service verfügbar.
Genre Comedy, Drama, Musik
Sterne Jaden Martell, Isis Hainsworth, Adrian Greensmith
Regie von Peter Sollett
Schauen Sie sich auf Netflix an
Schauen Sie sich auf Netflix an