Stranger Things Vecna actor Jamie Campbell Bower listened to Darkthrone and Mayhem to get into character

Vecna in Stranger Things
(Image credit: YouTube / Netflix)

Stranger Things actor Jamie Campbell Bower - who plays arch villain Vecna on the latest season of the show, has revealed the rather broad mix of music artists he was listening to in order to get into character while filming.

“When I was prepping for Vecna, to get into Vecna, I would use a lot of bands like Sunn 0))), Carpathian Forest, Darkthrone, Mayhem,” the actor tells the Kyle Meredith With... podcast (as reported by Consequence). “A lot of black metal kind of stuff that I just really latched onto and thought, ‘Wow, this is great.’ There’s also something about the sensitivity in the way black metal is made and their belief system which I really fucking vibe with.”

Bower also reveals that Placebo influenced his journey into understanding his character - namely their cover of a song that has come to define Stranger Things' latest season. 

I’m a huge fan of Placebo," he notes. "I love Placebo. And obviously Placebo covered Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill sometime in, I dunno, I guess it must have been the late 90s, early 2000s. And so I would go with that. Why not stick to the theme that’s already in the show? But the song is so beautiful, we love Kate Bush, we stan Kate Bush."

It's the latest connection to be formed between Stranger Things and heavy metal following the popular reception afforded to newly introduced metalhead character Eddie Munson (actor Joseph Quinn revealed he also listened to metal bands to get into character), as well as Metallica classic Master Of Puppets being featured in a pivotal moment in the show.

Bower has a career in music of his own, having previously led London punk band Counterfeit and released a number of solo tracks - the most recent of which, Run On, landed earlier this year.

The latest series of Stranger Things is out now on Netflix.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.