Director James Gunn Is Using HBO’s ‘Peacemaker’ to Give Hair Metal “A Chance to Shine”

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Of metal’s many subgenres, hair metal was the first to go from massive pop-culture phenomenon to the most hated art form on the planet. After becoming music’s dominant style over the course of the ’80s, hair metal seemed to be demonized overnight as shallow, soft, and creatively uninteresting. But we all know that plenty of those bands made kickass music, and now one pop culture celebrity is doing his damnedest to give the genre the recognition it deserves: Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad direct James Gunn.

As reported by MetalSucks, hair metal shows up a lot in Peacemaker, Gunn’s HBO spin-off series about John Cena’s character from The Suicide Squad. A central moment of the first episode involves the titular anti-hero singing a Quireboys song using a vibrator as a microphone:

Gunn has also created an official Peacemaker Spotify playlist, packed with old-school hair metal:

ALSO READ: 10 hair bands who were actually metal as hell

Now, in a new episode of the official Peacemaker companion podcast Podly, Gunn has discussed the genre and its place in the show, and it turns out his inclusion of hair metal isn’t just for irony value.

“What I really love doing is scratching this itch of music that we know but don’t notice and is under-appreciated,” says Gunn. “So I feel better about the ‘Peacemaker’ soundtrack than I do of any soundtrack since ‘Guardians’ 1… in this show, it’s taking hair metal, basically, or sleaze metal, or glam metal, and taking that music and giving it a spotlight. And it’s a mix between these old bands, like the Quireboys, and new bands… there’s a lot of European sleaze metal bands today that are actually really good. They’re actually overall much better than the hair metal bands that I grew up with. Being able to give that music that’s so out of fashion in America a chance to shine a little bit is one of the fun things about this show.”

Check out the full episode below:


Words by Chris Krovatin