James Gunn has helped shine a light on a bunch of hair metal acts thanks to his new HBO Max series Peacemaker, and for the filmmaker, it’s something that’s been a long time coming.

In a new interview with Billboard, Gunn details the many aspects of the Peacemaker soundtrack with him noting out the gate, “First of all, it seemed like the kind of music Peacemaker would like. John [Cena, who stars in the titular role] and I talked a lot about who Peacemaker/Christopher Smith was back when we were doing ‘Suicide Squad’ and we both kind of thought he’d listen to hair metal. But also secretly I’ve been wanting to do a hair metal/glam metal soundtrack for a while, because I do think there are a lot of great songs out there.”

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Gunn continued, “It’s music that died in a few weeks after Nirvana came out and with the exception of Motley Crue and Bon Jovi and some of the monster acts was just completely gone, unfairly so. But there’s also some really good musicianship and some really good songs from that era that just stick with me. So finding those gems amidst the heap of glam metal was something that excited me and something I’ve been doing for years on my own anyway. There are so many great sleaze metal/glam rock bands today, especially out of Europe that are so good and actually much better, in general, than the old stuff.”

Gunn singles out Hanoi Rocks, whose music is featured in the latest episode of the series. He calls the Finnish band “my favorite band from that era, period” and would add, “And they really are the place where punk became glam metal. They did create the look, 100% — Guns N’ Roses were copying their look for sure.”

Gunn’s love of hair metal goes way back saying, “I was a punk rock kid, but I liked hair metal and was kind of part of that scene. I saw Guns N’ Roses at the Troubadour on the night they got signed, because I was a Hanoi Rocks fan — that’s why I went to see them when I was 18. I only know this because Slash came to the set of ‘Suicide Squad’ to hang out and I told him I’d seen them way back live on the Sunset Strip, and he said, ‘Yeah, that’s the night we got signed.'”


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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well-versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice. #TransRightsAreHumanRights