ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — First, the Science Museum of Minnesota’s retro Brontosaurus hoodie was in the spotlight from the hit sci-fi series “Stranger Things.”
And now, it’s a local band’s song from the ’80s
St. Paul songwriter, guitarist and singer Mike Nilles’ song “Blackout” was featured in one of the second season’s episodes.
The song “Blackout,” released by the Twin Cities band Swing Set back in 1986, made an appearance on an episode of Stranger Things, right next to more famous groups Motley Crue and Duran Duran.
Nilles wrote the song more than 30 years ago.
“I was holed up in a hotel by myself and I’m out in this barren land in North Dakota and it was dark and dreary and the song just kind of came to me,” Nilles said. “Kind of this feeling of gloom and darkness and blackout.”
The song was recently digitally remastered and made the cut. Nilles is humbled to be part of the hit show.
“Wow, that’s my voice I’m hearing and I’m surprised that they would use it. Why would anybody want to listen to that?” he said.
We asked him to perform the song for us, and he did, with his Rickenbacker 360 12 string, even though it had been decades.
One of the show’s draws is nostalgia for the ‘80s. And it’s attention to detail, down to the music.
“I look back at the ‘80s and I think of rollerblading around Lake Calhoun, listening to a Walkman, listening to all these cool bands that you heard about through word-of-mouth,” Nilles said.
Looking forward, Nilles plans to celebrate.
“When we get our royalty money from this, we all like to get together and have wings and beer together because that’s what we used to do after every practice back in the day, so we’re going to do that again,” Nilles said.