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Eddie Trunk Interview

A Conversation With The "That Metal Show" Host

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Eddie Trunk

Eddie Trunk

VH-1 Classic/Ron Akiyama
Updated March 06, 2009
Eddie Trunk is one of the most prominent faces and voices of hard rock and heavy metal. He was a host on VH-1 Classic for several years, anytime VH-1 has a metal TV special he’s one of the experts that’s interviewed, he hosts a syndicated radio and a satellite radio show. Trunk is also the host of That Metal Show, which kicks off its second season March 7th on VH-1 Classic. The show, which is co-hosted by comedians Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson, will feature guests this season include Ronnie James Dio and Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath), Frankie Bello (Anthrax), Geoff Tate (Queensryche), Vinnie Paul (Pantera) and several others. I had a lot of fun picking Trunk’s brain about both the TV show and his radio shows.

Chad Bowar: How did the concept of That Metal Show first come about?
Eddie Trunk: I was with VH-1 Classic for about five years as a host and interviewer. The channel went through some restructuring and management changes and had closed all the original and new production for the better part of a year. I had always had the idea, even when I was there the first time around, of doing some sort of hard rock/heavy metal talk show concept.

I’m also a big fan of sports, and had looked at the way Best Damn Sports Show was done on Fox. I also looked at the success of a show like The View on the female side. If we could apply a concept like that where we could have some fun and still talk about the stuff that we loved, which was hard rock and metal, it could work. VH-1 Classic was very much looking to do something that wasn’t a traditional, straight interview show. It went through a couple years of me talking to them and it reached a point where I brought in a formula they were happy with, meaning my two hosts Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine. They saw the chemistry between us and that we were all legit fans of the music and were willing to do a pilot. That’s how the whole thing came about.

Were you and Don and Jim friends before this?
We were friends way before this. I do two radio shows. I have a terrestrial show that’s syndicated and originates in New York City. I also have a live show that I do weekly on Sirius/XM. Don and Jim are both standup comics, and for years now my radio shows have attracted standup comics that are into hard rock music. A lot of the reason for it is the show is on late at night, and these comics spend a lot of times in cars driving to gigs when I’m on the radio. I’ve always been welcome and open to having people on the radio show who are outside of the realm of traditional hard rock and metal artists. They don’t necessarily have to be a performer in a rock band.

I met Don and Jim about ten years ago. They came up to me backstage at an Ozzfest and introduced themselves and said they were fans of the radio show. We started talking, and we’re all around the same age, all from New Jersey, and are into the same bands and music. It was like brothers that I had never known. We were also into the same kind of comedy. There’s a bond between us over Andrew Dice Clay. We all grew up being big Dice fans. I started seeing them at shows and invited them to hang out on the radio show. Over the years we became good friends, and to this day they sit in on the radio shows and hang with me on the air whenever their schedule permits.

When the idea came up of going in this direction, I had to get VH-1 to the point where they were willing to talk to these guys. They weren’t aware of them as comics. One of the things Don and Jim do great as a team is on comedy pieces where they go out and mess with people. They have a DVD series called “Meet The Creeps” where they basically do that. One of the ways I pitched them to join me on the show was showing clips they had done together messing with people. A lot of things they had done took place at concerts, just because they’re music fans. We got the meeting and the network liked them to the point where they said we could do a pilot, and we took off from there.

One thing people cite about the show is the chemistry between us. It’s also funny when people don’t know we are good friends and bust balls nonstop on and off air. The people who cut the show have set it up like they are ganging up on me. They conveniently leave out some of my comebacks to these guys. They are trying to position it a certain way. It’s all in fun. All the stuff we say to each other is in fun. We all have thick skins and don’t take ourselves too seriously.

Season 2 debuts on March 7th. Is the format of this season similar to the first season?
Yes it is. We did introduce a few new elements. One of the things that we brought in this season is a spokesmodel. Since we have a predominantly male audience, we figured the guys were tired of looking at us three slobs sitting there. We wanted to get them a little bit of eye candy. Our spokesmodel brings out the prizes when people stump me on “Stump The Trunk.” She’s a very attractive lady by the name of Carrie Lee. One of the segments of the show is how we went about casting her. We had an open call.

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