“That Metal Show” is back for its 14th season, and Eddie Trunk, Jim Florentine, and Don Jamieson are back on stage chilling out with a “Who’s Who” of heavy metal royalty.
Jamieson says he’s excited for the new season … but that’s nothing new. “I’m always excited when our little Wayne’s World of a show starts a new season,” Jamieson said in an interview for The Interrobang. ”I’m excited that VH-1 Classic hasn’t found a better show to replace us with. People say to me, ‘Man, they must love you over there.’ I guess they do, but they also don’t have anything to put on other than us, so we win the war of attrition.”
That sensibility of not taking themselves too seriously has been one of the charms of “The Metal Show,” which debuted on VH-1 Classic in November 2008. Jamieson is the passionate superfan who wears his love of metal on his black tee shirt sleeve. Trunk is the front man, a rock-and-roll encyclopedia who can rattle off album names and trivia quicker than some of the guests he interviews. Florentine is the comic sniper, a laidback everyman with excellent timing and coolness to spare.
The vibe has remained simple and genuine – three metalheads talking about what they love and shooting the breeze with a weekly guest. Jamieson credits the “fierce loyalty” of the fans for the show’s success. “Metalheads are fiercely loyal,” he said. “They find something they like and, as long as you don’t take too much of a left turn, they’ll stay with you forever. I’m still listening to Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. In the 1990s, I didn’t put on a flannel and get depressed. I stuck with the music I’ve loved since I was nine years old. I think I’m pretty typical of a metal fan.”
While loyal to the old favorites, Jamieson says one of his goals is reaching out to more diverse musicians and bringing them on to the show. We’d like to broaden the spectrum of guests,” Jamieson said. “Go even more classic rock on one hand, so we can have bands like Heart or Mick Jones from Foreigner or Leslie West on, but also going to the other extreme where we could have Johan Hegg from Amon Amarth on, and all the other stuff in between. I think that’s what’s important – pushing the boundaries further and further apart on both sides so that we can grow our audience and include more people in.
“We already have the classic audience, the people like me who are still listening to Judas Priest, and Kiss, and Motorhead, and Black Sabbath. But we can also include the people now who are into the newer stuff that’s out there, like Avenged Sevenfold and stuff like that.”
Guests that have already appeared this season have included Geddy Lee of Rush, Anthrax, Mary Ramone, and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, among others. Jamieson said Ace Frehley and Zakk Wylde will return this season, and we will also see Max Cavalera, The Pretty Reckless, and Robin Zander of Cheap Trick this season as well. Jamieson said “The Metal Show” appeals to fan because he, Trunk, and Florentine are metal fans first and foremost, and that the show isn’t over-produced.
“It’s a hang. It’s not an interview show,” Jamieson said. “Slash it down, let’s start talking and see where this thing goes.
“We might have a cool exterior when we’re talking to Lemmy or Ted Nugent or whoever, but inside we’re giddy fans. That’s genuine.”
Jamieson said there is a strong chemistry between himself, Trunk, and Florentine. Each brings something unique to the table, and they try to make their interviews as off-the-cuff and spontaneous as they can. “We still don’t know what’s going to happen until we got out there,” he said. “We don’t talk to the interviewees beforehand, we just go out and do it. I think it would come off as kind of fake if we had it set up where I ask a question and then Jim asks a question and then Eddie asks a question. We just go out there. Between the three of us, if we can’t talk to Alice Cooper for an hour, we’re definitely in the wrong business.”
While heavy-hitters like Aerosmith, Rob Zombie, King Diamond, Slash, and Tony Iommi have graced their stage at the Metropolis Studios, Jamieson said there are still some big names he wants to bring on for a hang. “We haven’t had Gene and Paul from KISS on. We’ve heard from the bad boys, Peter and Ace, but we haven’t heard from the corporate bigwigs yet. Obviously, there’s an open door for those guys. We haven’t had Ozzy on yet. We haven’t had anybody from Van Halen,” he said. “There are definitely some big names out there for us.”
“The Metal Show” airs at 9 p.m. EST Saturdays on VH-1 Classic.