RC: There are some new segments on this season of That Metal Show. A couple I know about are Metal Modem and Take It Or Leave It. What can you tell me about the new additions this season?
ET: Metal Modem is in six or seven of the eight new shows. It’s a segment we do at the very top of the show where we welcome in a guest by dropping a screen on the set and we talk to them over the internet via Skype. That came about because one of the biggest problems we have when booking the show is we do eight episodes in four days, two shows a day. In a week we’ve shot an entire season. If a band is on tour in that week we’re shooting we’re obviously not going to have them on. We decided to at least talk to them for a couple of minutes over the internet via Skype. Not only do we get to talk to guys in the studio or on the road, we’re also going to use that as a platform to introduce some newer bands and different genres of metal. That Metal Show is always going to be a classic-based show. We all like new music and we all like different stuff so we’ll have a platform for some of the “under the radar” bands or some of the bands that aren’t mainstream. You’ll see a mix of different people in that segment. Take It Or Leave It is more of a defined discussion piece at the top of the show. It’s a way to force us to make a decision of yes or no on a hot topic that’s floating around in the rock world. We have six packages for these eight shows called Origins. It’s us and different artists talking about how they first got into heavy metal. We have something called the TMS Book Club where we read from a rock book. Those are just a few of the new things coming up.
RC: The Guest Musician spot is always a highlight for me. I’m really anxious to see what Jake E. Lee has going on. He’s been under the radar for so long. It’s cool he came out of the shadows to be on ‘That Metal Show’ this season.
ET: Yeah, I personally worked really, really hard on that. We’ve had a segment for a long time called Whatever Happened To… and he was consistently the top one or two Whatever Happened To… names for a long time. I started a process trying to find him. A few years ago I knew I was getting close. He was living in Vegas. I reached him through a mutual friend, a guy named Rob Mancuso. He has a studio and restaurant in Vegas and told me he was working with Jake. I took a couple of trips out to Vegas and finally met him. He’s very press shy and hasn’t done anything in about 20 years. Rob told me he was going to pull Jake into the studio and start making music and I had been working this for about a year to get Jake to come on. You’ll see Jake E. Lee in three of the eight shows. Not only is he sitting down as a guest but we also have him playing in two episodes. It’s really exciting for us to be the first people to reintroduce him to the world.
RC:I see on your social media sites, Twitter especially, that you’re bombarded with questions like “Why don’t you ask so and so to be on the show?” or “Why haven’t you had so and so on?” – and it’s just not that easy. Who are some people you’ve asked over and over to be on the show that just haven’t been on for one reason or another?
ET: I’m very active on my website and Twitter for sure. I like engaging with people on Twitter. It’s very convenient and quick and simple for me. That’s why I’ve embraced it. I guess it doesn’t surprise me because everyone doesn’t need to know how the music industry works, but at the same token I’ll get tweets like “Have you ever thought about having Eddie Van Halen on the show?” That flips my mind! Do you really think we do a show like this and have not tried to get Eddie Van Halen? That’s head-scratching when that happens. It’s either requests like that or super obscure bands that the network is not going to sign off on. I have to say “We do the best we can. I hope you like our show. Here’s the guests.” To answer your question, big names like Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth have been asked every single season. Guys like that are weird about press. All you’ve gotta know is Van Halen turned down Rolling Stone and David Letterman when their last record came out. I didn’t really expect ‘em to come running to That Metal Show on VH1 Classic! Nikki Sixx is another. We’ve had Tommy Lee on, we did a special with Vince Neil. We’ve asked Mick Mars. We would have Nikki in a second. I have asked Nikki every season. I’ve been on his radio show talking to him about it. I’ve talked to Nikki privately about it. When he’s ready to do it he’ll do it. People have to want to do the show. You can’t just go get James Hetfield if James Hetfield doesn’t want to do the show. When it comes to Metallica we’ve had Lars on twice and Kirk Hammett on once. I’ve talked to James and he’s a huge fan of the show but he is not a very “press warm” guy. He’s not a jerk about it. There are just some guys that aren’t into it. To think we don’t ask these guys is incredible. We’re fighting to get them on just as much as the fans want them on. The other scenario is people will ask for guests that have been on already. With over 100 episodes maybe they just missed the show. With the big artists it comes down to two things: Are the available when we shoot and do they want to come on? If the answer to both of those questions is ‘yes,’ you can rest assured they’ve been asked every single time. If there’s a big artist you haven’t seen on the show, tell them. Hit them up on social media. If the artists know their fans want to see them on the show they may step up on their own.
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