Adam Lawton of Media Mikes spoke to Eddie about That Metal Show. Portions of the interview appear below.
AL: Can you tell us about the idea of bringing in guitarists, bassists and drummers to perform during the show?
ET: The ultimate goal is to have a band play one day but we can’t do that because we just don’t have the budget. We simply cannot afford to bring on an entire band or pay the publishing which is very expensive and a lot of people don’t realize that. We try and work around that buy just bringing in single musicians to do some shredding and stuff. We have had drummers, bassists and predominately guitarist as they lend themselves to the gig a little more. This season we split things down the middle with four shows being with a guitarist and four shows being with a drummer. We have a lot of fun bringing those guys in and it’s a great opportunity to showcase sometimes the little lesser known guys. For example Richie Kotzen has always been a favorite of mine and in America he is barely known. To have him featured on our show has been great as lots of people have been emailing me for more info on him.
AL: In the shows 12 seasons has there ever been a guest that you thought would never end up on the show but actually did end up being on?
ET: Steve Harris from Iron Maiden was tough. He doesn’t live in American and the Iron Maiden camp is extremely protective of their brand and how they do things. I have always had a great relationship with them but in order to get everyone on board the stars have to align themselves. The season that Steve was on ended up being a last minute score for us because Steve had just announced he was going to be doing a solo album and the band happened to be in Los Angeles. I went to their manager and just asked to have him on. Steve ended up coming down and having a blast. We hope to have him back one day. They guys who don’t live in America are a challenge logistically. Tony Iommi was another one that I was really excited to have one.
AL: Besides the remaining shows for this season what else do you have in the works?
ET: I just completed my second book which is the follow up to Eddie Trunk’s Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Vol. 1. I just found out that Vol. 2 will be coming out on September 24th. The book is an exact sequel to my first book. The format and everything is the same except that there are 35 completely different bands in this one. I am really excited for that to be happening. I will also be continuing my two radio shows as this year I am celebrating my 30th year in radio. I am always out there looking for ways to make my projects bigger and take things to the next level.
Cinderella bassist Eric Brittingham and guitarist Jeff LaBar along with vocalist/guitarist Brandon Gibbs (formerly of The Gibbs Brothers) and drummer Troy Patrick Farrell (White Lion, Gilby Clarke) in a new band called Cheap Thrill.
Cheap Thrill brings you a sound flavored with Cinderella tunes such as Nobody’s Fool, Heartbreak Station and Hello Or Goodbye from LaBar’s soon-to-be-released CD, along with the newest song from Brandon’s solo record, This Town, which is currently featured on ESPN 2 for the NHRA season. This show is littered with popular covers and stadium rock songs.
When Cinderella isn’t touring, Gibbs and Brittingham have always found themselves working together off and on over the last five years. With the recent addition of LaBar, the Nashville-based group CHEAP THRILL made its debut on the Monsters Of Rock cruise in March 2013, with two more rock and roll cruises immediately following.
Brittingham and LaBar are pumped about Cheap Thrill and the opportunity to work together again and alongside Gibbs.
“Being able to transition from a three-piece acoustic show to a full band keeps the project fun and versatile,” says Brittingham. “It’s all about the music,” adds Gibbs. “We have finetuned a product that will appeal to audiences of all ages.”
On September 3rd, 2013, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Live In Tokyo by Portnoy Sheehan Macalpine Sherinian on DVD, Blu-ray, 2CD and digital audio and video formats.
Live In Tokyo was filmed/recorded on November 14th, 2012 at Zepp Tokyo. This 95-minute concert is the first release of material from the supergroup, and it showcases a wide range of instrumental performances from each of the members’ careers and collaborations (moved up from a later paragraph). Wider fanbases of Dream Theater, Mr. Big and Black Country Communion will definitely stand up and take notice.
Drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, The Winery Dogs), bassist Billy Sheehan (Talas, David Lee Roth, Mr. Big), guitarist Tony MacAlpine and keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Black Country Communion, Dream Theater) brought their collective strengths to Japan this past fall. The result was a 16-track deep cornucopia of the members’ individual highlights. The group unleashed a fierce storm of sonic musicianship on songs such as Shy Boy from Sheehan’s band Talas, MacAlpine’s The Stranger, Sherinian’s Apocalypse 1470 B.C. and Dream Theater’s A Change Of Seasons: The Crimson Sunrise. The DVD and Blu-ray also offer an exclusive peek at this production with a behind-the-scenes featurette.
Live In Tokyo track listing:
1. A Change Of Seasons: I The Crimson Sunrise (Dream Theater song) 2. Acid Rain (Liquid Tension Experiment song) 3. The Stranger (Tony MacAlpine song) 4. Stratus (Billy Cobham song) 5. Atlantis, Part 1: Apocalypse 1470 B.C. (Derek Sherinian song) 6. Tony MacAlpine Guitar Solo 7. Been Here Before (Derek Sherinian song) 8. Birds of Prey (Billy’s Boogie) / Billy Sheehan solo 09. The Farandole (Talas song) 10. The Pump (Jeff Beck song) 11. Mike Portnoy Drum Intro 12. Nightmare Cinema (Derek Sherinian song) 13. Hell’s Kitchen (Dream Theater song) 14. Derek Sherinian Keyboard Solo 15. Lines In The Sand (Dream Theater song) (abridged) 16. Shy Boy (Talas song) (Billy Sheehan on lead vocals)
On the eve of his fourth decade in rock and roll, Grammy Award-winning Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Sammy Hagar has teamed with a seminal array of his legendary rock and country artist friends and bandmates, past and present, for his first-ever rock collaborations album, Sammy Hagar And Friends. The release will see Hagar joining forces with award-winning artists, including Kid Rock, Nancy Wilson (Heart), Ronnie Dunn (Brooks & Dunn), Michael Anthony (Van Halen, Chickenfoot), Neal Schon (Journey), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chickenfoot) and Joe Satriani (Solo artist, Chickenfoot) , Bill Church and Denny Carmassi (Montrose), THE Wabos and more on an epic collection of 10 new songs and unexpected covers. Produced by Hagar and Grammy-winning engineer/producer John Cuniberti, Sammy Hagar And Friends will be released by Frontiers Records on September 24th in North America and September 27th in Europe (September 29th in the U.K.).
From new originals like Knockdown Dragout with Kid Rock, Bad On Fords And Chevrolets with Ronnie Dunn, All We Need Is An Island with Nancy Wilson, Going Down with Neal Schon, Michael Anthony and Chad Smith, and Father Sun, a duet with his son Aaron Hagar — to reimagined covers of classics like Bob Seger’s Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man and Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus — Hagar has masterfully assembled an album that delves into rock, country, blues and pop. Sammy Hagar And Friends is Hagar’s first solo album since 2008. Full details, including a complete artist list, cover art, track listing and presale information will be announced shortly.
The release of Sammy Hagar And Friends will follow on the heels of his Four Decades of Rock summer tour which begins July 26th in Tucson and wraps September 7th in his hometown of San Francisco. The 14-city tour celebrates Hagar’s arsenal of hits from his career-spanning success as a solo artist, songwriter and frontman for Van Halen, Montrose and Chickenfoot. The tour, which features Hagar and his band, The Wabos, will also see influential bandmates from his career, including Michael Anthony, Denny Carmassi, Bill Church and more joining him on select dates. Hagar and his lineup of guest stars will take fans on a hit-filled retrospective from the Red Rocker’s prolific career. Fans can also expect some surprise “friends” to join Hagar on stage for a sneak peek of tracks from the new album.
Joe Daly of The Weeklings spoke to our very own Eddie Trunk. Portions of the interview appear below.
Q: Musicians, even the metal guys, can be colorful personalities to manage sometimes. Looking back over the past eleven seasons [of That Metal Show], are there any interviews or situations that you wish you might have handled differently?
ET: The one interview that I wish I had back was the Axl Rose interview, when we went to Miami and interviewed him. I only say that because people who don’t know the backstory behind that interview don’t realize all that went into getting it. It was a lot. It was waiting around, literally, for fifteen hours for that interview. And we never knew if we were ever going to get it. There was no promise made to us that we were going to get an interview, so we were prepared to some degree, but we weren’t prepared to wait until five in the morning to do an interview, and that’s exactly what it ended up being. We got to the arena at three o’clock the day before, and we walked out of the arena at around eight a.m. the next day. We got our interview, but as important as it was to have been the first—and all respect to Jimmy Kimmel, who I know got one—we were first to have gotten an interview with Axl on TV in God knows how long.
Q: I remember running into you in L.A. a few weeks after that and you still looked exhausted.
ET: We really put a lot into that and it took a hell of a long time to get it. To that end, by the time Axl came out and the interview happened, we were so sleep deprived, we were literally dozing off before he walked in. We had flights to catch. We thought we were going to do the interview at eight, get back to our rooms around eleven, sleep, wake up, get on the plane and go. We literally went from the venue to the airport, got on a plane and came home without sleeping.
So I’m not making excuses, but when you’re standing around that long in limbo, you have a completely different mindset going into that interview. You’re like, “OK, let’s get some time with this guy, and then we’ve gotta go.” There are much tougher questions that I could have asked. I think that the bigger part of that whole thing is that people just wanted to see the guy and hear him speak, because he’s so reclusive.
The whole thing was a weird thing. He didn’t know he was supposed to do an interview. His manager, he claims, didn’t tell him. We were there forever, so really it was a whole gray area going into it. Again, the most important thing was that we got it; people saw it, people heard it, most people liked it. That was the goal, to get him on the show, but we could have certainly done more with it if things had been different.
Q: It’s a surreal piece of television. His answers probably revealed more about himself than he intended.
ET: Listen, you have to realize, too, that you get a guy like that sitting there, you’ve waited all that time… You know that he can be volatile and you want to walk a tightrope because the last thing you want to do is, having sat there for fifteen hours with your crew, the first question out of your mouth is, “Dude, what’s wrong with you, man? Slash is the best! Are you crazy?” Which people, I think, expect.
I think there are certain elements that think the first question should be, “Put the original band back together!” How do you think that’s going to fly? Then the guy takes his microphone off and thirty seconds into it he walks out, and we’ve just spent fifteen hours for that. There’s got to be some tact. You’ve got to do what you can do to get into stuff without cutting the red wire and having somebody go crazy. So that’s a balancing act and I think that under the conditions, we all did a great job. Could it have been better? Yeah. So that’s one that I’d love to have back under different conditions.
Q: Still, don’t you think that the circumstances surrounding the interview created a level of suspense and unpredictability that you might not have achieved in a studio?
ET: What people don’t know also about that whole thing was that because we didn’t know if we were ever going to get an interview with him, before he even walked in, we interviewed everybody in Guns N’ Roses, including crew members, and we also interviewed everybody in Buckcherry, who were opening that show.
The reason we did that was because if Axl didn’t come out, we still needed to put an hour of TV on, so we were just going to cut it and it was going to become the Quest for Axl show, where we never really get him, but we talk to everybody around him.
And then, when he shows up at the very end, just when we were ready to call it a day, all of that stuff was cut out, and left out. I get a lot of people asking me about (current Guns N’ Roses guitarist) DJ Ashba sitting there in the Axl interview and not saying anything. That’s because Axl wanted him sitting there, and all respect to DJ, who’s a friend, but if you have Axl Rose for the first time on TV in twenty years, you’re not going to talk to DJ Ashba. And DJ knew that. But we had interviewed DJ before, and again, that stuff ended up online, so that’s kind of one of these surreal moments that I could probably write a book about that episode alone.
So to give a very long answer to your question, if I could go back and do a different kind of interview, I would probably go back and go for that.
Q: Switching gears a bit, it’s now time for you to take ten hard ones.
ET: Uh oh…
Q: I’m going to give you ten either/or questions and I’d like you to choose one and briefly explain why you made that choice. Rob Halford or Bruce Dickinson?
ET: Halford because he’s the metal god, simple as that. He came before Bruce, so maybe there wouldn’t have been a Bruce without a Halford, so I’ve got to go with Rob.
Q: British Metal or US Metal?
ET: Ugh… Gotta go British because to me, Black Sabbath is where heavy metal started, and they’re from England.
Q: Scorpions or Anvil?
ET: Scorpions. All respect to Anvil, but Scorpions have a much, much bigger catalog of songs.
Q: Here’s a movie question: Almost Famous or Rock Star?
ET: Almost Famous. I just think that it’s a better story and I think that from what I’ve heard, the original intent of Rock Star was originally to be based on the Judas Priest story, but it got turned a bit sideways, so I just think that Almost Famous was better done.
Q: KISS in the 80s or KISS in the 90s?
ET: I have to say 90s because in the 90s is when they reunited with the original band.
Q: In that same vein, metal today or metal ten years ago?
ET: I’m going to say metal now, because I think it’s further along, I think it’s grown and today, on the day that we’re talking, it was just announced that Black Sabbath have the number one album in America. So that’s pretty remarkable in 2013, so we’ve gotta go with now.
Q: Front row or backstage?
ET: Hmmm…Well, it depends what I’m looking to do! (laughing) If I’m looking to hang out, then backstage, but if I’m looking to see the show, front row. But I’ll tell you what, and here’s the secret that a lot of people don’t know about front row—front row is often a really bad seat. For the front row, the sound is usually really bad most of the time because you’re too close to the PA, where it’s almost behind you and you’re not hearing it right. Also, it’s hard to take in the whole show if the band has screens or production that you can’t see properly. So front row is not everything it’s cracked up to be, if you’ve ever been lucky enough to sit there. You’re better off being about fifteen rows back to really take in a full show.
Q: Radio or TV?
ET: Oh wow… Hmmm… (long pause) From an interviewer’s perspective, radio. Yeah, because I have so much more time. I love doing interviews and getting the stories from these bands. I love sitting for an hour straight and talking to an artist, and you simply can’t do that on television. From an impact standpoint, and a notoriety standpoint, without question television. But from a standpoint of doing interviews and getting into it with artists, radio. Plus radio is so much more immediate. Something I do on my radio show tomorrow night will be heard everywhere five seconds after I do it. TV, what I do there isn’t going to be seen or heard for a month after it’s done.
Q: Sylvester Stallone or Bruce Willis?
ET: Stallone. Because I like Rocky and Rambo a lot more than Die Hard…I should have said Willis because Willis is from New Jersey, but I’ve still got to go with Stallone.
Q: [Finally], Sabbath or Zeppelin?
Oh wow… Alright, I’m going to go with Zeppelin. Wow.
Yeah, I’m gonna go with Zeppelin, and here’s the simple answer—there wouldn’t have been a Sabbath without a Zeppelin. And they’ve said that themselves, and I’ve just read a recent interview with Sabbath for their new album and they were asked, “What were you listening to that shaped the band?” and one of the bands they mentioned was Zeppelin. You’ve got to pay respect to the elders. Both of their music holds up incredibly well, both bands have so much dynamic in their sound.
The big difference of course is that Zeppelin has always been one band; Sabbath, are we talking Dio? Are we talking Ian Gillan? Are we talking Tony Martin? You can go on and on? If you’re just talking about the Ozzy years, it’s a different thing too, but I just always defer to the bands that came before and that laid the foundation when questions like that come up, and that’s Zeppelin before Sabbath.