EDDIE TRUNK DISCUSSES “THAT METAL SHOW,” THE FIRST METAL ALBUM HE BOUGHT, WHICH BANDS HE WOULD LIKE TO SEE REUNITE, AND, OF COURSE, KISS
Q: What do you think is the secret to the success [of That Metal Show]?
A: I think people know that we are truly fans first and foremost. We fill a void for that 30- to 50-year-old guy who still loves this music, still loves these bands. But they have a family and stuff and don’t get to go out to shows and keep up with stuff as much as they once did.
For them, the show is kind of an escape and [a way to] reconnect into the past. Being on a network that is properly suited for what we do, a music channel, works. There is nothing like it on TV. There really hasn’t been since Headbangers Ball was on MTV over 20 years ago.
Q: Do you have a wish list of dream guests who have yet to do the show?
A: Certainly Eddie Van Halen is 1A on that list. We know Eddie watches the show. Last season, he sent us a guitar rig that we have on our set. But Van Halen is a notoriously press-shy band and rarely does anything with anybody. We have asked countless times, but had no luck.
I was very close to getting Jimmy Page on. And I still may. But Jimmy is kind of turned off from the fact that the word “metal” is in the name of the show — even though after a hundred episodes we have evolved into a rock show. We’ve had everyone from Foreigner to Leslie West [from Mountain] and Mark Farner [from Grand Funk Railroad] on. We’ve got a pretty wide net. But Jimmy doesn’t know that. He doesn’t watch the show. He lives in England.
Q: There are three obvious guests that are missing: Ozzy Osbourne and Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley from Kiss.
A: The fans would love to see them. Ozzy won’t do it because of some bias against us. That means Sharon. And Gene and Paul.
Q: You’ve been pretty vocal, and rightfully so, about Kiss putting other guys in Ace [Frehley] and Peter [Criss’] makeup and pretending it doesn’t matter.
A: The sad thing about that is so many people tell me privately they feel the same way. But so few say it publicly. For the few of us that do, it gets magnified, blown up and distorted, taken out of context, and that’s unfortunate. If those guys only knew how many people I talked to privately, even the bands they have toured with, who have told me they feel the same way.
Q: The hard-core fans may know the difference, but don’t you think they are tricking the casual fans?
A: The casual fans don’t know. The hard-core fans know Ace hasn’t been in the band for a long time.
One of the last times I saw Kiss, Peter was in; Ace was not. The next day I was at the hotel pool in the hot tub and some guys came in and they had Kiss T-shirts. They were talking about how cool it was to see the show the night before to see Ace back in the band. I said, “That’s not Ace.” We got into an argument. That was 10 years ago, and by now most people probably know it’s not him. Maybe in the beginning it was a thing to push that agenda. If people are cool with it, that’s fine, just not for me. It doesn’t sit right with me as a fan.
What I find unfortunate is that instead of coming on and having a healthy discussion and debate about that, they just kind of run from that. Shut you out and ignore that fact that 98 percent of the things I’ve said and done about Kiss have been positive. The worst part is their fans are the ones watching our show. We’ve had more Kiss T-shirt-wearing fans in our studio audience than any other band. We talk more about Kiss in our top fives than any other band. They always talk about pleasing their fans. Their fans want to see them on a show like ours. What is there to be so afraid of? We are huge Kiss fans. I would love to have a healthy debate and discussion with Gene and Paul but can’t get water from a stone. I’m thankful for the guests who get us and do come on
Q: What was the first metal album you bought?
A: The first album I bought myself was Kiss’ Destroyer. That album was a life-changer. It was 1976, and I was about 12. I remember dropping the needle on the LP for the first time and staring at the cover. Kiss became my obsession. After a while I had to acknowledge there was more than just Kiss. I discovered Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Van Halen, AC/DC and more.
Q: As a metal fan, which band would you most like to see reunite?
A: I’m asked constantly about the original Guns [‘N Roses] reuniting. I think that would be pretty epic if it were to happen. Me personally? I’m a huge fan of UFO, as many people know. I love what they do now with Vinnie Moore, but I would love to see the lineup of UFO that did Strangers in the Night get back together. They did it back in the mid-‘90s. It would only require two members coming back in — Michael Schenker and Pete Way. With all due respect to what they do now, it would be just awesome to get one more taste of that lineup and band.
In a fantasy situation I would love to see [Led] Zeppelin. I’d love to see Thin Lizzy. But we all know those original reunions can’t happen.
Click here to read Eddie’s entire with Washington Times.