EDDIE TRUNK ON WHY HE GOT INTO RADIO: “I FELT HARD ROCK AND METAL BANDS WERE BEING MARGINALIZED”
OMN: Who has been your biggest influence in getting you into rock radio?
Eddie Trunk: First and foremost I got into radio because I felt that hard rock and metal bands were being marginalized. I didn’t feel that their music was being given the proper attention or respect that it should have. My mission as soon as I got out of high school was change that.
As far as personal influences I don’t think I’ve had any aside from let’s say Howard Stern. I heard him back when he was on radio still playing music. I remember hearing him playing a song and coming out of the song he said something like “That was the new song by—- and I think that sucks! I was asked to play that by the station programmer.” I couldn’t believe that someone could be honest like that on radio? I’ll never forget hearing that. I also love his interview style and how he’s able to pull things out of people during an interview. I really respect that.
OMN: One of your pet peeves is the inability for some of your listeners to utilize Google and having them ask the most basic of things regarding whatever bands they are calling in about. What are some of your other pet peeves?
Eddie Trunk: Well certainly that is one of them. The biggest one is when people ask me about a band and they have no idea that the band never went away and that the band is still active making music and touring. The truth is that there are a lot of bands out there that are struggle. They are struggling to sell tickets and struggling to sell records. For example when someone comes up to me and asks “Eddie whatever happened with Tom Kiefer?” That makes me crazy because Tom’s been out touring for the past two years in support of his fantastic solo album. If you care about Tom Kiefer get online and find out more about what he’s doing. That’s something that’s always amazed me.
The other thing that really amazes me is the fact that people don’t know how That Metal Show works. People seem to think that I can make any artist magically appear on the show—they have this false sense that I control everything. People really think that I’m the beginning or end on whether something can happen or not. They don’t understand that I work for a network—they own it, they control it and they dictate it. While I do have a big role in the show at the end of the day I have a boss too. If it were up to me we’d be doing the show every day but that’s just not reality. As far as guest bookings go they have no idea how that works! I get it everyone wants to see their favorite band on there but it’s just not that simple.
OMN: Van Halen issued a Roth live record. They limited the amount of appearances to Ellen, Jimmy Kimmel and they just did The Billboard Awards. Kimmel was probably the best fit but the others were questionable. Stern was really pushing for Van Halen to come on his show which I feel would have been a brilliant move. The band sounds great on the album but Roth doesn’t sound that great. Roth sounds like he does at the present time though. What do you make of this whole Van Halen thing?
Eddie Trunk: They are extremely selective they will do one to two things. If you noticed the things they chose to do are extremely safe. On none of those platforms will they be asked a tough question. None of those platforms will they be asked about why they don’t work with Michael Anthony. On none of those platforms will they be asked about anything that is remotely controversial or meaty in anyway. They were all fluff pieces there’s nothing edgy about those appearances. Artists like Van Halen will do a major platform like that to go on and sell their album and get out. They don’t want to go on to a show where people are big fans and they will ask them tough questions.
There are bands like that; KISS is another band like that too. They’ll run anything that will ask them a question. They’ll go on CNN and sell their album even though that’s not where their fan base is. There are people like that are very sensitive and want to control everything and that’s just the way that it is.
OMN: There’s an influx in America of cruises and festival do you think they are getting to the point where they are becoming diluted? Do you foresee them not being so special in the near future?
Eddie Trunk: I think that’s a very, very, very valid concern. I really do. Not just cruises, but also the festivals in general. If you look at the festivals that just wrapped up most of them had about 80% of the same bands in the line-up. To me a festival used to be about “Oh my God, that’s a destination I have to get there. I have to be at that and I have to travel there.” Now festivals are practically in your backyard. At the present they are flourishing and that’s great. If people don’t watch out how they’re done and how many they do; they can get to the point of burn out and the economy won’t sustain it and it’ll fall by the wayside. The same with cruises; there’s some that are doing very well and there are others that will take a swing and fail.
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