SO DOES EDDIE TRULY LOVE OR HATE “STUMP THE TRUNK?” READ HERE TO FIND OUT
Phoenix New Times: This 14th season of That Metal Show has been pretty exciting so far, especially with all of the diversity. While I know you were most excited about Geddy Lee, whose debut on the show are you most pumped for?
Eddie: Hmmm… it’s hard to, um… it’s hard to pinpoint any one thing. But actually, as of just a few seconds ago, I think we pretty much can say that we’re done with locking in Kirk Hammett from Metallica to come back on. That’s an interesting story because the last time we had Kirk on, was when we had the Scorpions original guitar player, Uli Jon Roth, on the show. And Kirk and I bonded over the fact that we love stuff like that. He’s a huge UFO fan, as am I.
After we did that show a few years, Kirk said that it would be amazing to do a show like that again, with [former UFO guitarist] Michael Schenker on. And I was just like, maybe we can make that happen. So somehow it looks like the stars aligning, and it’s something I’ve been working on right up until the second I’m now talking to you, and it looks like we’re going to have a show coming up, probably next month, where we’ll have Kirk Hammett from Metallica and one of his heroes, Michael Schenker, on together. That’s about 99 percent at this point, but if that happens that will certainly be one of the highlights.
Phoenix New Times: So, do you truly love or hate Stump The Trunk?
Eddie: Ummmmm. That’s…that’s a two-edged question. Well, listen: it’s great to be known for something. It’s funny. I guess it would be like asking a band if they love or hate a hit record that they might be tired of playing. Laughter. It’s a blessing for sure, because it’s great to be known for something so much like that. It’s become crazy; even internationally when I travel people will come running up to me needing to “stump the trunk.” I do a live feed show, both on my own and also with Don and Jim, in clubs and stuff around the country. When we do that show, the majority of people there are pouncing ready to do “stump the trunk” because we do live trivia at the end of the show. It’s funny to me, because I don’t think I know it all at any stretch. But I do know more than the average person, because I’ve been doing this my whole life; it’s what I do. So I get that people find it fun and get into it.
So it is a blessing, as long as everyone doesn’t take it too seriously and understand that it’s a bit. The thing I always want to stress is that I’m the last guy in the world to run around and say I know it all. And while it’s fun when I get it right, what’s most fun for me is when I get it wrong, because I’m learning. Being in this business over 30 years, it’s always good to learn.
Phoenix New Times: ..What 2015 albums are you most looking forward to?
Eddie: Hmm, well, there’s a few out already that I absolutely love and they’ve come out already. One is, the new album from Black Star Riders, which used to be Thin Lizzy. Their second record just came out called The Killer Instinct, which is an early candidate for my album of the year.
Phoenix New Times: Speaking on technology and constant information provided on screens, how do you think social media affects the mystique of music? Like do you think Arthur Brown, Sabbath and Alice Cooper would still be the icons they are if there had been a YouTube and Twitter when they were starting out?
Eddie: That’s really tough to say. And I honestly don’t know. But I do miss some of the mystique of music in bands. I do think that is something we’ve really lost. And there are still bands from the ’70s that sort of keep that mystique up a little bit — like AC/DC for example. They are very, very stealth in the way they do things! You never know what’s coming or what they’re going to do. They actually just recently launched an official Twitter, which is obviously run by someone not in the band. And then there’s Van Halen, who is very cagey about what they do. And Iron Maiden is never gonna tell you what they’re gonna do until the last second they have to and every single thing is in line. So there are bands that are able to control and manage the information that gets out about them. And I think that’s cool.
But I don’t know if we would still look at some of those bands and feel like they still had the same aura about them in social media was around when they started. But I think there’s a “right” balance that can be struck, where fans can get information but the band isn’t too open where there’s no mystique or surprises. I think the biggest key is to find that balance. I know for myself, personally, handling Twitter is what I do most. I’d say about 95 percent is stuff about music and what I’m doing in my world, and maybe 5 percent is personal, which is extremely rare.
Phoenix New Times: You’re a big supporter of the Ronnie James Dio Cancer fund. Wendy Dio asked you to host some of the fifth anniversary events this May, so can you elaborate on some of the activities you’ll be involved in?
Eddie: Wendy reached out to me for us to discuss in t he next week or two actually, so I don’t have an exact idea of what I’m going to be doing specifically. But basically I’m there as she needs me. I had the incredible honor of hosting Ronnie’s memorial service five years ago when he passed away. So I know there will be a similar event to mark five years at his burial site which is open to the public. That will be a major event. I know there’s a bowling event and a motorcycle rally; three days and three events. But I’m basically there to help as she needs me, whether it’s interviews, hosting, meet and greet, helping with the raffle… whatever help she needs. The Dio Cancer Fund is a wonderful cause and I’m thankful to be a part of it again.
Read Eddie’s entire interview with the Phoenix New Times, here.