Metal!

Rock TV Host Eddie Trunk: "There's No Mystique or Surprises" in Music Anymore

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That Metal Show kicked off its 14th season in late February, and it's never been more focused on such a wide variety of music. Four episodes in as of March 14, artists like Geddy Lee (Rush), John Petrucci (Dream Theater), Marky Ramone, and others have already been on the show.

Diversity is the name of the game, and other recently confirmed guests include Kerry King (Slayer), Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society), Ace Frehley (KISS), Frankie Banali (Quiet Riot, W.A.S.P.), Michael Schenker (Scorpions, UFO), Max Cavalera (Soulfly), and many more.

Hosted by Eddie Trunk, Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson, the acclaimed show went through some vast changes last season; the show moved from Los Angeles to New York City, and instead of all episodes being taped all within a week, it changed to one taping each Tuesday night. This season has brought even more, with a new broadcast time, a "Fan Top 5" segment, and a variety of musical guests that ranges from a focus on jazz to classic rock to death metal.

The show standards remain the same, with such segments as the "Top 5 Throwdown," "Metal Modem," "Put it On the Table," and, of course, the favorite "Stump The Trunk," where fans try to quiz host Eddie Trunk on facts he may or may not know.

For more than 30 years Eddie Trunk has been pouring his blood, sweat and tears into the music industry. He's created a career out of his passion for music, and his dedication has made him one of the most knowledgeable personalities in hard rock and heavy metal.

It all started as a New Jersey high schooler, where he wrote record reviews for school extra credit. He started working in broadcasting in 1983, when he convinced his favorite local radio station to let him produce a heavy metal/hard rock specialty show, one of the first of its kind. It was 2002 when Trunk began working in television as a host on VH1 Classic's Hanging With, which led to the creation of That Metal Show. The show premiered in November 2008, and it's not only the longest running program in the station's history -- it's the only hard rock/heavy metal oriented show on cable TV. That Metal Show has been visited by some of the biggest names in the genres including Van Halen, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Pantera, Kiss, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Pearl Jam, Guns N' Roses, Queensrÿche, Heart, and many more.

Trunk's original 1983 radio show still exists to this day as Eddie Trunk Rocks, out of New York City, and is syndicated nationally. Trunk also hosts a weekly live music, talk and interview show called Eddie Trunk Live, or "Trunk Nation," on Sirius XM (channel 39).

Up on the Sun talked with Eddie Trunk, two minutes fresh off the phone booking Metallica for That Metal Show, about the upcoming biggest highlight of the season, social media's affect on the music industry, and his most anticipated albums of 2015.

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?

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.

That's awesome! I know you had mentioned that there's a huge guest that hadn't been announced yet, so is that what you were referring to?

It will certainly be one of them. You know Lauren, the way things are working this season, it's similar to last season. We don't by design we don't announce the guests in advance for every single show, because we don't have them all locked in. We're taping weekly, so as opposed to how we used to do the show when we were in L.A. we would do 10 shows in the course of five days, two shows per day, so we had to have everything rock solid locked down. But that's not how we do it anymore. We're going to be taping into May at this point.

So, as a result, shows booked out towards the end of April and early May are not fully formed yet since things are always changing. We'll get a call that an artist is in town and is available to do some press, so do we have anything available. Which is exactly what happened with Joe Elliot with Def Leppard on our debut. That came in at the very last second, so he was also one of those big names we teased. So we don't how every show is going to play out. It's kinda a fun way of doing it. We have a structure and an outline, but we never know what will pop up.

And on the other side of the coin, just as many times we'll have a cancellation. We had Blackie Lawless booked for our finale, and he unfortunately had to cancel because he has to get a procedure done on his back. So it's always a revolving door and it's hard to nail down "this is happening and this is not happening."

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Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise