metalshow

Somehow, VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show has been running for twelve(!) seasons. If you haven’t seen this show, let me give you a brief rundown: two horrifically unfunny comedians (Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine) wearing band t-shirts a stylist picked out for them attempt to talk metal and hard rock with a portly radio personality (Eddie Trunk) who prides himself in knowing everything there is to know about said genres, but instantly transforms into a butt-hurt five-year-old when it turns out he doesn’t know something, or when one of the comedians makes fun of him, or when one of the guests makes fun of him… basically he spends around 80% of the show being butt-hurt. Guests, which are occasionally people you’d actually want to see interviewed (e.g. Lemmy, Paul Di’Anno, Ace Frehley, Rob Halford, etc), but typically consist of a who’s who of hair metal has-beens, come on and have their asses kissed like they’ve never been kissed before, which is probably wonderful for their egos but pretty annoying to just about everyone else.

When I first discovered that VH1 had a metal show, I was excited; I grew up with MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball and was hoping for something similar. I should have realized that VH1’s definition of metal is basically hair metal and classic rock, with only occasional nods to thrash and NWOBHM. No other genres of metal exist in the VH1 universe (remember that this is the network that refused to allow an extreme metal episode of Banger Films’ Metal Evolution mini series). Sure, the Ball wasn’t exactly the be-all, end-all for metal, but at least they had the uh, balls, to play videos from Death, Morbid Angel, Entombed, Cathedral, Sepultura and the like. Do Trunk and his two pet jabronis even know who Trey Azagthoth and Lee Dorian are? I’m not saying the whole show should be death/black/doom metal or anything, but for the love of all that’s unholy at least acknowledge its existence! There are plenty of folks out there that think Covenant and Left Hand Path are just as classic as UFO’s discography, you silly bastards.


Most of you reading THKD probably either don’t watch That Metal Show, have never heard of it, or have heard of it but could give two fucks about it. If you haven’t seen it, one viewing is all it takes to make you want to vomit. To paraphrase my wife, watching Trunk is like having someone slap a cupcake out of your hand. If you know about it but don’t care about it, you should; this travelling shit show is representing our beloved genre in front of a large cable audience, making us all look like a bunch of schmucks in the process. I know some of you are grumbling at that last statement: “Who cares what the mainstream thinks of us? Fuck ’em!” and to an extent I agree, but I also know I don’t like being perceived as a schmuck by anyone, and if people are to see and believe what TMS presents to the world, then it will continue to see metal as either hair metal or Ozzfest crapola, and metalheads as a bunch of ignorant jackasses. These guys are single-handedly setting metal back thirty years and celebrating all of its worst aspects; I think many can agree that the genre and we as fans have come too far to put up with that shit.

So how do we hypothetically fix That Metal Show? The first thing that needs to be done is sack the three stooges. Why in the blue hell do they need three hosts in the first place? If Riki Rachtman could do it by himself w/ a moderate degree of success back in the day, then surely we could find someone competent enough to carry this show solo. Plus, if you’re only paying one salary instead of three, you can divert some of that surplus cash to upping the production values; you know, little things like making the set not look likes it’s made of cardboard. My personal pick for host would be professional wrestler/Fozzy frontman Chris Jericho. Say what you will about Fozzy, but anyone that has been following Y2J’s career as a wrestler knows that he’s entertaining (not to mention genuinely funny), charismatic and most importantly fun to watch whether he’s grinding it out in the ring or cutting a promo, and comes off as intelligent and articulate during serious interviews. Additionally, the guy is actually in a band that’s currently signed to Century Media and was at one time signed to Mega Force, so chances are he knows at least a little something about modern metal and less mainstream acts.


Now that we have our host in place, it’s time to totally revamp the format. First, ditch all the useless recurring segments such as “The Throwdown” “Stump the Trunk” “The Rant” and “TMS Top 5.” Less time spent on this silly shit means more time with the guests, which in turn means more in-depth interviews. Interviews are the bread and butter of any good talk show, which is essentially what TMS is, so make it worth the viewers’ time by giving the guests the attention they deserve. As for the guests themselves, you’ve got to keep the veterans such as Lemmy and Alice Cooper on the roster in order to draw in mainstream viewers, but let’s also throw some lesser known characters in the mix to spice things up and introduce those viewers to some new music. Guys like Mikael Akerfeldt, Devin Townsend and Fenriz (provided he could be talked into appearing however unlikely) could hold their own and make for entertaining interviews along with the usual suspects. Imagine seeing unsung legends of the underground like Bobby Liebling, Scott Weinrich or Victor Griffin sitting down for a TV interview, how cool would that be?

Ok, this next one should be a no-brainer, and why they’ve never (to my knowledge) done this absolutely blows my mind: get some bands to play live on the show every week. How anyone thought it was a good idea to have a show about music with no fucking music is so far beyond me that it practically makes my head explode thinking about it. As far as I know, the closest TMS has come to live music is to have a “guest shredder” each week, which translates to a lone guitarist wanking away before each commercial break. This is about as thrilling as watching a Jenna Jameson movie that’s been edited for content by the Mormons, and is a sad substitute for a full band performance. Hell, you could have the guests do double duty, getting interviewed and then playing a song or two. Think of the great exposure opportunity this could be for young bands. I have no idea what TMS‘ ratings are like, but surely getting an up-and-coming band like Beastwars for instance to play live on VH1 would get them out in front of some people that have never heard of them but might actually like them if they did. As with the interviews, you’d want to have a mix of young and bigger/veteran acts in order to lure in more viewers.

So there you have it folks. That Metal Show has been airing since 2008, so VH1 obviously thinks they have a good thing going and will probably never change it unless Trunk, Jamieson and Florentine are sucked through a portal into a dimension where they’re forced to wear dresses and listen to Yanni: Live at the Acropolis for all eternity, but those of us who know better can always dream, can’t we?

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45 thoughts on “That (Awful) Metal Show and how to fix it.

  1. I couldn’t help laughing my ass off while reading this article….in regard to how you speak of The “Metal Community” as if we’re an oppressed nation who fought for our rights as citizens,lol.

    “Lighten up, Francis!!”

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  2. Dearest author,

    I read this article, and admire your honest opinion on the content of our programming. You make several valid points about our longtime running program, “That Metal Show”, and I commend you for your insight and intuition.

    You will be happy to learn that after some thought and consideration, I printed out your thoughtful post and showed it to a few of my colleagues. I then wiped my ass with it. After handing out a few copies, my fellow coworkers proceeded to do the same. As you might expect, it was a very gratifying experience.

    Thank you for your interest in our channel. As VH1 evolves and matures, we will continue to deliver content you will most likely disapprove of.

    Sincerely,
    VH1 Executive

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  3. Seriously,that fucking show is a disgrace to Metal music,it’s 99% gossiping,and they rarely invite any real Metal musicians..it’s basically The View trying to pass for a Metal show,and the show hosts have absolutely zero knowledge of Metal music beyond the mainstream bands..it’s just pathetic and it screams “cancel me!”

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  4. These fucking dweebs are the last people in the whole universe that could represent the Metal community,these guys wouldn’t know Metal if it bit them in the ass,they’re literally the farthest thing there is from a metalhead and the definition of the word poser,and that gay ass poser show needs to be canceled pronto.

    These idiots and their stupid show are about as Metal as these emo trannies on their periods :

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  5. I hate cookie monster vocal, sledgehammer guitar and drums and bum bum bum bass. I hate that shit. Give me classic rock, classic metal and classic hair metal. I hate your shit music.

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    1. Well, if you’d bothered to actually read this post, you’d notice that I suggested several guests for the show who have little or nothing to do with cookie monster vox or blast beats (they might have “bum bum bum bass” but I’m not sure that means, so…) such as Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth has been all clean vox/prog rock for a couple albums now), Devin Townsend (who hasn’t really done extreme stuff since SYL ended if I’m not mistaken), Bobby Liebling, Scott Weinrich and Victor Griffin. I also praised some of the show’s choices of guests (Lemmy, Paul Di’Anno, Ace Frehley, Rob Halford, Alice Cooper, etc). I never said classic rock and metal are necessarily bad, only that there’s a whole world of heavy music out there that they deliberately choose not to cover, and I’m not just talking about death and black metal either, as evidenced by some of the aforementioned artists.

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  6. Jim Florentine is unfunny? You know two things about comedy pal…Jack and shit. Secondly nobody gives a fuck about the obscure horse shit you consider “classic”, they’re obscure for a reason…nobody fucking cares.

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  7. I stop reading anything the moment someone uses the moronic phrase “butthurt” but I get the gist and I’m not surprised. What do you expect from VH1 – or from TV in general? No one does music television anymore – and let’s be honest, the general public only supports the worst of the mainstream with their free download mentality. Any metal show is doomed when so many metal-heads just fall into the trap of being kitschy and lacking any intelligence. It’s not so much the sub-genre wars – it’s just that these idiots want to be popular so they go with mainstream and established stuff. There is nothing wrong with respecting the roots as well as seeking out new stuff – there are lots of old 70s and 80s bands that deserve some attention – but they’re not going to get it from anything produced by VH1. The three goons on the show will only discuss established bands with decent sales – they are not the types to be innovators – and there would not be enough support even if they were. Turn of your TV and listen to some music – or find good stuff on youtube.

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    1. So, what you’re saying is you get butthurt whenever someone uses the term “butthurt?” Got it, I’ll file that one away for future pieces. 😉

      You’re right though, it is pretty silly to expect VH1 (or any other channel for that matter) to produce a legit metal show in 2014. What can I say, I’m STILL nostalgic for Headbangers’ Ball, cheesy as it was, they played some great shit and introduced me to some incredible bands.

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  8. Though I am not a big fan of death metal or any genre similar (day I say that?) I completely agree with you about this show and the posers that front it. Eddie Trunk is a journalist first and foremost who happens to be a hard rock fan. KISS of all bands was his favorite growing up. What does that tell you? UFO? Sure he praises them all the time but on his radio show if he plays them at all it’s always the same ol’ songs. Those 2 other guys whose names will never be etched in my brain are exactly what you say and more. I don’t get VH1 Classics with my satellite except on promotional periods and when I actually stop and take a look it comforts me to find out that I am not missing anything.

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  9. Eddie Trunk is the biggest fucking douchebag that ever walked the face of the earth. A fat, old, faggot with a sissy fucking haircut – you know that homo got his ass kicked ALL the time in school. No wonder he spent all his adolescent years hiding in his room listening to U.F.O. instead of getting high and chasing pussy like the rest of us. Damnit! I wish that queer had gone to my school so I could have jacked his jaw a few myself! And he supposedly represents Metal and Metal fans?!?! Fuck that, he’s the most UN-metal loser I’ve ever seen. Seriously, if you see a dickhead like him at a metal concert what else can you do but laugh. That mofo doesn’t fit in, he should be at a Duran Duran reuinion show instead.

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  10. Aren’t there bunches of metal core and black sabbath-lite bands these days? I’d love to see one of them like the devil wears prada and electric wizard on the show but I figured it out = metal means hair, thrash, groove, and some progressive metal bands.

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  11. I watch because TV IS THAT BAD….Every other channel on directv sucks. I actually had Trunk comment back on me on his site that “Indie” is not something execs like very much. And I realized as a break back from commercial they play House Of Broken Promises “Blister”..and I would nearly be willing to bet none of those hosts know this. They’ve not mentioned word one of this band when the record on Small Stone was new. Guaranteed they probably don’t know who Unida is either.

    You know,,because I always need to keep up with the fifteenth guitarist for enuffznuff who filled in for that short leg of that one tour that one time…remember him they say

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  12. I watched this show from time to time, it is okay (in small doses), otherwise it is shit to me. But, Eddie Trunk doesn’t know his metal (or his music) passed maybe 1995; plus he had admitted in one episode where he said, and I kid you not: “I don’t like death metal, it’s not the music/bands I grew up with.” I’m done with his piece of shit. Meanwhile, Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson respect ALL form of music – every subject of metal, and even Jim Florentine had admitted he loved rap – well, late 80’s to early 90’s rap when Anthrax was on, for their special guest: Anthrax. (This isn’t “That Rap Show, it is “That Metal Show, they NEED to stick with the formula…) However, the interviews on That Metal Show are decent; the segments “Stump the Trunk” are shiity but somehow they’re hilarious to a degree (he thinks he is Ken Jennings for rock and metal, it is cringe worthy beyond your wildest expectations, however); and the guests are repetitive time after time – it is only commercialized artists from the late 70’s to middle 90’s – they do not have the money to finance other guest[s]? Wow. Example for this: Episode 1 – Pantera; Episode 2: Metallica; Episode 3: Slayer; Episode 4: Pantera; Episode 5: Metallica; Episode 6: Slayer. Do they find new artists passed Slayer, let alone Metallica? I doubt it.

    I fucking cannot stand Eddie Trunk, he thinks that he knows every form of music in the spectrum of hard rock, heavy metal, thrash metal, and maybe, progressive rock (even if you ONLY know UFO, Rush, and Dream Theater…), and by your logic: “you know EVERY FORM OF METAL.” Bullshit. You’re so full of shit. Eddie Trunk is a a sub par music journalist (I’m giving him that one, barely), and he’s a complete music snob – you can tell, it is in your fucking faces, he only likes rock and heavy metal (but not passed Danzig….) – he cannot stand one pop song….

    When I had first watched this show: I thought that they would do a performance of that particular artist on the show, and occasionally, there might be two, so they will have a credible show. They don’t. I can imagine one episode, maybe two episodes without a live performance – WRONG! – it is in every episode. If they had a band perform on their show [“pre-recorded”] (aside from a bullshit strung of a short note, maybe one short song, terrible).

    I honestly wish that they had crossover thrash, doom metal, drone metal, more underground bands, death metal, black metal, metalcore, deathgrind, goregrind, folk metal, etc, etc. They NEED to support and care for the metal, besides, Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth – and who could forget – glam metal…. even if those people are in their late 40’s, early 50’s, maybe late 50’s, almost 60 at this point… Move on, VH1. They need to care about the metal – the real metal – that is not even mentioned on television, stop caring about music that was ONLY on MTV, back in the 80’s. I’m not complaining about respecting the life and looking back, but they overdo it….

    Whatever… Last but not least, I see people talking about the new host of this show (if they were to have one), and do they need a new one? Yes. I feel as if It would either be Sebastian Bach, Riki Rachtman, Kevin Smith, Jack Black, or Brian Posehn

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  13. I totally agree. The hosts are the absolute WORST. It would be hard to pick which one is the worst of the three. And totally drop the awful segments of the show especially “stump the trunk”. NO ONE CARES how much useless trivia that has nothing to do with actual music a loser fanboy can remember. These minutes on air should be dedicated to the guests. Fire Eddie Trunk. Metal and hard rock will never reach the highest levels again if these three dunces are in anyway representing or related to the genres. Don’t even want to get started on those two never-has-been “comedians”.

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  14. and Victor Griffin,,,THAT DUDE rewrote the book on weight of the riff playing a drop B tuning. the guitar sounds like a mean ass 2 stroke power tool

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  15. Let’s keep the doom sentiment going. It’s arguably one of the most popular subgenres right now, behind metalcore, power, and melodeath. Of course, TMS does occasionally pander to metalcore bull like Avenged Sevenfold, but even choose to ignore some power metal. I believe their explanation was “we’re VH1 CLASSIC!”
    Then why the fudge do you bring on Disturbed or mull over Killswitch Engage if you’re VH1 CLASSIC? Isn’t Disturbed, like, nü metal out the ass? Haven’t metalheads virtually unanimously agreed that the years between 1998 to 2001 should be pulled out of space time continuum and tossed into the deepest, blackest reaches of Hell where even the devil will never reach?
    And now back to doom metal. I remember seeing Budgie and early Pentagram back in the ’70s, when I was an everstoned kid. They predate bunches of these hair bands. Aerosmith, Whitesnake, I can understand, but we can do without stupid Cinderella. Yeah, sure rocking riffs were cool in the ’80s, that didn’t make them okay. Doom metal had its ass run over in the 1980s, but it survived predating and outliving thrash and hair metal. If that’s not CLASSIC METAL, I don’t know what is.
    And on the topic of thrash by the way: what’s with all the Metallica asskissing? Where’s Kreator? Where’s Sodom? Where’s Whiplash? Where’s all the extreme thrash bands? The kvlt CLASSICS that you couldn’t see on MTV or VH1? Oh that’s right, the VH1 higher ups think that heavy metal is androgynous anime haired men in spandex who decided to pick up guitars and smash on gated drums at some point in 1986.
    You know, Candlemass did everything the same; they were sort of like an evil glam band that played slow and heavy and more in the vein of Sabbath’s heavier dirges than the poppier sides of Zeppelin. But will you ever see Candlemass on their show? No.
    I think the only reason they even got Overkill was because they had low viewership at the time so VH1 didn’t care and thought they’d be canceled in weeks. Now they look back in horror, wondering how they let such a Satanic force of undying evil on air. Aghast!
    We don’t need Metallicentrepreneur Lars or Murikan Ted Nugent, give us some goddamn Bobby Liebling!

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  16. You nailed it at the end of that one paragraph with the ignored purveyors of DOOM. Trunk’s argument is the music or people got to be quote”classic”…as in old or somesuchshit.. But I’ve left a few comments stating the credibility of the show is in the crapper for the glaring omission of WINO. They mentioned Bobby Liebling for the ” Last Daze Here” release as their pick of the week one year. With Eddie ” I Hate being ignored by the mainstream but only pander to major label artists” Trunk saying quote “I had NO IDEA Pentagram was that big or had that many fans.” What a RETARD that dude is.

    Oh and the show claims to be back to taping on a “weekly basis” back in Jersey as opposed to a week of taping for a whole season out in LA. How perfect,,WINO is back in Maryland rehearsing for a Spirit Caravan reunion and US tour in March and festivals in Europe this summer. They ignored the groundbreaking American Lemmy that is WINO out in LA as WINO lived there I sure cant expect much different now. As well as these so called proud Jersey natives ignoring Monster Magnet,,taking as long as what they brag as 10 seasons or whatever before getting Neil Fallon on there. Hell they could do a whole season dedicated to Maryland DOOM METAL. And the bands are not even close to new.

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  17. @Michael Curley Gotta agree. It’s kinda like how some jumped on Sam Dunn because ME didn’t have the Extreme Metal episode.
    Just because the corporate fuckers at VH1 think that metal lived and died between 1983-1990 on the LA strip and Bay Area with scant revivalists afterwards doesn’t mean their lackies think so as well.

    Though their explanation for death metal pisses me of: “Not what we grew up with.” That also raises unfortunate implications for doom metal, which I’m pretty sure was around in the ’80s and not buttfuckingly extreme.

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    1. “Not what we grew up with”…That right there is proof that Trunk is a poser, because by his logic I shouldn’t be able to enjoy classical music because I didn’t grow up with Beethoven and Mozart.

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  18. Read your piece and agree somewhat but have to defend Eddie Trunk and his cohosts a bit. First of all Eddie has been at the forefront of Metal for decades he was one of the only DJ’s in the 80’s who embraced all metal and gave many bands the exposure that made them. Secondly while he is a bit of a douche he has the respect in the genre to get the guests, metal is full of grudges and hate but people answer eddie’s calls and requests for appearances out of repect for him and what he has done for metal. I am just glad there is any show that embraces metal at all still on Televison and while i would like to change a lot about the show I will take what I can get.

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    1. Your last statement reveals a defeatist attitude that has no place in a metal psyche. You may be willing to eat a bowl of shit because you couldn’t have a ribeye steak, but most of us refuse to settle for less than what our beloved music deserves. I gave this show a chance, but fuck it and fuck Eddie for being part of it. I used to mock the so-called “elitists” who said that metal should’ve just stayed underground. I’m beginning to understand why they feel that way.

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  19. Great ideas and a nice rant. I wonder if Sebastian Bach could host this show. Maybe not, but at least he would bring some excitement to it. I stopped watching years ago because I can’t stand the way they do their interviews. Great guests get the short end of the stick so they can do their little “segments”, like Stump The Trunk and the laughable Top Five. They also need to have, not just guitar players leading in and out of the show, but mix it up, have drummers or bass players do it from time to time.

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  20. I hate this show so fucking much. Anyone who thinks these guys know anything about real metal deserve to be dragged out in the street and beaten. I would love to piss on eddie trunks face.

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  21. Totally agree – it drives me nuts that this show exists in its current format, mainly b/c I want so badly to enjoy it. Who the hell is keeping the show alive in its current format?

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  22. Excellent post. I don’t like Chris Jericho because I don’t like wrestling and because I have my doubts he knows his metal, but this is spot on. I fucking hate these three idiots. The two comedians are the most unfunny douchebags I have ever seen and Eddie Trunk is an unlikeable asswipe. Enough with the Dokken interviews for fuck’s sake.

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  23. Thanks so much for this. Totally agree with all of this and thought it was hilarious. Even as someone who enjoys a lot of the bands featured on the show, I can’t stand watching it. What is Eddie Trunk so fucking grumpy about? If I got to present a show about Metal for a living I’d be grinning like an idiot the whole time. Cheer up Eddie!

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  24. @icheavy – Just read your article a little while ago; good read, and it does appear the we’re in agreeance on most things, with the exception that you’re a fan of Trunk and I can’t stand him. Very interesting re: VH1 not being willing to pay for the use of music on the show… what a joke, like whatever conglomerate own the channel doesn’t have billions.

    @UA – ha! You’re definitely not missing anything. Avoid, unless you’re a metal masochist.

    @Forktongue – I did not realize that about Jericho; in that case he may not be the best choice. Some suggestions that I got on Twitter were Scott Ian or Brian Posehn, I think both of them could probably do a pretty decent job.

    @everyone re: the extreme episode of Metal Evolution – The way I understand it is VH1 wouldn’t allow an extreme metal episode, so Dunn is attempting raise the funds for one via Kickstarter (as icheavy mentioned). What I don’t get is, how does Banger Films not have the resources to do this on their own? Where did they get the funding for the numerous other full length movies they’ve done?

    @Brandon – you should watch it at least once just so you can witness firsthand the horrors of TMS. And re: the Jenna Jameson/Mormons bit, we watched a whole documentary about Mormons in the business of editing mainstream movies so that they were suitable for consumption by members of the LDS church. Obviously they didn’t do porn, but ironically one of the most successful owners of a Mormon video store was accused of paying under age girls to perform sex acts.

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  25. Metal Evolution started a kickstarter campaign awhilw back and reached their fundraising goal to produce an extreme metal episode. Last time I saw thet were still working on it and it will be available for purchase soon via download. You can get morr info if you follow Metal Evolutuon on Twitter

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  26. I think they wouldnt give them funding to do an extreme episode. The dude who makes it recently tried a kickstarter to get one done but I’m not sure how it turned out.

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  27. The last sentence of the second paragraph sums it up. I loved the Metal Evolution miniseries and my only complaint is that there wasn’t an extreme metal episode. Did VH1 really refuse to run one? And if so, was there one even made?

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  28. I don’t know about Jericho. He’s said in the past he hates anything that isn’t clean singing so we probably still wouldn’t get certain genre’s covered.

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    1. It would be so much better if they focused on the guests and not the ridiculousness. And as we both agree it is time to get rid of those unfunny bozos

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