That Metal Show: A Reflection

Date: January 19, 2016

By Nick

I still remember tuning into the very first episodes back in 2008 when I was probably 13 and Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson, and Jim Florentine were talking to Lita Ford and Yngwie Malmsteen in this super small studio. Yngwie was talking about how when he was younger he saw Hendrix burn his guitar on TV and that’s when he knew that’s what he wanted to do. I had that same moment watching Eddie Trunk hoping one day I could just hang and talk to my favorite bands about cool backstage stories on television and test my knowledge on my favorite genre of music.

It has been eight amazing, unforgettable years of That Metal Show and I’m genuinely sad that VH1 Classic has cancelled it. The show grew and grew and went from a half hour to an hour, got a bigger studio, brought on more guests and repeat guests, and even featured live performances by the best guitarists, bassists, and drummers before commercial break. Dude I’m still mesmerized by Billy Sheehan’s and John 5’s solos! I watched this show through my teen years and it was incredible to see the show evolve into what it has become. 

That Metal Show 2008-2016
(Image courtesy of this source.)

Eddie Trunk hit it on the head when he said the show was like a heavy metal version of The View and it was something we’ve never seen before. Sure there was MTV’s Headbanger’s ball and shows like that but That Metal Show was something more than those shows. It was not a formal interview with the bands being asked the same old questions about their new album and the typical unresearched questions bands hate answering. Trunk, Jamieson, and Florentine were shooting the breeze with guys like Scott Ian and Ace Frehley telling stories the world had never really heard as well as answering the deep questions thrown at them by Eddie Trunk who’s a walking heavy metal encyclopedia.

One of the best parts of every episode was always Stump the Trunk watching Eddie either shoot the studio audience down or squirm in agony trying to remember the name of the brother of the bass player who played in some obscure band who only put out a three song demo in ’86 and then the singer went on to front some arena touring band. The man knows his stuff and I have to give credit where credit is due. I’m sure he got a few wrong just so Miss Box of Junk could make an appearance so the person asking the question could get a prize! That was always his response when he could not think of the answer!

That was one of the many awesome segments to always look forward to every episode. The Pick of the Week always got me interested in a new band, the Throwdown and TMS Top 5 were always hilarious watching the motley crew of hosts and guests debate the best Slayer album or best live album. The answer is always UFO according to Eddie!! Whatever Happened To was always interesting to hear what singer was still playing bars and who disappeared off the face of the earth.

Heavy metal is full of so many awesome musicians who are friendly and comical and it was a perfect way to showcase that. It wasn’t even always metal musicians on the show, there were a hand full of comedians and even baseball Hall of Famer Mike Piazza was on talking about his love for heavy metal. And what other show would you get Marky Ramone (The Ramones), Daryl McDaniels (Run DMC), and Gary Holt (Exodus/Slayer) all sitting around a table? It worked and that was what was so special about That Metal Show. It showed how wide heavy metal spread and the different subgenres but they all fell under hard rock and heavy metal.

And don’t get me started on the comedic side of the show. What’s better than hearing a guy like Kerry King telling a joke and everyone playing around with each other? And who can forget Florentine and Jamieson cracking toilet jokes at every possible opportunity! It all added to the show. It was like I was sitting at the end of the bar listening to a bunch of lifelong friends having a fun time on a Friday night but those friends happened to be some dudes from Jersey and Lamb of God and Metallica.
I really hope that another channel picks up That Metal Show because it’s important that the show lives on. It introduces younger kids who are new to metal to bands they have not heard about from years past and the older crowd get to see the guys they grew up headbanging to as well as introducing them to some of the up and comers. I loved how Florentine, Jamieson, and Trunk would always joke how low budget the show was and how they’d never be in HD and they honestly were cool with it and honestly the show didn’t have to have a big budget. It was successful doing what it was doing. As the years went on I’d see more and more people wearing That Metal Show shirts and it was always awesome to go up to these people and talk about our favorite episodes and bond over the greatest genre of music in the world. Here’s to a great run of an incredible show and I hope this is not the end and the show will continue to live on and help wave the heavy metal flag. Thanks Eddie, Don, and Jim. Thanks for making a Jersey metalhead proud.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this review are the opinions of the writer alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of WSOU, Seton Hall University, nor any of its affiliates.

Posted in: Metal, Show Review, WSOU

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