Arts & Entertainment

Press Pass: That Metal Show

Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine  (Courtesy Photo)
Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine (Courtesy Photo)

Eddie Trunk, host and originator of VH1 Classic’s “That Metal Show,” doesn’t give a damn what you think about his musical tastes. He told the News-Press he doesn’t really catch flack for it, though.

“Anybody who knows me at all knows that, even if I did catch flack, I couldn’t care less about it,” Trunk said. “I never, ever, ever cared about what people thought about my tastes in music and what I like. I’ve always been defiant about that.”

Before getting locked in to hard rock and metal after buying Kiss’ Destroyer album in high school, Trunk, who grew up in New Jersey, said that he listened to the pop acts of the late 1960s and early 1970s like The Partridge Family, 1910 Fruitgum Company and Bobby Sherman. The last thing he’s going to do, he said, is try to rewrite history about where he came from and what he listened to.

“I think it’s just a personal choice what you like and what you don’t like and I think that there’s no right or wrong answer,” Trunk said, declaring that he doesn’t believe in guilty pleasures. “If it’s something that you like and makes you feel good, then you shouldn’t have to feel guilty about it. So I never pulled back from that stuff.”

He said he thinks it’s really important for people to be able to voice their opinions and express themselves how they want, which is what he and his “That Metal Show” co-hosts, Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine, do on Saturday nights on VH1 Classic. With debates about the top five in a given category of rock music and rankings of a rock acts albums, sometimes involving disagreements with the acts themselves, the trio have been creating this lively televised dialogue about rock music since 2008.

They also do that in person during live appearances around the country, one of which is scheduled for tomorrow night at The State Theater at 7 p.m. The show is a mix of a Q&A, storytelling and stand-up comedy – Jamieson and Florentine, both stand-up comedians, do 15 – 20 minute sets.

It also features a live version of arguably the most popular feature on “That Metal Show,” Stump the Trunk, in which audience members ask Trunk rock trivia in hopes of stumping him and winning prizes. He said Stump the Trunk is “a lot of fun to do in a live setting” and that he tends to get stumped more often during live appearances than the taping of the show.

“On the TV set, the questions are screened out and what I mean by that is that I don’t know what the questions are going to be, of course,” Trunk said. “But people have to ask certain questions. What we try to avoid is a situation when you’ll have people come up on the TV show and they’ll ask a question about a band that never even released a record or they’ll ask a question about their friend’s band that never made it….

“….I don’t think I know it all by any stretch of the imagination, it’s just a fun bit. But national audiences aren’t going to know some of this trivia about local bands and stuff like that.”

There is no such filter during live shows, Trunk said. People can come from anywhere and all over the place with their questions, leading to more times he comes up clueless.
“It’s funny. People come up and they have notes, they have research, they have papers,” Trunk said. “They come up like it’s the most important thing to them when we do it live. So it’s a little more loose and off-the-rails when we do it in the live shows.”

• For more information about That Metal Show, visit vh1.com/shows/that_metal_show/.

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