Ten Questions with That Metal Show's Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson
I grew up in a town where almost every kid wore a jean jacket and worshiped at the altar of Ozzy Osbourne. KNAC blared from garages and Skid Row was played over the loudspeaker at our city's annual carnival. Needless to say, I know a thing or two about metal, which might have something to do with why I find myself watching "That Metal Show" on VH1 Classic even though I'm not what anyone would call a metalhead.
Honestly, the longhairs in my town looked for any reason to kick ass and this created a fear of metal fans that lasts to this day. Most dudes (cuz there ain't no girls into metal) I know these days who are into metal are super cool people and not the sorts who want to start fights. Still, when I think of the genre, I think of that older kid who lived around the corner from me. He had a bad teenage moustache and he'd spray the hose at us anytime we walked past his house.
Maybe that's why I dig the show so much. Behind closed doors, I can listen to hosts Eddie Trunk, Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson talk about shredding guitarists and wailing singers without feeling like I'm about to get a beat down.
Hopefully no fisticuffs take place on Friday night as comedians Florentine and Jamieson bring their stand-up act to the Rhythm Lounge in Long Beach. I've seen Florentine before (even hung out with him for a bit although he'd never remember me) and if Jamieson's act is even half as funny as Florentine's, then the show should be the equivalent of watching Slayer play South of Heaven while making out with Lita Ford.
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OC Weekly (Ryan Ritchie): As comedians, it must be pretty easy to find the humor in metal, right? I mean, the genre is kind of cheesy, isn't it?
Don Jamieson: Not cheesy at all because it never takes itself too seriously. Rap, Justin Bieber tweener music, Celine Dion easy-listening garbage and country all way cheesier than metal.
Jim Florentine: Metal has been around since the late '60s. There was a period between 1985-1990 when it got a little cheesy. Since metal has been around for 42 years and was only cheesy for five years, I would say metal is pretty cool. If you want to talk about cheese, let's talk about hip-hop -- that's been embarrassing after the first two years.
Recently, the media has tried to portray metal fans as geeks, but when I was a kid, metalheads were shitkickers who you didn't mess with. So which is it: nerds or felons?
Jamieson: They're just people who are passionate about the type of music they love.
Florentine: Most of my friends are metalheads that have never got arrested before. They are definitely not geeks either because they don't talk about their iPhones all day.
Is there a certain age when people should have to retire from listening to metal?
Jamieson: If Lemmy doesn't quit then either should you.
Florentine: Metalheads are very loyal to their music. They don't follow trends like most people, so once a metalhead, always a metalhead.
What's with all the testosterone in metal?
Jamieson: What's with all the testosterone in Chaz Bono?
Florentine: Metal music is very rough around the edges, therefore most chicks don't like it.
On a related note, where are all the girls at metal shows?
Jamieson: Ever see Poison or Motley Crue? Chicks everywhere.
Florentine: I've been saying the same things for years. At least our wives and girlfriends don't have to worry about us cheating on them at a metal show.
How is Metallica so popular considering their drummer can't play?
Jamieson: When you write Master of Puppets, let me know.
Florentine: That's a myth that Lars can't play. Ask any good drummer and they'll tell you that he is very solid. If he couldn't play, the band would have thrown him out years ago.
Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin? (I'll give you a hint: The correct answer is Black Sabbath)
Jamieson: I like Zeppelin. A little more diverse and you can fuck to it.
Florentine: Black Sabbath is the best metal band. Zeppelin is the best hard rock band.
Due to the success of your show, it seems like every time I turn on VH1 Classic, it's something about metal. How and why is that considering when I walk down the street I don't run into hessians with bad moustaches and jean jackets?
Jamieson: I don't see a lot of 18th century German soldiers walking around either. If you mean "hesher," I don't know.
Florentine: That's another myth that if you like metal you have to dress up like Poison from the '80s. Also, there were never any mustaches in metal.
I like metal as much as the next guy (by that, I mean I like Black Sabbath, early Metallica and Slayer), so why am I so damn hooked on your show considering I don't really give a shit about metal?
Jamieson: Because we're very handsome men.
Florentine: Not sure. Maybe you're attracted to one of us slobs.
Do you incorporate elements of metal stage shows in your act? You know, stuff like explosions after a punchline, a kick drum intro building up to a joke or yelling "Let me hear you Long Beach!" when you walk on stage.
Jamieson: No. We want to do good.
Florentine: Not really. I tell 45 minutes of penis jokes.
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