Thursday, September 26, 2013
A Ripple Conversation with Eddie Trunk - Eddie Trunk s Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal volume 2
Eddie Trunk is a stalwart proponent of the metal genre. He is well respected within the metal community as a man of knowledge and passion for this musical style. His loyalty and dedication to the music, artists, and fans was born out of a simple love of the music. For 30 Years he has been leading the metal battle cry for all who do not believe. His latest book is a testament to that passion and drive. A forward by none other than Slash himself kicks off this literary tour de force of bands, that helped shape and define the heavy metal genre. Included within each band chapter are clever insights, stories from the Eddie's vast memory reservoir. Every band has a story and Eddie Trunk is your ringleader into their magic circus lifestyle. I had the opportunity to talk with Eddie over the phone about his new book, radio, That Metal Show, and of course, metal in general.
Congrats on your second book, Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal volume 2. Also your radio show and That Metal Show. 30 years in the business. What is something that still amazes you about the metal genre and its fans?
Thanks. The fans are the ones that keep it all going for the artists and myself, and the genre in general. I'm really lucky for that. It's incredible how much support I have from people from my TV show and my radio show, and now my books. I'm really grateful. At the end of the day, I just considered myself a fan. I got into this music 30 years ago because I wanted to find ways to share and spread the music I love with other people in a respectful way. And it's just been amazing to see it continue. You know metal has its ups and downs just like anything does, but the core of it and the passion from the fans is really there. I think that is really one of the true hallmarks of this genre of music.
It was a little difficult because as you mentioned the bands at the end of the first book were meant to be included in the book, but then I realized that there wasn't room. It was tough to cut those bands out but I had to do so because of space. Then when I was approached to do the second book, I said well that is the starting point. That is where we should begin. So that was the jumping off point. There are still a few that I did not end up using and then there were a few that were not listed at all that I did. So it was a little bit of a process trying to determine which bands to use. I ran into space limits for this book too. as much as you want to keep writing and writing, you can't just do that. So I had to go through the existing list and say yeah I think I have enough about that band to do a full section. It was a balance. Eighty percent of the bands that were mentioned at the end of the first book now have full sections in this one. The last thing that was important was the variety. It's the same thing for the books, radio and television. This book has Manson in it and Warrant. I have always done that, I have never discriminated within the different genres. Never been afraid to say I like hard rock and I like heavy metal. I think we found a decent amount of variety within the book.
Right, I'm so glad you included "Veteran of The Psychic Wars" in your Blue Oyster Cult playlist. I used to have that album on 8-track believe it or not.
Yeah (laughs) Blue Oyster Cult in general just being included in the book was really important to me. They were one of the tougher cuts from the first book. I think that Blue Oyster Cult is a band that is really overlooked by a lot of people. Buck Dharma doesn't really think of them as a "metal" band but they are certainly a hard rock band and they have such a huge influence on so many bands. So it was important to get them in. I spent a good amount of time listening to them as a kid as well, so I was glad that I was able to get those guys in the book.
You briefly touched upon Blue Murder. You mentioned you have the demo tapes for the Sykes,Portnoy project. Any chance of hearing that demo?
I don't think anyone would be comfortable with me playing them for people because they are really raw demos. Very, very basic. Really just them set up and playing. Nothing that they could shop to any labels. The skeletons of the songs are there. If they wanted me to and were comfortable with it then o.k., I would, but it would be more a curiosity thing because it wasn't a polished product. The four or five songs I have are just skeletons. I am pretty sure that on John Sykes new solo record those songs are going to be on it.
This will be pretty extensive. The initial run starts on September 24 goes for about eleven days and ends in Vegas. From there it's back to Jersey and New York. from there I go to Brazil to host a festival. I have new episodes of That Metal show taping in October. Might have to wait until November or December. There really isn't an end date. The first signing is the 24th of September at the Hard Rock in Times Square. The 25th in Morris Plains, New Jersey at the Barnes And Noble, and 26th is Staten Island at a Barnes And Noble. From there I actually start to travel. I hope to do more on the East Coast. I want to do Philadelphia, Ct. Boston. Just time and schedules.
Let's say you had a chance to put together an Eddie Trunk music festival based on the books. which five bands would have to be on the bill?
Oh wow. well if it was just a fantasy thing where it could be any band then....
Well any band living
Yeah, Kiss and Aerosmith. Original members. Those two started it all for me as a kid. Van Halen, Black Sabbath. Sabbath with Ronnie but sadly we couldn't have that. So Sabbath, and Metallica. That would be a pretty good line up.
I just saw Sabbath a couple of weeks ago, They were awesome.
Yeah, I thought Sabbath with Ozzy was great, but Sabbath with Dio is where I discovered them. Ronnie and I were close, so Sabbath with him has always been kind of special to me. As great as the current Sabbath is, I couldn't help but think while watching them ,that we would never hear Ronnie's vocals on some of those songs again. Never going to hear "Children Of The Sea" live again, sung by Ronnie.
It's true. Nobody is immune to it. Us included. A lot of people ask, well who carries the torch? The biggest bands are still the bands that have been around 30 or 40 years. Doing the biggest business. So you do have to say that some bands do scale back or retire or even sadly, pass on. It definitely is a concern, but you have to point to the guys from the 80's. You hope they become big again. You hope they still have some juice left in them, than say the guys from the 70's. Iron Maiden is bigger now than they have ever been, so they are still ten years younger than the 70's groups. New bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Five finger Death Punch are bands that certainly have great fan bases. It remains to be seen if they can continue the legacy. Hopefully the combo of the 80's and the new bands can keep it all going together.
Almost every artist I have interviewed from Doro to John5 has tremendous praise for you and what you do to promote the genre. Does that pressure ever get to you?
Honestly man I don't think about it. I don't let it ..I don't think about it. I am so grateful for people that support. Slash did my forward and Halford did the last one, so to have the friendship and respect of these great artists is amazing to me. But I don't think about it. I'm too consumed with what I am doing and pushing forward that I really don't think about it. Maybe one day when I am retired I will look back. Every day is still a fight for this music. People think you are set. But that is not the case at all. There is a perception about that. Every day is a struggle like anyone else to keep the bills paid and to make sure that you keep doing what you love. The struggle is with the industry to make them believe that metal is important. I would love to do more episodes or have a longer radio show but it's a struggle to get the powers to be to continue to support. It's not as easy as people think.
So you will keep this going as long as you can...
I think about it. I'm 49, doing this 30 years right out of High School. The audience and the fans have been along on this ride with me. My 30 year anniversary radio party in Times Square is really just a celebration of the fans. From where I go from there is anyone's guess. It's really up to the powers that be if it continues on. I am aware of the possibility that the television show and the radio show hinges on support from the companies that own the stations. It's out of my control. I will still be a fan. It's all I have known since High School. I would love to keep going for another ten or twenty years.
Let's play a little word association
If I say Metallica, you say:
That concluded our interview, but I could have talked to him about metal for hours. He is a true lifelong fan of all that heavy metal has to offer. You can check out His TV show on VH1 Classic called THAT METAL SHOW, His radio show, Eddie Trunk Rocks a syndicated show on q104.3(New York City), And Eddie Trunk Live on SiriusXM radio. Visit him at Eddie Trunk.com Both Eddie Trunk Essential books are available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble as well as other outlets.