Emerging from the blues and psychedelic rock of the 1960s and ’70s, heavy metal has been a driving force in music for nearly 50 years — known for its massive sound, extended guitar solos, and unrelenting intensity.
Despite being critically reviled throughout its history, metal has stood the test of time with bands such as Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Mötley Crüe achieving legendary status, unfathomable wealth and exerting a profound influence on generations of musicians and fans. Unlike many forms of popular music, whose followers are fickle and transitory, metalheads tend to embrace their favorite bands and follow them over decades. Metal is not only a pastime — it’s a lifestyle.
Written by veteran rock journalists Jon Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman, “Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History Of Metal” (It Books; May 14, 2013; Hardcover; $32.50) was assembled from more than 300 interviews with members of Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera, Van Halen and many others, conducted over a 25-year span. Turman and Wiederhorn dug deep into their extensive list of contacts to uncover never- before-heard stories, eye-opening admissions and the truth behind metal’s most explosive legends. With an introduction by Scott Ian of Anthrax and an afterword by Rob Halford of Judas Priest, this is the book metal fans have been waiting for.
Icons of the genre offer candid and confessional commentary, including: Ronnie James Dio, Ozzy Osbourne, Bruce Dickinson, Eddie Van Halen, Vince Neil, Tommy Lee, Lita Ford, Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, Axl Rose, Slash, Dave Mustaine, King Diamond, Kerry King, Philip Anselmo and more. The many musicians interviewed offer their take on their influences, touring, the music business and songwriting, as well as their often-traumatic upbringings, battles with substance abuse and bizarre sexual exploits. Industry insiders (including managers, record label executives, family members, friends, scenesters, groupies, journalists and porn stars) provide additional insight.
“Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History Of Metal” explores the transformation of metal culture, with stories and anecdotes straight from the mouths of the most infamous and successful bands. Filled with hundreds of revealing interviews representing every type and era of heavy metal — from metal progenitors such as Blue Cheer, Led Zeppelin, and the MC5 to current day innovators — “Louder Than Hell” is the ultimate look behind the curtain at one of our most dynamic, controversial and enduring musical genres.
Alice Cooper: “This is the book every metal fan should own. A fascinating high-octane chronicle of metal mayhem that takes readers on a wild ride, from metal’s earliest days to the headbanging present. I’m not saying this just because I’m in the book, but . . . if you love metal, great stories, and music history told by the people who made it, then ‘Louder Than Hell’ is a must-read.”
METAL SHOP Rocks was once again invited to attend a taping of ‘That Metal Show.’ This time around special guests where John 5 (David Lee Roth/Marilyn Manson) Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony (Van Halen/Chickenfoot) and the legend himself, Steve Harris (Iron Maiden). There were also special brief appearances by former Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler and Marilyn Manson.
Since it was Eddie Trunk’s 48th Birthday, a special cake was delivered that featured Adler popping out and asking a question to Eddie during ‘Stump the Trunk.’ Manson also did a top 5 with Eddie and co-hosts Jim Florentine and Don Jameson. John 5 shredded his guitar big time when taking the show to commercial breaks.
Hagar and Anthony talked about their close friendship and Hagar revealed he was once asked to join Aerosmith. Anthony was asked how he felt when he found out he was no longer in Van Halen and he replied that he felt let down, especially when the band temporarily replaced his photos on the Van Halen albums and web site. Hagar mentioned that the release of his best-selling biography last year cost him a few friends… his family was also really surprised by what he revealed about his past.
The highlight of the taping was Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris, who was making his first-ever appearance on That Metal Show. Fans where really fired up and started the Maiden chant when he was introduced. Harris talked about his new solo album ‘British Lion’ and said he might do a solo tour. He talked about the current Maiden tour and how after more than 30 years, Iron Maiden just seems to get bigger, noting that when they toured for ‘Maiden England’ back in 1988, some fans where not even born yet, so it’s good to bring it back for younger fans to experience.
Special thanks to the staff at VH1, including Kevin Turner, Bill Sloyer, That Raf Show and DJ Will… you all ROCK! Don’t forget to catch the new season starting this Saturday, August 11th on VH1 Classic.
This past Wednesday I had the privilege to witness one of Americas greatest and most talented rock bands ever… Van Halen!!
You had to be someone or a lucky radio station winner to get invited to this one time only special event “friends and family and free loaders” is what it was called at the Forum. I am a rocker/metal chick and I was in heaven! The event started at 7:30 with Kool and the Gang. Not bad if you like that kind of music. Intermission took a while, enough time to get a beer and walk amongst the likes of Slash, Duff McKagan, and John 5 who where some of the few rockers out enjoying the scene.
The lights then dimmed and out stepped legendary rockers Van Halen and Wolfgang! I was second row standing and my jaw dropped when I saw them. I fell in love with Van Halen at age seven when I saw the video “Hot For Teacher” which they ended up playing halfway into their set! Other songs that got me going were “Running With The Devil”, “Panama” and “Jump”. They played a lot of their new stuff which was super cool and the crowd seemed to like it. So did all the children in the crowd surprisingly enough. All ages in the crowd were rocking out! “Somebody Get Me A Doctor” and “Tattoo” back to back, that right there was memorable.
David Lee Roth is still crazy as ever with the wardrobe! It was definitely fun to watch his get ups. Eddie Van Halen killed it on the guitar with his solos! “Eruption” just had to make it in the setlist or it wouldn’t be Van Halen. It was my first time seeing Wolfgang and I have to admit he rocks it on the bass. He was very professional and sounded great! A cutie too! HA!
The show ended with one encore and then the magic was over ’till June when they hit the stage at Staples in L.A. for a sold out show. I think I just might make it out there again! Why not right?!
The first new Van Halen album in 28 years ‘A Different Kind of Truth‘ (Interscope) is out today (Feb. 7, 2012). Wait, what’s that? The last new VH album was actually ‘Balance’ released in 1995? Well, yes that is correct. However, if you consider the original Van Halen with David Lee Roth in the band, the only Van Halen, then this is their first album in 28 years.
METAL SHOP Rocks received an advanced copy of ‘Truth’ for review. You may have heard that most of the songs are re-workings of old unreleased tracks and that may annoy you. Just the idea of that may not feel right considering how long it has been since Roth fronted the band. However, while listening we couldn’t help feeling nostalgic and this record sounds more like listening to a conclusion of the first Van Halen album (1977).
Looking at the big picture… if most of these songs are unreleased tracks and most of us have never heard them, and early Van Halen is really the best Van Halen, a new album (almost 30 years later) from one of the best bands in rock history, probably shouldn’t reinvent the wheel. Most of us long for the hunger of the old days combined with the sensibilty of today and considering that, this album works.
If you are a fan of the first few Van Halen albums, most likely you will love the new effort for what is is, a kick ass rock album. Thanks to Rob at Umusic for the early listen.
- She’s The Woman
- You and Your Blues
- China Town
- Blood and Fire
- As Is
- Honey Baby Sweetie Doll
- The Trouble With Never
- Outta Space
- Stay Frosty
- Big River
- Beats Workin
Season 8 of ‘That Metal Show’ started taping this week in Los Angeles, California and METAL SHOP Rocks was invited to attend the opener by our friends at VH1 Classic.
On July 26th, we made our way to the studio to see Lars Ulrich (Metallica) and Sammy Hagar (Chicken Foot/Van Halen) discuss many topics with host Eddie Trunk, Jim Florentine and Don Jameson. Special guest guitar master was none other than Alex Skolnick (Testament).
As the show was being recorded, a few other surprise guests showed up to play ‘Stump the Trunk.’ The questions were asked by Chris Jericho (Fozzy), Chip Znuff (Enuff Z’Nuff) and Steven Adler (Guns N’ Roses).
METAL SHOP will also be attending the final taping of the season. Scheduled guests are Scott Ian and Charlie Benante from Anthrax, so stay tuned… here are a few photos I was able to snap of the show.