Me and Don were doing stand up, and Eddie has a hard rock/metal show in New York every Friday night at 11 o’clock. We work weekends, every Friday night we’d be driving home from a show and we’d listen to Eddie- and we’re like ‘man, this guy plays the same music as us, how do we not know this guy? He grew up in Jersey- like holy shit he’s playing Raven, he’s playing Accept’. So like two months later we meet him at a show and we go ‘hey we’re big fans’ and he’s like ‘oh thanks’. I go ‘look we’re comedians, we listen to your show on the way home all the time’ and he goes ‘you know if you’re comics and know metal, why don’t you come on my show and sit in and we’ll talk metal’ and I’m like ‘alright!’ Next think you know we started going up to his show and we had a Friday night off and he basically said ‘look, I work at VH1, I do an interview show but I’m gonna pitch a show like a heavy metal talk show- like the Tonight Show but for AC/DC fans basically.’ So I’m like ‘alright, if you guys wanna do it’. So six months, a year later, they’re (VH1) like ‘alright, we’ll let you guys do an episode and see how it works’- and that was it basically. We knew Eddie for maybe 2 years, but we were like best friends as soon as we met. We’re all pretty much the same age, we like the same music- we couldn’t understand how we didn’t know each other, or know Eddie all these years.
What made you want to pursue comedy as a career?
I always wanted to be in a band. I couldn’t play an instrument.
That was my next question!
Absolutely. My first love was just music. My older brothers got me into it- they were five years older than me, and just driving around we’d listen to Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Ted Nugent. And all my friends were in bands later on, but I couldn’t play. I was a lefty and everybody’s a righty guitar player! Like, ‘can you turn the guitar around? I don’t know how to play lefty’. And I’m like no, so basically no one could teach me. And I went for singing lessons one time and the woman was like ‘look, you don’t have it. You either have an ear for music or you don’t’. She’s like ‘I could take your money, but you really got nothing’. And I at least respected that because I’ve got no rhythm at all, you know what I mean? I just don’t- so I figured I gotta find a way to get up on stage somehow because I love just getting up there and not working a regular nine-to-five job. And then I started doing radio, you know like local morning shows and college radio. And then I started writing some jokes for the radio, like topical stuff. Then I was like ‘you know, I’m gonna get up on stage and try this stuff out’. And once I went up there I fell in love with it. I knew this was what I wanted to do. Anything to not work a day job.
How was acting in Trainwreck different from That Metal Show? That Metal Show isn’t scripted, right?
No not really, just when we go to commercial break- so other than that nothing’s scripted. We just kinda go and do an interview and all that kind of stuff. But the acting is different because it is scripted, you know. You’ve got a script, you’ve gotta learn your lines and do a few different takes. We pretty much do everything on That Metal Show in one take, but acting is a whole different animal. You’re playing a character and all that other stuff.
Did you have fun, how’d you like it?
Yeah! I’m good friends with Amy Schumer so I’ve been on her TV show a lot.
Inside Amy Schumer?
Yeah, and then she had a part for me in her movie- like a one night stand guy. Which was perfect. Like you’re some asshole and I’m throwing you out basically, you know and stuff like that, so it was great. She’s really cool and it was great that I had five seconds in a blockbuster, you know what I mean? It was a bigger scene but they cut it down to five, but I made the cut so I’ll take it.
You were in Californication too, right?
Yeah, I played a pimp in Californication and a one night stand guy in Trainwreck. So yeah, that’s my role as the asshole guy.
So how would you say That Metal Show has impacted you?
Well I mean it’s helped with the stand up, I love doing stand up- that’s my first love, it’s my main gig, and it helps me draw people on the road which is great. People who didn’t even know I did comedy started watching me on That Metal Show, so I got a whole new audience from that. And I’ll tell you the biggest benefit for me is I got a five year old son and I got him into hard rock and metal.
Aw, how is he?! I was going to ask you about him.
He’s awesome, I took him to eight concerts over the summer. He loves it, you know. And I got connections to those bands, so to get him to meet these guys is just…and to see the happiness on his face- that’s what makes it all worthwhile. We flew to Kansas City to see some big festival because he likes Papa Roach, Halestorm and bands like that. But he also likes Slipknot and Van Halen and stuff, but to see him meet the guys and also go to a show is great- he loves tailgating. He’s five years old! It’s great, he’s wearing the Slipknot shirts and stuff like that, and just that he’s so into it, I mean we play music trivia all the time. I put on songs while he’s sitting in the back in his car seat, and he’ll go ‘that’s Ozzy, Crazy Train’. So I’ll go ‘is that Ozzy with Black Sabbath or is it Ozzy solo?’ and he’ll know it’s Ozzy solo.
I know another one of the Terrorizing Telemarketers is coming out December 4th, so tell me a little bit about that.
Me and Don do these Terrorizing Telemarketers things, we wait for telemarketers to call the house and we just mess with them. We did them, you know that last one we did was in 2008, we did five of them. And we haven’t done one in like seven years so we decided, why not? Let’s do another one cause people are discovering them on Spotify and satellite radio and all that stuff. And we both had breakups, our chicks left us basically, so we said ‘hey, we’ve got nothing else going on, lets sit in my house and wait for the phone to ring’. So that’s how it came about.
Where’d you get the idea for that?
(Don Jamieson speaks) The idea was we have nothing going on during the daytime so you know, everyone’s on the do not call list and we’re on the please call list.
(Back to Jim speaking) And when you’ve got girlfriends and wives they don’t want you to sit around and make prank phone calls cause they don’t put up with that shit. But when we’re both single we’re like ‘hey, what else are we gonna do?’- we got nothing else so that’s how it came about. So, we wanna thank our exes for this album coming out.
You’ve got a podcast, I listen to it very religiously.
Is it too angry for you?
Not at all, I listen to it before bed. Why’d you start it?
I don’t know why. You know I saw that there was a big audience and a lot of comics do it and it helps with their draw on the road. People who listen to the podcasts come out to my show and I said ‘you know, I’m not gonna cater to the networks and stuff like that. I’ll do my own thing and build my audience’. I’ve always done that and I’ve always built my audience from the ground up one by one- whether it was through Crank Yankers or going on Howard Stern and big radio shows, or you know just doing some TV stuff like That Metal Show. And the podcast is just another avenue where people just like that kind of rage and anger and can relate to it. But it’s not for everyone, some people are like ‘I don’t like this it’s too whatever’ but for the niche audience that likes it, loves it. So I play to it, I don’t give a shit.
What pastimes do you have other than That Metal Show and doing comedy gigs?
You know, I live in my hometown, the place where I grew up- I got seven brothers and sisters. All my friends since 1st grade still live there and I’ve got seven brothers and sisters that all live within a half hour of me. I’ve got 14 nieces and nephews, my mom’s still alive, so it’s just great to hang with friends. When I get nights off we watch football on Sundays, go to sporting events, concerts, whatever. You know, just reconnecting with the family after all these years. I was right outside New York City for a long time working on my career, missing a lot of shit because I was really focused. But now it’s like hey, I’ve got a nice house, I’ve got my boy- you know when I got him after all the custody shit, I just spend time with him and we do whatever he wants to do. When I pick him up from school at three o’clock I ask him what he wants to do that day, and we go do it. So that’s how I spend my time. He’s like ‘lets go to the CD store!’ and we went to the CD store the other day. I tell him ‘you can pick out three CD’s’ cause he’s building his own CD collection- he want’s his own. Like, ‘I like yours Dad, but I want my own’. So, he’s getting his own. I usually get him the used ones cause I’m like ‘alright, I already have Metallica’s And Justice For All, do I have to pay another fifteen bucks for it brand new?’ Then I see it in the used bin for five bucks and I’m like alright, so anyways that’s what I like doing.
If you could be in any band and play any instrument, what would it be?
Probably sing and um, be in AC/DC, I think. Or maybe Rage Against the Machine.