What first got you into rock and metal?
My first album ever was Kiss ‘Destroyer’. And I was thinking the other day about it, I don’t remember how I came to ask my mother to buy it for me- I know she did, and she wasn’t happy about it. I just thought it was the coolest thing in the world. First of all, I loved the music and then their image, as far as they’re rock stars, they’re comic book characters and superheroes all rolled into one. And I thought god, there’ll never be a band this cool ever again. The only band I liked for years was Kiss because they had the image and everything tied in and I love the music. But yeah, they were my gateway band.
What drew you to them? Was it seeing their image?
I think, like I said, I can’t remember how I came to ask for the album but I must have heard some of their songs on the radio. My parents were really into music when I was growing up so the radio was always on, but it was probably the music first and then when I saw what they looked like I was like oh my god, this is even cooler than I thought.
When did you first decide you wanted to pursue comedy?
I decided to do comedy because I thought I was gonna be a musician for many years. I played guitar in a band in high school and I enjoyed it but I think at a certain point I just peaked, I didn’t have the passions to go to the next level as a player. I had such an admiration for musicians and I thought, I also love comedy- so maybe I’ll give that a try. And I started late in life doing that.
How old were you?
What year was that?
Let’s not age me more than we have to here but I’ve been doing comedy for twenty years.
I’m just asking because I know about comedy, but I don’t know that much about comedy so I was wondering who was around at the time you started? Who influenced you?
When I was a kid those were my two loves, and they still are my two loves- comedy and music. So while I was listening to Kiss records, I was also listening to- secretly, because my parents couldn’t know at 11 or 12 I was listening to George Carlin and Cheech and Chong. I didn’t even get all the humor necessarily, but I knew it was subversive and I liked that. So I always had the love for both. My passion took me more towards the comedy because I always want to excel at it; I always want to be better. Even still, after twenty years I always want to get better and better. You know, like great guitar players still practice. Joe Satriani says he practices for hours every day, you’ve gotta have the passion to do it. Plus with comedy you don’t have to split the money four different ways, you don’t have to lug any equipment- you just put your filthy jokes in your pocket and off you go.
Now I obviously know how you got involved with Eddie and how That Metal Show happened, but can you explain it for those who haven’t seen a live show or heard the story?
Yeah! Jim and I were fans of Eddie’s radio show, we’d come back from gigs late at night on the weekends and we would tune into Eddie and we were like god, this guys just like us- he talks about all the same bands. We met him backstage at an Ozzfest concert, we started guesting on his radio show and that sorta was the idea, that’s how we started to build this kind of rapport between the three of us. He was working at VH1 Classic at the time, thought up the idea, brought it in and thought nothing of it. We basically, sort of, did the show without knowing it in the meeting where we sort of just broke each other’s balls the whole time.
I’ve been in so many TV meetings for shows and it never comes to anything. So after a while you just go, ‘I don’t care’. So we were just loose and thinking nothing’s gonna come of this so let’s just have fun. And they loved that interplay so that became a crucial part of the show; you know the ball busting and the fact that we are truly great friends.
For about 7 years you were doing both That Metal Show and comedy simultaneously. How do you feel That Metal Show opened up doors for you?
I think That Metal Show has led to a lot of great things for me. It’s expanded my comedy audience of course, it’s not just dates coming randomly to the comedy club on a Friday night just to get out of the house- it’s people who now know me and know my style of comedy. They’ve seen me on the TV show so now you get a lot more dudes in concert shirts coming out to the shows, which is fun. Being signed to Metal Blade to do comedy albums with them is one of the great honors of my life. And now being able to go out and open for bands and tour with bands.
Which is very cool, didn’t you open for Metallica?
Jim and I did the Orion Fest, I’ve opened for Twisted Sister a few times, I go out on the road and tour with this band called Hookers & Blow which is Dizzy Reed from Guns n’ Roses and a bunch of guys from other bands- that’s been fun. And I did a month on the road with Faster Pussycat, opening doing comedy in rock clubs and I have a whole set that I do just for those crowds.
Having seen your show a bunch of times now, your set is very metal oriented. Like a lot of your jokes are based around rock and metal- has it always been that way? Or has it just evolved because of That Metal Show?
It’s definitely evolved. I really didn’t talk about rock or metal much in my act before then because it’s such a niche. Yeah, I would talk about bands that everyone knew.
So like AC/DC.
Yeah! AC/DC, Metallica, even Twisted Sister, I mean everybody knows these bands. So they were sorta safe to talk about, but now I have a whole repertoire of stuff I can do when I open for bands that the audience’ll get. You know, Motley Crue, Kiss, Poison and I can sorta really dig a little deeper with that. But I also have a normal standup act that I do so I try not to alienate the crowd with too much of that stuff, it’s a big part of my life you know so I have to talk about it on stage.
You and Jim have been friends for a long time, like longer than both of you have known Eddie. At what point did you two decide to start collaborating on stuff? Now you’ve got Meet the Creeps and Terrorizing Telemarketers so when did that all start to come about?
I still don’t know! We never really talk about it, it just kind of happens. Early on we started collaborating on things because we have a pretty similar comedic taste, and I think just from the beginning we said we’ll do this and if we make any money we’ll split it fifty/fifty. And that was twenty years ago so now anytime we do something there’s no conversation about it, we just do it and see what happens.
What’s going on now? Are you planning to do a new comedy special or a CD or anything?
I told Jim I’d plug his comedy special since I don’t have one, so he has a comedy special called ‘A Simple Man’ out, it’s really really good. I actually opened that show that night so I was there and it’s a really killer special, so I’ll plug his special ‘cause I don’t have one. But I am recording a new CD for Metal Blade during December and it will be out in 2017.
As you said earlier you tour with Hookers & Blow so tell me about that.
Well I met Dizzy Reed, Jim and I both met Dizzy when he was doing Hookers & Blow about twelve years ago. He was a fan of our comedy and they’re sort of a non-serious band, they just play cover songs and party and you know, they’re not a real ‘take this serious’ band. It’s just something to kill time when the guys aren’t with their regular bands. And we had talked about it for years, like ‘we’re a goof, so you should come out on the road with us and do comedy’ so we’ve been touring together for about four years now.
Related to that, you just got off the road with Faster Pussycat, so tell me about that. How was touring with Faster Pussycat?
It was my first bus tour, I did a month. We started in Salt Lake City and did a big semi-circle around the country and it ended in Vegas, appropriately. And they’re just a great party band, a lot of fun. Every night was a party and the shows were great. We played a lot of great rock clubs across the country and people really dug the comedy with the music. Rather than seeing yet another local band that they’re sort of not interested in, I have a little recognition factor from That Metal Show so people said ‘hey, I came to see Faster Pussycat again because you we’re on the bill’- so that was pretty nice. But I think the best thing I got out of it was a real brotherhood with these guys, when you spend a month on a bus with people you get to know them pretty well pretty fast.
I remember asking Ace Von Johnson if he had any stories from the road and he just told me there were way too many.
There are too many! But honestly, look, I could tell you a hundred funny stories, but for me again, the best thing that came out of it, the best thing I can say about it is that I have friends for life. And I love the band. They came out and watched me every night and I watched them every night and that was really fun.
And I know you probably don’t have that much information on it, but That Metal Show…what’s going on?
Yeah…nothing. We’re waiting for you to become a heavyweight in the business so you can help us get the show somewhere else. It’s tough, but again, it’s a niche. So you have to find people who get it, who get the music and you know, the rock world is a tough sell right now. And there’s a lot more outlets, you wanna explore things like Netflix and streaming services- Hulu, Amazon Prime, Vevo. You want to consider them as well, but I think we have to find the right fit for us as well. It’s nothing about money or any of that; if we do it again we want to do it right and the way we’ve been doing it but better.
I always see people tweeting you guys asking about it and you always make it clear that you will definitely let us know when something happens.
The passion from the fans is amazing. As much as we get asked a million times, I wouldn’t say it gets frustrating, but it’s frustrating that we can’t give them an answer. That’s what’s frustrating. I wish I could say ‘yes, there’s something real solid in the works’ but right now the producer owns the name, they’re out with an agent shopping it. The best that I could say is that we hope to know by the end of the year, something.