Transcript of Don Jamieson of That Metal Show Interview
You can listen to the interview below.
Suzie Soule: This is Suzie Soule of Best Rock List interviewing Don Jamieson, comedian and host of “That Metal Show”. I listened to your cd Hell Bent For Laughter and it was a great listen.
Don Jamieson: Okay.
Suzie Soule: Who would have thought that you would be talking about diapers and geometry in your newest cd?
Don Jamieson: I, yes, I cover a lot of ground in it…there’s a lot of crazy stuff on there and obviously I talk about all my favorite bands that I love. And I poke a little fun at them so…you know it’s(sic) a little something for everybody in there. For metalheads and math majors alike.
Suzie Soule: There’s also some pop music references in there too that are pretty funny that they’re interesting so….
Don Jamieson: Well, i’m not, well, you know, I mean…there are some bands that naturally get a big laugh. I mean if you just say Mumford and Sons, people laugh even if they don’t know who that is. There’s a couple bands out there, look I have a one track mind with music. I only like hard rock and metal so…it’s no offense to any particular band but you know anything that’s not metal, I generally don’t like.
Suzie Soule: So, interestingly on your cd, it seems that you have no fear to offend a lot of different ethnic groups, myself included. I’m half Korean and then I’m half Scotch-Irish.
Don Jamieson: Oh wow, I probably insulted you two or threes times on the cd.
Suzie Soule: Yeah…
Don Jamieson: You know in all fairness, the person that takes the beating the most on the cd is me so…Look, you know, I’m a night club comic, you know, it’s just jokes and people laugh at them so it’s all good.
Suzie Soule: So you’re not worried about possibly offending someone because of what you say in your jokes.
Don Jamieson: No, this country is just now a bunch of tattle tales and people pretending their offended by it and by everything. You know with Twitter and Facebook and everything, that is just what society has become but the comedy stage is the last place that we have left to you know, make jokes and kid around about stuff and nobody gets offended because it’s just in good fun. We all laugh at ourselves. You know it’s all right. There is nothing personal about it. It’s just comedy. You know people who come out to comedy shows just want to have a good laugh and they’re not going to get worried about it. Just everybody else who hears stuff and you know, “Oh why did this guy say this?” and you hear this guy say this? You know everyone’s just a bunch of babies nowadays. It’s just everyone’s got to relax, listen to some comedy and if it’s your thing great. If not, then you turn it off, just like music.
Suzie Soule: It is a lot like that and I think your comedy style is a lot like metal in that respect. It’s brutally honest. It’s just like, there’s no sugar-coating or a…
Don Jamieson: Yeah, that’s how it’s going to be, you know, that’s all our favorite bands…they wear their emotions and their lives on their sleeves through their music. That’s how it is, you know, that’s why a lot of my favorite bands are still around and they’re still making albums. Bands like Motorhead and Judas Priest has a new album out after forty years.
Suzie Soule: Yeah.
Don Jamieson: You know just like all these bands have sort of worn everything on their sleeves. They just put it all there and just trying new things over the years which is important. You know to try new things, whether they succeed or fail. But, you know that is always the mark of a great band. But in metal especially, you know, these bands stay true to what they do. A lot of these bands are still kicking, you know, after thirty-forty years so you know, and I love that. I’m the same way. I’m forty-seven years old. I am who I am. I wear jeans and t-shirt. You know, I’ve been wearing the same clothes since I was eleven. You know, I’m not going to start wearing a tuxedo tomorrow. That’s not me.
Suzie Soule: Okay, so what bands are you listening to now? Are there some new bands out there that you’re really liking?
Don Jamieson: There are. There’s actually a lot. I mean, now’s a really good time for metal. You know, I just tweeted out some new friend I made at Rock On The Range who I’m big fans of. Kyng is one of those bands. Kyng K-y-n-g.
Suzie Soule: Yeah, they were good.
Don Jamieson: Who are awesome and another band called Crobot.
Suzie Soule: Oh, I loved Crobot. When I saw them, they were fantastic. I’m big fan now of Crobot. I hadn’t heard them before.
Don Jamieson: So those are a couple of the bands that are getting a lot of buzz and I’ve been able to check them out. I’d say those two right now are my top favorites.
Suzie Soule: Okay, so how do you get your new music? Obviously, people send you stuff. Do you like to have like the cd’s? Like a lot of people…a lot of delivery is being done digitally, even with publicist are sending stuff digitally. Do you…how do you get your new music?
Don Jamieson: Pretty much all those ways. You know, I got a turntable for Christmas so I’m actually buying vinyl again. Which is so awesome! Cause, you know for people now, kids now, never got that experience of going to a record store and buying the vinyl. It’s such a communal experience, to do that. I mean, you meet other people there, you look through the bins. You know, even just the packaging of the albums and stuff like that. You know it’s all exciting to me still. And I love that I’m buying vinyl again. I just bought the new Clutch on vinyl. I just bought the new Pantera “Far Beyond Driven” vinyl that just came out with the original cover. I’m getting stuff so I’m going back old school again. But even with the new stuff, a lot of the new bands are putting that stuff out on vinyl too so but yeah if I want to check something out, if you send me a download, I’ll definitely check it out that way but I like the physical product.
Suzie Soule: I do too. I agree. I think that the industry is going back to that, especially metal because people do like that experience of touching it and feeling it and vinyl is making a huge comeback. More bands are putting out albums on vinyl, the limited edition and etcetera so it’s pretty exciting to see that.
Don Jamieson: Yeah and the sound is a lot better for people who have never listened to LP’s. I mean, especially some of the shorter albums, like Slayer’s “Reign In Blood” is twenty-nine minutes so those are big thick grooves on that album. It sounds amazing! Now everybody tries to jam in a hundred bonus tracks on every cd and they compress it all the way down so that the sounds not even recognizable to the band anymore. Like the way they recorded it, the way people are hearing it. You know, look, with metal and metalheads and that’s why with “That Metal Show” is successful. We seek out the stuff we like and you know, we’ll take it however we can get it. So, if I can’t get something one way, I’ll get it the other. So, give me a bootleg cassette. I’ll check it out if it’s something cool that’s worthwhile, just get it to me so I can see what’s up with it.
Suzie Soule: Okay, I see that you are going on a live tour with Eddie Trunk and Jim Florentine. You’re taking “That Metal Show” out on the road? What’s the format going to be for that?
Don Jamieson: Well, Jim, Eddie, and I, you know, we host “That Metal Show” on VH1 Classic and we just finished up our thirteenth season. So, thanks to everybody who’s been supporting us and watching ’cause we continue to have life because of all the loyal fans of the show. But, you know, we got a little bit of a break this spring and the summer. We pretty have off until we do some new episodes in the fall. So we said hey, let’s try to our version of “That Metal Show” live in clubs so we’ve been doing it and it’s been really fun. We’ve been all over the country. You know we did Jersey, Pennsylvania, Detroit, Seattle, Portland…we even went to Mexico City…and it’s kind of a loose version of what you see on “That Metal Show”. But on steroids and Jack Daniels.
Suzie Soule: So there is definitely going to be a Stump The Trunk?
Don Jamieson: Oh yeah, we always end the night with a Stump The Trunk. You know, people line up all the way around the back of the club waiting to try to stump Eddie (Trunk) and if they can’t get him. They run back to the end of the line and try to come up with another question so yeah, that’s a really fun part of the show.
Suzie Soule: I think a question too for a lot of the fans, does Jennifer go out on tour with you?
Don Jamieson: No, we don’t have…
Suzie Soule: Aw.
Don Jamieson: We aren’t lucky enough to have Jennifer with us but we always recruit somebody in every town that we go to. So you’ll just have to look at our three ugly mugs the whole time.
Suzie Soule: Uh, yeah. You might want to see about bringing her out, she might bring a different draw to the audience.
Don Jamieson: We love her. Obviously, she’s been a great addition to the show and we love working with her. She’s also a…she’s an actress. She does gigs, you know, she does acting gigs when she is not on the show with us. She’s got a pretty good thing going for herself too.
Suzie Soule: So here’s a question, if you couldn’t do what you’re doing now, I mean, which you have a great life. You get to go to shows. You get to host different shows. You’re also hosting other shows and if you couldn’t do that, what do you think your career would be? Just as a hypothethical?
Don Jamieson: Ha ha. I don’t know. I’m not a suit and tie kind of guy. You know, I could never get up and go to an office so uh, I don’t know. I’m not handy so I couldn’t really do any physical labor. You know, I couldn’t do mechanic or any of that stuff. So uh, I have no other skills, this is it.
Suzie Soule: Ha ha ha.
Don Jamieson: You know it’s either this or nothing. You know Lemmy (Kilmister) said it the best when they asked him to what do you owe the longevity of Motorhead? He just said, ‘We never quit’ so if you never quit, then they can’t get rid of you. That’s my philosophy, I’m going to keep doing this whether people want me to or not and if I don’t quit, they can’t get rid of me.
Suzie Soule: That’s true. That is absolutely true. So I asked you at Rock On The Range, can we expect newer bands on “That Metal Show”? And you said that you had…
Don Jamieson: Well, we’ve been doing a lot lately, especially the last few seasons, you know, we had M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold. And we have a thing called the metal modem where we Skype people in from around the world. We’ve used that a lot of times to give people, you know, a little taste of some of the newer bands like Volbeat, and uh, Dillinger Escape Plan, and then Amon Amarth… You know so we have been highlighting newer bands. Definitely, we had Jason Hook from Five Finger Death Punch play guitar on our show. You know it’s still VH1 Classic so it’s always going to be rooted in the classic bands. But, obviously, there is always room to expand and grow. We’re doing that more and more as the seasons have progressed. Including, we’ve also gone a little more the other way including some classic rock bands on the show like Leslie West, Mick Jones from Foreigner. We’ve certainly gone both ways with expanding out the scope of the guests which I think is great.
Suzie Soule: I think it’s great too. I think it gives your audience a varied, you know, to pick from different artists. Maybe introducing newer, younger fans to the classic and then also the older fans to the newer music so it’s good.
Don Jamieson: Oh yeah, because our fans know that we’re old school guys. Yes, nine times out of ten, we’ll put on a classic band we’re home listening to music but to put our stamp on a Five Finger Death Punch or a Volbeat or something, that lets the audience know okay, well these guys are old school but they like this so I should check it out too. You know because all these new bands that are making waves were influenced by the classic bands. I mean Avenged Sevenfold just had a wave of publicity about them wearing their influences on their sleeves on their new album but you know what it’s the number one album. It’s a great album but it is, it’s influenced by old school bands which is great.
Suzie Soule: Yeah, yeah, their new album, sound just like seventies and eighties metal. It’s crazy but that’s…
Don Jamieson: Those guys don’t do the same things on every album either. They always switch it up. Like I said, those are always the bands for me, that will be in my collection. I like when bands take chances and do different things. But yet, you still know it’s them.
Suzie Soule: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today.
Don Jamieson: Yeah, it was a pleasure.
Suzie Soule: Your new cd, Hell Bent For Laughter is out now. You guys are going on the road with “That Metal Show”. Tell me what are your social media contacts.
Don Jamieson: Okay, I have a website, DonJamieson.com, you know my tour dates on there and @realdonjamieson on Twitter. So come tweet at me like you did and find out all the interesting things going on in my life. Like I’m just about to go out and weed the yard.
Suzie Soule: Woo!
Don Jamieson: You see facinating things like that on my Twitter that I’ll be out weeding my yard today for a few hours so if you’re in New Jersey and you want to come by and help me. They’re pretty bad.
Suzie Soule: You know what? I don’t think I can make it out there. I’m in the middle of the country. I’m in Normal, Illinois so I don’t think I’m going to make it out.
Don Jamieson: Alright well, if you’re ever out this way, I could use a hand, these weeds are really getting out of line.
Suzie Soule: I’ll be sure to come out.
Don Jamieson: Thank you Suzie. I really appreciate the support.
Suzie Soule: Thank you.