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Interview conducted December 15 2010
Interview published January 02 2011

As of yet, I have not had the opportunity to interview a comedian for this site. That is until Metal Blade Records asked me to speak with Don Jamieson - the famous stand-up comedian from New York - who often opens for Andrew "Dice" Clay, and who as of late has become quite well-known in the mettle milieu with being a regular active spokesperson on the VH-1 Classic program called: "That Metal Show".

Along with famous radio personality Eddie Trunk, and formidable friend and telecrastinator/comedian: Jim Florentine, this Trio of Traditional Metal awareness have successfully made it through six seasons in the abyss of "All Things Hard Rock And Heavy Metal".

Don has recently signed with Metal Blade to release a live comedy album in 2011. I was very excited to speak with him, and to let him and his Metal brethren know that there are many vibrant souls still willing to defend the faith, holding our ground; thereby, showcasing our true love for the music we most cherish.

MettleAngel: Hey Brother, how are you doing? I did not plan to be doing any more interviews this year, as we are so steeped in this un-Holiday tradition.

  • Don: I hear ya!

When I was asked to interview you, I made an exception, because I am a big fan of "That Metal Show".

  • Don: I can tell by looking at the site for which you write that you indeed are a big fan of Metal, in general. Hell Man, just reading your interviews, I can see you are even the defender of the Metal Covenant.

MettleAngel: Whoah, so you have been to the site?

  • Don: Indeed, I wanted to see who was going to interview me. I can see that you are truly a Metal devotee, and you are, in fact, the MettleAngel.

MettleAngel: So if you have carefully read my interviews, you can see that this is going to be a relaxed and enjoyable conversation.

  • Don: Indeed, and I welcome that. You have a truly great website. I am honored to be welcomed into your Metal family.

MettleAngel: As I mentioned, I love the show, and I want you to pass on my enthusiasm to Eddie and Jim. I am originally from California, and I would love to be on the show, or serve as one of your writers.

  • Don: Being from New Jersey, it is weird that we have now completed two seasons in California. It works better for the show, overall, though.

MettleAngel: That is good to hear. It is interesting that you have a segment on every episode called "Stump The Trunk". I am a bit of a Metal Trivia buff myself. I would jump at the opportunity to engage Eddie. My friends challenge me all the time with Metal Trivia and they call it: "Psyche The Mike".

  • Don: Oh really, you know a bunch of rare nonsense too?

MettleAngel: Indeed, and I was wondering if you or Eddie have ever heard of the Metal Trivia game which came out in 1999. It is called "Metal Mental Meltdown".

  • Don: I am not familiar with that game.

MettleAngel: It is now long out of print, and very entertaining. (Check out this link: Metal Mental Meltdown) I gave away my last back-up copy to a dear friend last Christmas.

  • Don: I will have to look into that.

MettleAngel: What is interesting is that since it is over ten years old, so many of the bigger Metal bands of today like Lamb Of God, are not even mentioned. Actually, many of the band theme questions focus on music of the '80s from Hair Metal to Thrash, just like your show.

  • Don: I wonder if Eddie has played that?

MettleAngel: It would be a great gift to give him, if you can find it. Every time you play "Stump The Trunk", I usually do well getting the questions right. Eddie had a fit over the Nicko McBrain question of him portraying the devil in the "Number Of The Beast" video. If he had read the Maiden Bio, he would already know this.

  • Don: Oh it is discussed in their book?

MettleAngel: Yes, and for him not to know King Diamond's real name, I mean c'mon! I guess he reads too many other B$ Bios like Steven Adler's Take on Guns N' Roses, or the debauchery of Aerosmith. He never recommended either the Ozzy Bio or the Dave Mustaine Memoirs. At least you all recommended the late Sam Kinison's new DVD. Did you hear about King Diamond's triple bi-pass open heart surgery?

  • Don: Yeah, the King has been through a lot over these past few years. Sam was a huge influence on my comedy routine.

MettleAngel: I know, and you also often open for "The Diceman". King Diamond is such a good soul. You should have him on as a guest, once he fully recovers. With the vast array of vintage material you cover on the show, I am surprised you call it "That Metal Show", as you often deal more in Classic Rock.

  • Don: Yeah, and we sort of wanted to go in that direction, but the producers wanted to align with a more Metal focus. They were obviously right, as we have now completed six seasons, had a variety of guests from all avenues of Metal, and even this season extended to a full hour per episode.

MettleAngel: I know, and it is cool to see Chuck Billy on with the guys in Tesla, and realize that they are friends, and even connected. I knew Chuck had Troy play with him on Dublin Death Patrol.

  • Don: Yeah it is cool to see the once separate genres come together in a true Metal collision.

MettleAngel: I was amazed how much Bill Ward was into newer acts like Fear Factory, and even Slipknot. I know Rob Halford is a big supporter of 3 Inches Of Blood and Soilwork. I was so saddened to hear that now Judas Priest are going to retire next year, too.

  • Don: I know, but what can you do? We are so grateful to have had "The Metal God" on the show, so many times.

MettleAngel: I was grateful to see him on the Tribute to Dio special, the premiere episode for the sixth season. The tragic death of Dio hit us all hard. Now it looks like Black Sabbath will reunite again with Ozzy, but the reunion of Led Zeppelin is only wishful thinking according to Jason Bonham.

  • Don: Yeah, he linked it to the possibility of a Guns N' Roses reunion, which means never.

MettleAngel: I think Slash implied that as well. That Myles Kennedy from Alter Bridge was a bit of a stretch for the show, but I guess he now sings for Slash.

  • Don: We all saw him sing for Slash's band live, and he did an amazing job.

MettleAngel: I am so envious with the calibre of guests you have on the show. Man, I would love to be able to meet half of these icons, no less to actually be on a talk show with them!

  • Don: We love our jobs!

MettleAngel: I noticed with the outtakes episode from the last season, that backstage there were multiple guests. I assume you shoot and film more than one episode at a time; especially, given the repeat appearance of each guest guitarist.

  • Don: You are correct, this season we would shoot two at a time. This makes for a long day, and many takes, but in the end it is so cool to be able to hang out with these musicians.

MettleAngel: I bet! I see you won an Emmy for your work with "Inside The NFL". I am not a sports fan, so I was wondering what it was like touring with Richard Christy and Tim "Ripper" Owens when they played a few shows this summer for Charred Walls Of The Damned.

  • Don: Well, I can tell you this, those two have some of the worst gas I have ever encountered!. Charred walls of the van is more like it! Now I know how "Ripper" got his name!

MettleAngel: (Laughing) Well, now I see why you are a famous comedian. I was not familiar with your work before seeing you on "That Metal Show". I now have Jim Florentine's 'Terrorizing Telemarketers Vol. 1', which reminds me a lot of The Jerkey Boys. I assume you have a crass sense of humour too when it comes to your type of stand-up. I often laugh when you rib each other on the show.

  • Don: Jim and I have known each other for ages. We also have known Eddie for a long time. How we treat each other on the show is how we also act with one another in real life.

MettleAngel: You mean that you are always giving each other shit. This brings up a point I want to make about the new season. I do not like your new "Top Five" category segment, at all. I have not agreed with those even once, save maybe the best thrash albums; but even then you omitted 'Bonded By Blood'. I was amazed that Tracii Guns had to call out Iron Maiden when it came to best band logos.

  • Don: Yeah that is the thing, this is all just for fun, and normally it would not mean anything, but Metalheads take it personally. We have asked our supporters to post their own top fives at the VH-1 Classic website, and they are very adamant about disagreeing with us.

I have seen this at YouTube, as well. That new, not so Metal chick, Jennifer Leah Gottlieb is a total airhead too. Sure you may think she is hot, which she is not, but she is definitely not mettle!

  • Don: Ahh c'mon sure she is!

MettleAngel: She did not even know how to spell Iron Maiden! Look up my wife's profile at Metal Covenant under MettleMaiden, you will see the definition of a true Metalhead. Trust me, she is the real deal.

  • Don: That is so cool that you have a real Metal wife! I meet a bunch of cool Metal chicks.

MettleAngel: I bet you do, you lucky bastard! Eddie is the only one who is married of the three of you guys, and his wife, I assume tolerates Metal.

  • Don: She is cool though...

MettleAngel: On a sadder note, I noticed that Jennifer replaced "Mrs. Box Of Junk" Keri Leigh Tucker after the third season. I just thought that her contract was up, then I read about how she had suddenly died.

  • Don: Yeah, it was a shock to us all.

MettleAngel: You never mentioned it on the show, though.

  • Don: Yeah, we did not know what was up at first, as her family did not even inform us about it. We did actually include a memorial to her after the end credits of the Season 4 premiere.

MettleAngel: I will have to watch that episode again to see that. I did like her, but I do not like Jennifer. I was also amazed to see that the prizes this season are lame compared to the past few seasons. You went from giving away Rockband, to the new CD by Murderdolls.

  • Don: Yeah, we have to watch our budget.

MettleAngel: I assume that you also lost vital sponsorship. The first season you had support from the Beer industry, now it is Twiiter. I am amazed that Eddie has such a fit when he misses a question now, as most of the prizes are not as cool.

  • Don: Eddie does not like to be wrong.

MettleAngel: Obviously! Jim just completed "The Amercan Carnage" Tour as the opening act, and you had your pungent stench stint with Charred Walls, let us now discuss your new deal with Metal Blade.

  • Don: They contacted me about doing a comedy album.

MettleAngel: This is unprecedented, as the closest they have come to comedy is Gwar, Haunted Garage, and a few others. However, all those are actual bands, whereas, you are just a comedian.

  • Don: Yeah, but I think given my Metal connections this is a good move for me.

MettleAngel: Oh, I agree, and I am sure it will be successful. Do you plan to do what Brian Posehn did and create you own Metal anthem? His song "More Metal Than You" is awesome. It is a great video, and has many guest musicians contributing.

  • Don: I am still toying with the idea of what I am going to do. The majority of it will consist of my live stand-up material. I want it to be heavy and brutal. I can see myself performing over some very heavy melodies. I have not written a song like Brian has, but I know it will be a punishing, landmark release for Metal Blade in 2011.

MettleAngel: I look forward to hearing it. The only comedy I have heard from you is what I have seen on the show, well except for the entertaining conversation we are currently having.

  • Don: I just know that I do want to do something very spontaneous and totally Metal. I do like the idea of doing a possible mash-up of my comedy over some heavy riffs. I am still coming up with ideas. Ultimately, I want it to be loud, aggressive, and worthy of what Metal Blade releases.

MettleAngel: I know you are a strong supporter of their bands. Personally, I prefer the Metal Blade bands of the '80s, but they do sign few good bands every now and then like: Negligence, Hail Of Bullets, God Dethroned, and Amon Amarth.

  • Don: I love bands like Amon Amarth. I also love Danko Jones.

MettleAngel: I noticed that you tend to champion the newer acts on the show. You wear shirts by Kingdom Of Sorrow, Hatebreed, Slipknot, BLS, etc. Meanwhile, Jim shows up in his ultraviolet Rainbow 'Rising' shirt, or we will watch him donning a vintage Saxon, Raven, or Accept shirt. As for Eddie he has no sense of mettle attire, but that is cool. How does Jim track down these rare Tees?

  • Don: We have asked him, and he will not tell us. They may be bootlegs. I wear the shirts of bands which I do like, and most of these bands have accessible merch.

MettleAngel: I am always wearing concert shirts. You would be amazed at what you can find at Hot Topic, Spencers, Wal-Mart, and even JC Penny.

  • Don: Oh really?

MettleAngel: Yeah, I just picked up some cool Aerosmith and Metallica shirts recently at JC Penny, but I still hate the place, as they always profile me when I shop there. When "Iron Man II" came out earlier this summer Wal-Mart had some awesome AC/DC shirts at amazing prices. When school started this fall, they had killer Classic Rock notebooks, folders, and school supplies; especially, for Kiss, AC/DC, and The Beatles.

  • Don: That is cool. I love nostalgia and vintage items. I have always been a strong supporter of vinyl.

MettleAngel: As have I, but in the '80s, cassettes were more accommodating. I still struggle with the digital age, and how it affects my enjoyment of Metal today.

  • Don: I hear you, and that is what makes the show so cool, because we can discuss the old bands, and even the newer ones. We get a lot of hits on the net, and it has increased our viewership.

MettleAngel: I am amazed then that you still only focus on the more popular acts past and present. It seems like a great deal of the European acts like Pretty Maids, Helloween, Gamma Ray, etc. and many mainstay bands seldom get mentioned on the show.

  • Don: I know....

MettleAngel: I mean you never discuss Blue Öyster Cult, Triumph, April Wine, or The Sweet. When it comes to thrash, Forbidden, Death Angel, Heathen, etc. are omitted. Even when Eddie missed the 'When The Storm Comes Down' question, he admitted to not being a fan of Flotsam And Jetsam.

  • Don: I plugged Death Angel. I was surprised Eddie did not know Flots too. It is like with the Headbanger's Ball, the lesser known acts do not receive as much airplay.

MettleAngel: Flotsam had an excellent comeback album this year, as did Forbidden and Heathen. I used to sit through hours of B$ on MTV just to catch one cool Kreator or Powermad video. It seems like the show is more focused on arena rock. I respect Eddie's love for UFO, Thin Lizzy, and Van Halen, but enough already!

  • Don: I hear you...

MettleAngel: I am actually amazed at how silly and asinine some of the "What Ever Happened To..." questions are. If you are a true fan of Manowar, how would you not know what Ross The Boss is up to, seriously! His new album is killer. The re-recording of 'Battle Hymns' is not bad either. Although, Nanowar Of Steel trounce them all! How could a so-called Metalhead not know about the new Krokus? They were even featured on the new "Saw 3-D" soundtrack!

  • Don: Yeah, and you would be amazed how we have to edit these questions and even the ones for "Stump The Trunk".

MettleAngel: Does this mean that fans really do write the "Stump The Trunk" questions? I was wondering if there was a team of writers who wrote those, and then it was just selected audience members who read them aloud.

  • Don: All that is truly fan generated, but our writing team has to edit all of that for television. you would be amazed how bad the questions are when first proposed.

MettleAngel: I assume you mean with the poor grammar, and intense expletives. By definition most true Metalheads are very intelligent, but we always get a bad rep. I would love to write for the show. I would love to be a guest member. Hell, I would love to just give Eddie shit for not liking Lizzy Borden!

  • Don: I will pass on your frustrations to him. Most of what we do is arbitrary and just for fun. I can see it in fans like yourself who seriously defend Metal until the end.

MettleAngel: Metal is my life and I live it 24/7. This is why I do what I do. Even 25 years later, my one friend considers me a poseur because I love Bon Jovi and Poison.

  • Don: Being from the East Coast, I too love Bon Jovi. I even grew up with some of those guys.

MettleAngel: It sucks that they were turned down for The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Thankfully, Alice Cooper finally was admitted. I agree with Eddie's rants on this. It is bad enough that Maiden, Priest, Deep Purple, etc. are ignored, but what about Rush!

  • Don: Eddie will pop a blood vessel, if he keeps going off about this. That club is such Bullshit, anyhow!

MettleAngel: I know, but I do agree with Eddie's frustrations here! I am grateful for a show like this which allows the Metal elite to truly voice their opinions outside the Music business.

  • Don: We love doing the show, because we are pleased to be part of this vital Metal resurgence. None of us are that young, but the Metal fuels us on, and keeps us strong.

Who would of thought your comedy career would have been boosted by supporting Metal!

  • Don: Tell me about it! I have always been open and honest about my love for Metal.

MettleAngel: In the past that would have been a detriment to your carer like what happened with Jim Carey or Jim Breuer when they acknowlegded their love for this genre. Now that you openly embrace and stand strong and true for the Metal milieu, this has served as a boon for your career. Did you know that it was Jim Carey's decision to have Cannibal Corpse be in his first "Ace Ventura" movie.

  • Don: I heard that. Indeed my love for Metal has paid off! I still have one foot in both camps. I love the past and I love the present possibilities.

MettleAngel: I imagine the perks are excellent too. You get to see so many shows, and meet so many heroes. I honor and respect that. I am grateful to hear that you are also somewhat stuck in the past, but grounded in the present. This is the case with me, as well.

  • Don: The Metal never gets old...

MettleAngel: I agree, and my tolerance for the newer more inchoate bands is building, but I will always champion the glorious bands of the bands, and all those influenced by them, from Sabbath on...

  • Don: That is the right attitude, and speaking of nostalgia, I still have a rotary phone.

(surprisingly, after he mentions this our connection become very muffled, and it becomes very difficult to hear one another. I am not sure whether it was my phone or his, or even due to the harsh weather conditions. Unfortunately, it made the rest of the conversation impossible to continue.)

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