Eddie Trunk, the host of the VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show, almost hit a record: completing100 shows, the most for the cable network. The New Jersey native got his start when a local college approached his high school about letting students learn radio during summer break. At community college, Trunk worked at a record store across the street from his favorite local station, WDHA-FM. Over the next 10 years, he ended up hosting, producing, and programming the station’s hugely popular metal show. VH1 was his next stop, and his home.
We spoke to the so-called Professor of Heavy Metal:
What do you love about metal?
It’s just what I always loved from being a little kid. Distorted loud guitars, great vocals, energy, edge — it just has always moved me. I have fought so hard for so long promoting it because I hate how after decades and decades it’s still marginalized and looked down upon by many. It has proven to be as valid as any other genre of music and without question has fan loyalty above all. The fight is about getting the respect for it that it deserves which is why many of the stereotypes bother me.
Your knowledge of this material is second to none. Waiting for the Rock and Roll version of Jeopardy?
I actually don’t think I know it all by any stretch. I probably know a bit more than the average fan because it has been my life’s work, but I am always learning. The Stump The Trunk thing is a fun bit people seem to love. I learned a lot working in a record store too. I know a good amount but it’s pretty much all I know, sadly!
What bands do you still get excited to see live?
UFO, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Slash, Priest, Maiden. The older bands I love and grew up with who are still great live. Many just don’t hold up or are diluted, but the ones that still deliver are always special.
What makes a great guest?
The ability to hang, not take things to seriously, roll with criticism and remember what it still is to be a fan. Brian Johnson, Lars Ulrich, Chris Jericho, Sammy Hagar are just a few of the many that really get it and are great with us.