Hairbandheaven.rocks recently talked with Eddie Trunk about his passion for hard rock and metal, That Metal Show, his new show on SiriusXM "Trunk Nation" and more.
HBH: Growing up being a fan of KISS, was that the driving motivation for you to get Ace
Frehley a solo deal on Megaforce Records?
Eddie: I wanted to bring more melodic music to Megaforce. The label was known for at the time very heavy music. I thought to grow it would be a good idea to bring in a name artist that could maybe get radio play and appeal to hard rock and metal. The owner of the label was not a Kiss fan, but liked the idea. So we tracked Ace down and he was my first ever signing. I was 22 and it was kind of surreal, and to this day we are close friends.
HBH: Where there any other bands or artists that you tried to sign to Megaforce before they where
Eddie: White Lion. I brought them to the head of the label and he passed. He thought it was just not something that would work for us, and he may have been right. I had become friends with those guys when they did one of their first ever radio interviews for Fight To Survive, which was only out in Japan at the time. They ended up being signed by Atlantic which was our distributor. But they remembered my early support and gave me my first ever gold album on stage at a show at Lamour. Really special moment for me. I’m still friends with all four of the guys. Always lots of laughs when we see each other.
HBH: With all of the great bands that you have seen live, who are some of your favorite? Who
haven’t you seen that you wished you had/could see? (from any point in time)
Eddie: My first show was Kiss & Piper 12/16/77. So that will always be landmark for me. Having done this now almost 35 years it’s endless really. Recently seeing Metallica at Webster Hall, Guns N Roses at The Apollo (which I hosted!), the launch of the new STP. Those are just cool recent moments. I just saw Alter Bridge and they always blow me away. The Struts are the best newer band out there I think. I also love Soul Asylum and always get excited to see them. For me acts I don’t see all the time or in special settings is great. And bands that do everything real and live. Not a fan of the many recorded tracks some bands use. UFO is always special for me as well as Aerosmith. Just so many.. I wish I saw Zeppelin in the glory years, never did.
HBH: That Metal Show was obviously huge for you and your career, it gave you a great opportunity to interview some great artists. Who where some of your favorite guests?
Eddie: The artists who got into the spirit of the show and you could say anything to without worry. Sammy Hagar. Michael Anthony, Dio, Halford, great fun people and guests. Steven Adler was so great so many times. Of course guys like Steve Harris, Iommi, Joe Perry, the 70’s guys I grew up with posters on my wall. Very special. I am so happy TMS made such a connect. I put a ton of work into it, getting it on, keeping it on, getting those guests. I’ll tell the full story one day. It was a hell of a ride and people still talk about it.
HBH: Being such a huge fan/historian of music, did you ever play an instrument?
If so, which one?
If not..why not?
Eddie: One regret I have is I can’t play a thing. I took drum lessons real early on, but didn’t stick with it. I didn’t have the patience. I wanted to do everything I heard on my Kiss albums instantly and got frustrated quick. So I decided instead I would do something to help the bands I loved. Radio, TV, writing, record labels, anything to connect and support. One day I still want to learn guitar!
HBH: Something we like to discuss here so I will ask you. If you could start a band with ANY artists
you want, who would you choose? (1 singer, 2 guitars,1 bass, 1 drummer, 1 keyboard)
Eddie: These are so tough!
Steven Tyler, Eddie Van Halen, John Sykes, Steve Harris, John Bonham, Paul Raymond. That would be pretty kick ass! But SO many I could think of, that’s just off the top of my head.
HBH: You’ve been critical of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Care to explain some of your
criticisms? On the flip side of that question, If you could start your own Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame, who would your first inductees be? Your own personal Rock and Roll Mt Rushmore?
Eddie: I am now a voter for the R&R HOF, and in all honesty they have made improvements recently with Alice, Kiss, Rush, Purple finally getting in. But there is still much work to do for sure. Artists not in that should be at the time I am doing this? Priest, Pat Benatar, Foreigner, Dio, Lemmy, Thin Lizzy, just a few that come to mind. T Rex. So I’d start mine with them I suppose.
HBH: Who are some of your favorite “hair bands” ? And which do you consider to be “underrated”
Eddie: With all due respect to your site, as many know I don’t use the word “hair band” or “hair metal”. It was developed as a knock on these artists and I feel still hurts them and continues the stigma against them, which is still very real. So I just call it 80’s hard rock. So many great ones. What comes to mind? Ratt, Bon Jovi (yes they were at one time!), White Lion, Vain, Tesla, just a few I can think of that I really love/loved. Recently I saw LA Guns, Warrant and Jack Russell. All sounded great! Some of those guys are better now than they were in the day. Winger too, amazing and all real! Skid Row and Tesla probably my two all time favorite bands of that era.
HBH: Are their any NEW bands out that you are really digging that we should know about?
Eddie: The Struts. They are the best newer band with the best songs I have seen in a long long time. I think/hope they can bring it all back. Also love Rival Sons. Haven’t seen Greta Van Fleet live yet, but lots of buzz which is good to see. But The Struts blew me away recently and I love the album.
THE STRUTS - COULD HAVE BEEN ME
RIVAL SONS - KEEP ON SWINGING
HBH: Robert Plant recently said “people need to move on from that old crap” What is your take on
that? Do you feel it is bit of a slap in the face to the fans?
Eddie: Artists always want to push and sell what they are doing at the moment. But the catalog and classics will always resonate most. I do believe some fans do need to also discover and evolve and seek out and support new things. How will there be future classics without supporting new bands. Guns N Roses were a new band at one time. You have to always keep an open mind.
HBH: Any chance TMS returns to television?
Eddie: No idea. Very tough finding a new home with VH1 Classic gone. Our producer owns it. We are all all in if he finds a new home for it. But it’s out of my hands. I do have a new series debuting next year for AXS TV called TrunkFest that covers music festivals around the US. I did 4 so far with 6 more to shoot. It’s been a blast and I can’t wait for people to see it. I also have another TV project close to getting an outlet hopefully. I love TMS, I miss it too. But I have no idea what will happen.
HBH: Last question…Dave or Sammy??? (or Gary)
Eddie: Two different bands. Love them both. But the first 4 VH albums are untouchable top to bottom.
HBH: Anything you want to add please feel free!!
Eddie: I do a daily live talk/interview show now on SiriusXM. It’s called TrunkNation. It’s live in channel 106 Volume 2-4P ET and replays 9-11P ET. Hope people check it out. It’s been a blast!
SiriusXM Channel 106 Volume “TrunkNation” M-F 2-4P ET
SiriusXM Channel 39 “Trunk Nation” Monday’s 5-8P ET
Syndicated FM “Eddie Trunk Rocks”
Host AXS TV
“The Eddie Trunk Podcast” available via Itunes & www.podcastone.com
Interview by: Randy Widman