Tag Archive | "Charred Walls Of The Damned"

Comedian Don Jamieson Launches New Website at donjamieson.com!

Comedian Don Jamieson Launches New Website at donjamieson.com!

In anticipation of the upcoming release of Live and Hilariousdonjamieson.com has been given a complete redesign and has been re-launched. At donjamieson.com, fans will find video clips from That Metal Show, the latest news and tour dates, live audio, photos, and a store where Live and Hilarious can be purchased! Head on over to donjamieson.com to check out the updates and head back often to stay up to date!

Don Jamieson is set to release his debut album, Live and Hilarious, on April 26th, 2011 via Metal Blade Records. The album was recorded at Bar Anticipation (or “Bar A”, as we’ve been told it’s referred to as over in Jersey) on January 30th, 2011 in front of a room packed full of comedy and metal fans. The show was a resounding success and will set the bar high for Metal Blade Records’ first EVER stand-up comedy release! The album’s title is a parody of Live and Dangerous, the classic Thin Lizzy album and Don Jamieson’s name/logo has been transformed into a Thin Lizzy-esque logo, which will be seen on the disc and on a new t-shirt available on Metal Blade’s webstore, powered by Indiemerch. Live and Hilarious is available for pre-order and a clip from the album, Metal, Music, Masturbation, can be heard now at metalblade.com/donjamieson!

Don Jamieson chatted with Metal Blade TV earlier this year to talk about his record deal with CEO Brian Slagel. The video can now be seen on metalblade.tv and Don Jamieson’s official youtube channel HERE.

In other news, That Metal Show launches its new season this weekend on VH1 Classic. The first episode airs on Saturday, March 19th at 11pm EST and features none other than Metallica’s Kirk Hammett! That Metal Show is hosted by radio DJ and metal personality Eddie Trunk, alongside comedians Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson. For more information, head over to VH1.com.

“He’s a sarcastic, caustic rib-splitter who can wind up any audience and splatter them hysterically” – The Village Voice

Amongst his many accomplishments, comedian Don Jamieson’s proudest moment is becoming an “Emmy Award-Winner” for his work on HBO’s Inside the NFL. Don and long-time comedy partner, Jim Florentine, lent their brand of humor to the popular sports show; writing, producing and performing sports-themed comedy sketches.

The two have also collaborated on the hidden-camera DVD and Comedy Central web series, “Meet the Creeps” as well as a series of prank call CD’s, “Terrorizing Telemarketers,” which get a lot of airplay on the Howard Stern Radio Show. He is also a joke writer for the country’s best celebrity roaster, Lisa Lampanelli and has lent his voice to MTV2’s Crank Yankers.

Don’s stand-up act brings his everyday take on life, the hip, the cool and the tragically sublime into the spotlight. Besides performing at clubs in New York City, Don tears it up at clubs and theatres all over the country. For the last four years, he has been the regular opener for Andrew Dice Clay. His reputation as one of New York City’s top comics was cemented when he was asked to perform live on ABC’s Good Morning America. Don has also appeared as a guest on Joy Behar’sshow on CNN HLN.

Don started his career as one of the young and talented comedy minds at MTV helping to launch the careers of comics likeJon StewartKevin JamesPauly Shore (sorry) and Tom Green, but unbeknownst to many, Don was spending his nights on the local comedy scene developing his own comic style.

Making the transition from comedian to television host isn’t easy for most. Don has hosted his own series, OLN’sBeach Ambush,” and is currently in production for the SEVENTH season of VH1 Classic’s, “That Metal Show.”

Enter 2010: Don Jamieson inked a deal with legendary metal label Metal Blade Records to release the comedian’s debut stand-up comedy album. The album, titled Live and Hilarious, was filmed during Don’s performance at Bar Anticipation in Lake Como, NJ on January 30 and will be released in 2011. When asked about why he chose Jersey as the location for his performance for the upcoming stand-up album, Don had this to say; “I’m a Jersey boy and there’s nowhere better to record my first ever live comedy CD than good old Dirty Jerzy! Malls, mullets and metal!!”

Follow Don Jamieson at the following locations:
www.donjamieson.com
www.metalblade.com/donjamieson
www.youtube.com/donjamiesonofficial
www.myspace.com/donjamieson
www.twitter.com/realdonjamieson
www.facebook.com/donjamiesonofficial

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Comedian Don Jamieson To Unleash ‘Live and Hilarious’ On April 26th!

Comedian Don Jamieson To Unleash ‘Live and Hilarious’ On April 26th!

Comedian Don Jamieson is set to release his debut album, Live and Hilarious, on April 26th, 2011 via Metal Blade Records. The album was recorded at Bar Anticipation (or “Bar A”, as we’ve been told it’s referred to as over in Jersey) on January 30th, 2011 in front of a room packed full of comedy and metal fans. The show was a resounding success and will set the bar high for Metal Blade Records’ first EVER stand-up comedy release! The album’s title is a parody of Live and Dangerous, the classic Thin Lizzy album and Don Jamieson’s name/logo has been transformed into a Thin Lizzy-esque logo, which will be seen on the disc and on a new t-shirt available on Metal Blade’s webstore, powered by Indiemerch. Live and Hilarious is available for pre-order and a clip from the album, Metal, Music, Masturbation, can be heard now at metalblade.com/donjamieson!

Don Jamieson chatted with Metal Blade TV earlier this year to talk about his record deal with CEO Brian Slagel. The video can now be seen on metalblade.tv and Don Jamieson’s official youtube channel HERE.

In other news, That Metal Show launches its new season this weekend on VH1 Classic. The first episode airs on Saturday, March 19th at 11pm EST and features none other than Metallica’s Kirk Hammett! That Metal Show is hosted by radio DJ and metal personality Eddie Trunk, alongside comedians Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson. For more information, head over to VH1.com.

“He’s a sarcastic, caustic rib-splitter who can wind up any audience and splatter them hysterically” – The Village Voice

Amongst his many accomplishments, comedian Don Jamieson’s proudest moment is becoming an “Emmy Award-Winner” for his work on HBO’s Inside the NFL. Don and long-time comedy partner, Jim Florentine, lent their brand of humor to the popular sports show; writing, producing and performing sports-themed comedy sketches.

The two have also collaborated on the hidden-camera DVD and Comedy Central web series, “Meet the Creeps” as well as a series of prank call CD’s, “Terrorizing Telemarketers,” which get a lot of airplay on the Howard Stern Radio Show. He is also a joke writer for the country’s best celebrity roaster, Lisa Lampanelli and has lent his voice to MTV2’s Crank Yankers.

Don’s stand-up act brings his everyday take on life, the hip, the cool and the tragically sublime into the spotlight. Besides performing at clubs in New York City, Don tears it up at clubs and theatres all over the country. For the last four years, he has been the regular opener for Andrew Dice Clay. His reputation as one of New York City’s top comics was cemented when he was asked to perform live on ABC’s Good Morning America. Don has also appeared as a guest on Joy Behar’sshow on CNN HLN.

Don started his career as one of the young and talented comedy minds at MTV helping to launch the careers of comics likeJon StewartKevin JamesPauly Shore (sorry) and Tom Green, but unbeknownst to many, Don was spending his nights on the local comedy scene developing his own comic style.

Making the transition from comedian to television host isn’t easy for most. Don has hosted his own series, OLN’sBeach Ambush,” and is currently in production for the SEVENTH season of VH1 Classic’s, “That Metal Show.”

Enter 2010: Don Jamieson inked a deal with legendary metal label Metal Blade Records to release the comedian’s debut stand-up comedy album. The album, titled Live and Hilarious, was filmed during Don’s performance at Bar Anticipation in Lake Como, NJ on January 30 and will be released in 2011. When asked about why he chose Jersey as the location for his performance for the upcoming stand-up album, Don had this to say; “I’m a Jersey boy and there’s nowhere better to record my first ever live comedy CD than good old Dirty Jerzy! Malls, mullets and metal!!”

Follow Don Jamieson at the following locations:
www.donjamieson.com
www.metalblade.com/donjamieson
www.youtube.com/donjamiesonofficial
www.myspace.com/donjamieson
www.facebook.com/donjamieson2
www.twitter.com/realdonjamieson
www.facebook.com/donjamiesonofficial

Posted in Blog, Movies, TV and More!, MusicComments (0)

Comedian Don Jamieson Discusses All Things Metal and Comedy!

Comedian Don Jamieson Discusses All Things Metal and Comedy!

If you are a fan of heavy metal, chances are you are familiar with the razor sharp wit of comedian Don Jamieson. Partnered with long time writing partner Jim Florentine and radio icon Eddie Trunk, this trio of metal aficionados are headed into their seventh rockin’ season of VH1 Classic’s ‘That Metal Show’. Even with the growing success of ‘That Metal Show,’ Jamieson is showing no signs of slowing down. He signed a record deal with the legendary Metal Blade Records to release his first comedy album later this year. With a successful television series under his belt, an album on the way and his popularity on the comedy scene growing by the minute, 2011 may become ‘The Year of Don Jamieson’! Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with the comedian to discuss his metal roots, what drove him to pursue comedy as a career and what the future holds for one of comedy’s brightest stars.

Let’s give everyone a little background on you. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in New Jersey. Unlike what ‘Jersey Shore’ tells you about the GTL (Gym, Tan, Laundry) — it’s nothing like that! Jersey is all about the three M’s — Malls, Metal and Mullets! It is kind of a state law, if you grow up there, you have to like metal!

So, as far as legendary musicians from New Jersey go, it is pretty safe to assume that you are more of a Bon Jovi guy than a Bruce Springsteen guy, right?

Neither. [laughs] But if I had to pick a side I would go with Jon because he has the nicer hair. It looked really good when he used to feather it back in the day.

What drew you to comedy initially and made you take a shot at it professionally?

I always just had unbelievable respect for comics, even when I was a kid. I used to listen to George Carlin tapes in my room late at night after my parents went to sleep. When I was in college, I would go into New York City on my own and go to Catch A Rising Star where I would see Seinfeld, Carol Leifer, Colin Quinn and all the great comics who were working at the club. One day I just felt like I couldn’t die peacefully if I didn’t try it at least once. Doing comedy is like crack, once you do a hit, you are hooked forever. Not that I know anything about smoking crack! [laughs]

How did your first outing go?

Pretty terrible. I think I got about four mercy laughs and that was all I needed. When I came off stage, I had this incredible high from standing up there in front of people and doing it for the first time and to get those few laughs. It is so disorienting! You are not prepared. What little material I had written was all terrible in retrospect. When I hit the stage, I froze. I was like, “What do I do? Do I take the mic out of the stand? Do I walk around? What kind of comic am I?” The whole time, the light is right in your face and you can’t see anyone in the crowd and everything that you have written completely goes out of your head. It’s sink or swim time! Luckily, it is a lot more swimming after 15 years than sinking!

Was there a moment where as a comic you said, “OK, now I’ve made it!”?

No, because as a comic you are always humbled. There is always a crowd waiting around the corner to knock you down a few pegs! That goes for everybody! Even the biggest comics in the world. I have seen Seinfeld have bad sets when his show was the biggest thing on television. You are always humbled and as comics we train ourselves that you may have a hundred good shows in a row but that one show that is bad is the one that you obsess on. What I am pretty proud of is the fact that I am going to be doing my first live comedy album for Metal Blade Records. That is a pretty big deal to me.

For you, what are some of the challenges to performing stand-up comedy, either from a performance side or a writing side?

I guess from the performance side it is just trying to be truthful, giving the audience a piece of yourself in a way that is relatable but also with your own point of view on it. Otherwise, why get up there and talk. You have to have a different point of view. Every comic talks about the same things — their growing up, their relationships and things like that. You have to give it your own spin. Obviously, the hardest part of the whole gig is the business side of it — tracking down bookers, calling up club owners and just trying to establish yourself in clubs and venues across the country. That is the toughest part. That is the part that sucks and that nobody sees. They get to see you for 45 minutes and laugh but they don’t know what it takes to get to that point.

A lot of people are going to know you from your work on ‘That Metal Show’. How did you first get into metal?

Jim Florentine, Eddie Trunk & Don Jamieson

It has been part of my life since I was 9 years old. I am a KISS fan. I had their posters all over my walls. I got into Aerosmith after that, then Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Then the whole new wave of British Heavy Metal started happening. So many great bands came out of that like Saxon and Motorhead. Since I have been a comic, I have always wanted to mix the two genres together somehow because there is a lot of humor in metal. I just had to figure out a way to do it. Jim Florentine, who is my co-host on there, is also my comedy partner. We had been trying to fuse those two things together for quite a while. We tried a couple of different comedy concerts in New York that worked really well. ‘That Metal Show’ is the culmination of all those efforts. This is really the greatest job in the whole world. I work with my two best friends, talk about the only music that I have ever loved, bust balls and get paid for it! God bless America!

How did you and Jim hook up with Eddie Trunk initially?

Well, Jim and I were fans of Eddie’s radio show back on the east coast. We are all from New Jersey. Eddie has been doing a metal show from New York City for 20 years. Jim and I would be coming back from these god awful gigs that we used to do out in the middle of the sticks. We would always get a little excited because we could tune in Eddie’s radio show. We were fans of his because we would tune in and he would be talking about Accept for 20 minutes! We were like, “Wow! We’ve got to meet this guy because he talks like us!” Finally, we met him and started guesting on his radio shows and started to develop a really good chemistry between us and decided to take it a step further and put it on TV. It is just three idiots from New Jersey hanging out and talking about metal, just like we would if we were backstage at a show.

The star power on the show has really grown over the past few seasons. Did you guys think that it would take off the way that it did?

Well, we didn’t think that it would get past the pilot, ya know?! In TV, to be on a show that is heading into its seventh season, no matter what channel you are on, is pretty amazing! I thought if the network gave it a chance that we would find some loyal viewers because that is how metal-heads are. We are VERY loyal! We seek out things that we want and the music that we love. We go dig underground for things. ‘That Metal Show’ is on VH1 Classic, so you can get carpal tunnel going that high up on the dial sometimes! [laughs] But I knew that metal-heads would finally find it and hopefully embrace it!

The show is great! How much prep goes into putting a show together?

I think that most of the prep is really for the producers, directors and the staff behind the scenes. For us, we get the information and discuss what we are going to do in regard to the different segments but as far as the interviews go, we don’t prepare too much at all. Really, we want it to be more of a “hang thing.” We don’t want it to feel scripted. We all jot notes down but the best interviews are the ones where you don’t even get to any of your stuff because you are just chilling out and having a great time talking about music!

That is very cool. I catch the show every time that I see it on, even if I have already seen that particular episode. You guys have done a great job giving it that “hang” feel. A lot of times I will even catch myself chiming in here at home. It really sucks you in.

Thanks man! I really appreciate that because that is really what we wanted to do. Even at the cost of maybe offending some artists, we have always said, “We are going to make a pact. Let’s talk truthfully about music.” If every band is good, every album is good and every song is good, then you have no credibility. At least this way we are truthful and if we say something about an artist that is critical, it doesn’t mean that we don’t like them anymore, that is just the way it is. A lot of these bands have been around for 40 years, most of these bands that have been around that long have a clunker or two in their collection and they’ll admit to it. That is just the way we have always wanted to do it and hopefully always will.

You’ve had a ton of great guests. Who has been your favorite interview?

It’s gotta be Alice Copper. I am a Cooper nut! I was just like a giddy school girl that day! I was just so amped up and no matter what type of music or bands you like, you think your whole life what you would say if you ever met this person and what you would ask them. I had been waiting 30 years to ask Alice Cooper a million questions! That was the most exciting thing to me. He is an amazing interview! To be honest, I have never heard him tell the same story twice, ever, anywhere! He has had so many crazy experiences and puts a punchline at the end of every great story! So I am taking notes and thinkin’, “Who’s the comedian here? Me or Alice!” [laughs] He is just so awesome!

The star power on the show has really grown over the past few seasons. Anyone that you are dying to interview?

I would say, probably, Justin Bieber. Maybe Lady Gaga, ya know? Have her reunite with the meat dress for the show! [laughs] We haven’t had Ozzy and of course that would be amazing. Brian Johnson from AC/DC would be incredible. He is such a funny guy and obviously AC/DC are still going strong but we don’t know how much longer we are going to have with those guys. Of course, if the Van Halen album does happen, and it sounds like it is going to, we would love to have Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth come on. Those are people that I would really be thrilled to have on.

Out of you, Eddie and Jim, who is the biggest diva on the set of ‘That Metal Show’?

[laughs] Well, I guess I am with my sideburns. I like them to be very proportionate before tapings and I take a lot of time in the makeup chair! [laughs] I don’t know, maybe Eddie. He is the anchor and the straight man to Jim and I’s Beavis and Butthead. He takes a lot of stuff on himself! But I don’t know, in our dressing room there is a bunch of water and energy drinks and we sit in there and fart — we are pretty low maintenance.

I imagine being a comic on the road has a lot of similarities with being a metal band on the road. Do you have any interesting stories from the road or are they all under lock and key?

I actually did a really interesting tour, which I would like to do again, last summer. I toured with Charred Walls of The Damned. They are a Metal Blade recording artist and the band has Tim “Ripper” Owens, who sang in Judas Priest, and Richard Christy of The Howard Stern Show. We all went out in a 10-passenger band with a trailer and it was a wild experience! When you are in a van with seven smelly guys for two weeks, it is pretty hardcore. I know why they call him “Ripper” now, believe me! There is something wrong inside and he really needs to go in for a checkup. It’s was really old school. We took the van and I went out with them to open up all the shows, which was really thrilling to open for a really heavy band. The audience took to it really well. But as far as the traveling, it was just really crazy, staying in sleazy little truck stop hotels along the way. I think I ate all but one day out of the two weeks we were on the road at a gas station.

Sounds like you could use some recovery time after a tour like that!

Yeah! For comedy, you just fly out, do a couple dates, stay at a nice hotel and they feed you well at the club and then you go home. When you tour with a metal band, it is a totally different animal but I am excited to do again, hopefully when my comedy album comes out. Maybe I will tour with another one of the Metal Blade acts or with Charred Walls of The Damned again.

Let’s talk a little about the album. You recently signed a deal with Metal Blade Records as you mentioned. How did you get involved with them and what can we expect from this union?

I meant Brian Slagel, who is the owner of the company, about a year ago. I was honored to meet him because he has played a really big part in why I love metal so much. He has brought so much metal to the United States in the last 30 years that it is unbelievable. Brian flew out to a couple of the Charred Walls of The Damned dates and really liked what I was doing. We just kept talking and I think he had a little too much wine one day and offered me a record deal! [laughs] I am going to record the album in January in New Jersey. We are gonna pack a great club in Jersey with fans and metal-heads, tape a couple of shows and make a great live CD! I want to give Metal Blade something really heavy that really fits into their catalog and works for them. I want to fuse that heavy metal attitude with comedy and bring it to the label. I am thinking that it will be out in the early spring sometime, maybe April. It should be really cool.

Doing a full album must be a huge undertaking. What are you doing to prepare for the project in terms of writing and preparing yourself for the set you will provide us?

You just keep writing. If things come up in your life, you just write it down. A band who can go into a room and really craft a song to the point that they like it and decide to record it. A comic, when you write a joke or a story, the only place that you can really try it is in front of a crowd and they aren’t all going to be gems. I have no other place to do it. I can’t stand in front of a mirror and tell jokes to myself because it gives me no gauge as to if an audience would like it. That is sort of the danger of comedy but it is also the thrill of it. My comedy is very intense and I take a lot of chances with it but I want the material to be right and good for the album. The act is stuff that I have been doing for about the past year and a half. There is some new stuff that is more recent but I am not going to take a lot of chances with the record. I want it to be comprised of the best material that I have and then put it out there. It is my first live stand-up CD, so I really want it to be perfect!

Do you have a working title for it yet?

Well, I guess we will have to see how it goes. We might have to call it, “I Guess You Had To Be There!” [laughs] I am just crazy out of my head that my album is going to have the Metal Blade logo on it! That means the world to me! If they want me to call it “Don Jamieson’s An Asshole,” I will call it that as long as it has that Metal Blade stamp on it.

Comedians run into hecklers from time to time. What is the craziest thing that has happened to you?

Early on, I had a guy heckle me in a club. The worst thing you can do is let somebody get the best of you. At this point, I had only been doing comedy for a few years and I didn’t really know how to handle the situation. I remember that the guy was really big, really loud and really drunk! I remember that he was a truck driver. I finally just snapped and said, “Well, if you think you can do better, you come up here and show me!” And god dammit if he didn’t come up there and do better than me! [laughs] It was the worst thing ever! Usually, that shuts people up because they are afraid to be up in front of a crowd, but this guy comes up and kills!

Any other comedians that you would like to collaborate with in the future?

The other comic that I work with a lot, I open on the road for him, is Andrew Dice Clay. I have been doing that with him for about five years and we have played all over North America and Canada. Dice is the reason that I got into comedy to begin with. I was standing in the crowd at Madison Square Garden when he was at the height of his fame chanting, “Dice! Dice! Dice!” All these years later, he is one of my best friends and I get to perform with him. He is a really great guy and he is a lot like me, Jim and Eddie — an absolute ball breaker. It is non-stop goofing on one another and other people.

I grew up watching Dice as well. It must have been a real mind-blower to open for him.

The first time I opened for him, I did very well but I didn’t know what he was going to say. He watched me and he knew my whole act. He said, “I like the joke about the dolphin and this one and that one … ” He was actually a fan of my comedy and that means the world to me coming from a guy who has created this unbelievable character of “The Dice Man.” So you are right, it is very surreal. I have stayed at his house, I went to his wedding and I have been to his kid’s Bar Mitzvah. Seeing Dice in a Yarmulke is pretty surreal. [laughs]

Who do you consider the greatest working comedian, right now?

Besides me, let’s see … [laughs] I think you still have to give it to Chris Rock. He is very consistent with his stuff. I am lucky because I live in New York City and I get to see him in small comedy clubs working out his new material. Even when it is the newest of new material, where he is reading it off of a piece of paper, he is still killing, he DESTROYS! I am always the type of comic, as was the late George Carlin, Andrew Dice Clay and Chris Rock, who gives a very intense and edgy performance. Rock hasn’t softened up a bit over the year, which I really like!

What do you consider the highlight of your career so far? Obviously, you have a lot of years ahead of you but I figured I would ask you in your “early years” …

Well, thank you for your optimism! [laughs] Definitely ‘That Metal Show’ has been a huge thing because, as I said, it is a culmination of a ton of things that I love to do alongside my best buddies. Jim Florentine and I won an Emmy for some comedy sketches that we did for HBO. That was really exciting! It didn’t really help with my career but if you put it on your nightstand next to your bed, it really is an aphrodisiac when you have a chick come over! If nothing else, I am proud of that! And again, this Metal Blade thing is a huge honor for me! I am so seriously stoked! It all comes down to the live performance and that I am able to make a living as a stand-up comic. I may be playin’ firehouses in 10 years but so be it!

That being said, do you have any advice for anyone who is looking to pursue a career in stand-up or the entertainment industry?

Just do it once. You’ll know. If you go onstage and you feel nothing, then it is not for you. If you go up there and feel like I did or that you just did 10 lines of cocaine, you are probably going to want to stick with it. Then the next step is to have a thick skin because this is a rough business, not just the performance part, but dealing with the business side of things. It is a tough road but if you can keep an even keel about yourself, you will be alright.

Where is the best place for everyone to catch up with you online and find out more about what you are up to?

Check out my website at www.donjamieson.com and you can find me on Facebook and Twitter, I am easy to find!

Thanks for all of your hard work and your time, Don!

Thank you! I really appreciate your support. It means a lot and that is why the show has, thank God, been so successful because of everyone in the metal community being so supportive. It means the world!

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Richard Christy Talks Charred Walls of The Damned and Much More…

Richard Christy Talks Charred Walls of The Damned and Much More…

Before Richard Christy was known to many for his daily contributions as a writer/prankster on the legendary Howard Stern Show, he laid his roots in the world of heavy metal. Music was in his blood at and early age and became something that he pursued with a passion. All of his hard work behind the drum kit paid off as he quickly built a reputation as one of the scene’s most revered drummers, landing him gigs in such genre-defining bands as Death and Iced Earth. With musical success under his belt, Christy set his sights on a surprising new career and left the metal scene behind to pursue what he calls his “dream job.”

In 2004, he joined forces with Howard Stern after winning a listener contest to replace “Stuttering John” Melendez, who had departed to join the Jay Leno Show. A fan favorite, Christy has spent the past several years entertaining the masses with a wide variety of phony phone calls and wacky on-air stunts that have brought tears to eyes of listeners nationwide. Even though his career change has kept him quite content creatively, there was no fighting the undeniable urge to return to his metal roots. It was that urge that would spark the creation of his new band, Charred Walls of the Damned, which boasts an impressive lineup of guitarist Jason Suecof, bass player Steve DiGiorgio and vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens.

Steve Johnson and Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Richard Christy to discuss his musical journey, Charred Walls of The Damned’s debut album and the challenges in making it, as well as what life may hold for him after The Howard Stern Show.

For the people that might not know about the musical side of Richard Christy, we wanted to give them some background. How did music first come into your life?

Well, I specifically remember that the first music that ever really made an impression on me was KISS. I was four years old, I think. It was the first time that I had seen them and I really got into them. For a four year old, KISS was pretty scary looking! I remember being scared by them but really liking them. I remember for my fifth birthday, my Aunt Theresa got me the KISS ‘Alive I’ album, the Peter Criss solo album and a Johnny Cash ‘Greatest Hits’ record. Those are the three albums that I really listened to a lot from the age of 5 until I was about ten years old. When I was ten years old, I moved out into the country with my family and we had a neighbor named Larry Bierbauer. He was a couple of years older than me and a metalhead. We got to be good friends. He is the one that I can say was really responsible for turning me into a metalhead. I remember he had the Quiet Riot ‘Metal Health’ album, he had Twisted Sister ‘Stay Hungry’, Iron Maiden ‘Power Slave’, Van Halen ‘1984’ — this was all stuff that was out when I was ten years old. It really blew my mind and made a huge impression on me and I have been a big metalhead ever since!

You left the metal scene many years ago to take a shot at your dream job on The Howard Stern show and have been hard at work there ever since. When did you get the itch to dive into a new musical project?

I have had the itch for a long time and it is was something that I was really waiting until the time was right and that I felt that as a songwriter, I felt confident enough to write the music and write a full album. Ya know, in the past five and a half years that I have lived in New York City, I have still been involved in the metal scene. I have gone to every metal show that is around and have done a lot of articles in metal magazines. I continued to play the drums everyday and I have really gotten into playing guitar a lot more since I have been living here in New York, playing an hour or two a night. I would say it was about two years ago that I really started wanting to put a band together and put an album out. That was because I had written several songs that I felt were really, really good and I finally felt confident in my songwriting that I started to make a few phone calls to put a band together. That is when I called Jason Suecof, Tim “Ripper” Owens and Steve DiGiorgio. They were all into it! I was really psyched! It was all about doing it for the love of making metal! I just wanted to go into Audio Hammer Studios in Florida and record an album.

I had written a whole album and I had a demo version of it. One night at the Gigantour concert, I told Brian Flagel that I was putting together a band and he was really interested in hearing it. About a year ago, I sent him the demo and he really liked it. That is kinda how we got the ball rolling. We signed with Metal Blade Records and then headed down to Florida to record our album!

What was the biggest challenge in making the record?

The biggest challenge was my schedule. Where I work, on The Howard Stern Show, it is a day job, so I can’t take off while the show is live. So I had to work the recording schedule around my vacation time. Honestly, it wasn’t that big of a challenge… it was a little bit of a challenge. That was really the only issue that we had. We had to make sure that Jason Suecof and his studio was available for the times that I was on vacation from the show. Normally, when you book studio time you book a whole month at a time to do the whole album. We had to book a week at a time and then take two off and book another week in the studio. It was kind of an odd way to do it. It was kind of scattered but it ended up working out great! Luckily, Jason had the time available and he was pretty excited about doing it like this because he would have a week or two to rest in between sessions. Then when I would fly back to Florida, his ears were very fresh.

It also worked out great because we were able to work around Steve DiGiorgio’s schedule. He has a regular job like me, so had to work around when he was able to take some vacation time as well. Tim Owens is also very busy with a lot of his bands and has done a lot of touring in Europe and South America this year, so luckily we were able to work out his schedule. So yeah, the biggest challenge was just making sure everybody’s schedules worked out and that we were all able to meet down in Florida at the right times and get it done! Luckily, the short time that we were able to record, we were able to pound everything out, everybody knew their parts and things went really smooth! All the music and the vocals were recorded in about three weeks time. Then we took another week or two for the mix. So again, timing was the biggest challenge… and maybe the Florida heat! July there is a little bit brutal, so that was a challenge. I gotta stay out of the sun because I am very fair skinned! [laughs] I spent a lot of time under the awning by Jason’s pool!

With all of the busy schedules involved, how will that affect your touring plans? Is their anything set in stone at this point?

There is nothing set in stone yet. We are gonna approach it very much in the way we recorded the album. We will get a feeling of when Tim, Steve and Jason are going to be available. I am meeting with some booking agents next week and we definitely plan on doing some shows. I am sure it will work out, we just have to do a bit of planning ahead. I imagine we will probably plan some shows for this summer. We won’t be able to do a month or a two month long tour like a lot of bands, unfortunately, but we will be able to go a week or a couple of weeks at a time. It will be a special thing because we won’t be able to go everywhere but when we do a show it will be a very special and unique thing. I am looking forward to it.

It is cool to hear that you all are so excited about the project. Is it safe to say that Charred Walls of The Damned is more than a one-off gig? Will we be hearing more from you guys in the future?

Absolutely! I want to continue this forever if I can! Metal is something that I love and I want to keep doing it until I am an old decrepit man and I can’t move anymore! [laughs] I love it and I have already written about six songs for the next Charred Walls of The Damned album. I am super, super psyched about these new songs! I was very, very inspired by recording at Jason’s studio, Audio Hammer Studios, down in Florida. I had so much fun in the studio and it was so rewarding to hear the final album. When I came back to New York City, I was totally inspired and I was playing guitar two or three hours a night, so I just started writing. I have six songs already. They are really amazing songs and I would imagine that in the next two to three months, I will have an entire album written. I would really like to go back and maybe even do some more recording before the end of the year.

We wanted to ask you about the unreleased Control Denied record. I know that you and some other band members were still looking to make that happen. What is the status of that?

I am really psyched about that! That is another thing that I will be working on this year! I am so happy that I can finally say that we are finally moving forward on that! I have been getting a lot of email and questions over the past few years from fans asking when that album is going to come out. Unfortunately, there were some legal issues with the label that had signed that album. To my knowledge, the label doesn’t exist anymore and all the legal issues have been cleared up and we are able to move forward! I am very close with Chuck Schuldiner’s family and I talk with them often. They are very excited about this moving forward as well. We are going to get everybody together up in Morristown, NJ and finish the record this year. We just have to talk to everybody about their schedules, Steve DiGiorgio, Shannon Hamm and Tim Aymar. Also, Jim Morris (of Morrissound Studio) because he is really excited to do it too! The drums and Chuck’s guitar parts are recorded, we just have to go in and finish the rest. I can’t wait because the music is incredible! People are going to be so psyched when they hear this album because it is monstrous! It is really going to be amazing. I am really excited to finish that because that was one of Chuck’s last wishes, that fans would get to hear the second Control Denied album and I am so glad that we can finally make that happen!

It is exciting to hear that it is finally going to happen.

Oh yeah! I am hoping that by the end of the year we will be able to finish it.

Since you have a larger-than-life persona on The Howard Stern Show. Do you feel that there are any misconceptions about yourself that you can clear up?

Ya know, I am known on the show for only showering once every two weeks! [laughs] I guess that is a misconception! That used to be true when I lived in Florida and I lived in a storage unit. I didn’t get to shower much because my shower was an outdoor garden hose! Now, I am actually able to shower a little bit more often! I do have an indoor shower, so I guess that could be called a misconception!

Probably another misconception is, if people listen to The Howard Stern Show or watch Howard TV, they see a lot of me nude. [chuckles] Because we do a lot of crazy stunts and things for the show. So they probably picture me as this guy who runs around New York City and swings his dong around but that’s not quite true either. Outside of the show, I am pretty calm and mellow. I like to enjoy a nice, calm dinner and a few drinks. I am not really as crazy as I get on the Stern Show, so that’s another one.

People that listen to The Howard Stern Show know that I am really into heavy metal. It is a passion of mine, a lifelong passion. Hopefully, from working on that show, I have been able to introduce some people to heavy metal because we have played Six Feet Under, Cannibal Corpse and a lot of other metal that you wouldn’t normally hear on popular radio. I am psyched about that. I get to work with the guy who does the bumpers for the show and I give him a lot of music. For example, Wrathchild America will pop up in a bumper or Amon Amarth or Mercyful Faith or King Diamond. I love that! I love being able to get some metal played to the masses!

You mentioned your passions. As fans of The Howard Stern Show, we are well aware of your love for all things horror. We were curious with the show possibly ending it’s run this year and the future being uncertain, is pursuing a career in that genre, be it writing, acting or maybe even being behind the camera, something that you see in your future?

You must be able to read my mind because that is definitely something that I would love to be involved in. On “The Wrap Up Show” that we do after the Stern Show each day, I have been asked, we all have been asked what are we going to do if Howard Stern retires. I would say that I definitely want to keep Charred Walls of The Damned going but I would love to work in the world of horror. Like I said, it is a passion of mine. I am writing a horror article for Decibel Magazine. It is called “Richard Christy’s Horrorscope” and that is really exciting for me.

I got to appear at the Fangoria Weekend of Horrors last Halloween in Las Vegas, which was awesome! While I was there I got to hang out with one of my heroes, Tom Atkins from ‘Halloween III: Season of The Witch’, ‘The Fog’ and ‘Night of The Creeps’. I have been lucky enough to become friends with a couple of people in the horror industry like James Gunn who directed ‘Slither’ and directed the ‘Dawn of The Dead’ remake. He is a really, really super cool guy. I am a big fan of his. I also am friends with the writer Brian Keene who is a very well-known horror writer and he is my favorite horror writer. He even put Sal (Governale) and I in his book ‘Castaways’ which was really cool. I got to be ripped apart by these savage creatures in the book which was pretty awesome.

I would definitely love to be involved in the world of horror. I have made a few low budget horror comedy movies back in the day when I lived in Missouri and Florida. I had a lot of fun doing it. I have even had the opportunity to act in a few horror movies. I was in one last year called ‘Albino Farm’. I played a creepy religious guy from a small town in the film, which was a lot of fun! I got the chance to have some special effects makeup done for that which was awesome! Our first video for Charred Walls of The Damned, “Ghost Town”, was almost like filming a mini horror movie. We filmed for an entire day at a haunted attraction called Shocktoberfest in Pennsylvania. Myself and a good friend of mine named Mike Schiff, who I work with on Howard TV, went there on a Sunday. Mike is super talented. He and I are both huge horror fans and we have been talking about doing some horror shorts, doing some horror writing and filming some stuff together.

My main thing is that I hoping that Howard will stay in radio forever. I would love to work there forever and do metal and horror in my free time. But if Howard does decide to retire, I would definitely consider going into the horror field.

What is the best piece of advice that someone has given you in regards to your career?

Something that really, really effected me was when I was about thirteen or fourteen years old. I played in the school band from the time that I was ten. I always played the snare drum and timpanies. I did a lot of marching band stuff when I was in grade school and high school, but I had a drum set at home where I would play along to metal albums and things like that. There was a drummer older than me that played the full drum set for the school band, and I was just playing the snare drum or some other percussion instrument. One day, that drummer was gone, so I stepped in on the drum set and I don’t think the band teacher even knew that I played a full drum set. I started playing and I remember some of the flute and clarinet players looking back at me as I pounded out metal beats while I was playing along with a Beatles song or whatever we where playing in the school band at the time. Everybody was kinda surprised that I was good at playing a full drum set. I remember my band teacher coming up to me after class that day. He said “I didn’t realize you were that good at the drums. You should definitely think about sticking with it, maybe even as a career.” It was really cool. Everybody says that things that teachers say to you when you are young makes an impression and that is so true. It really inspired me to take drumming very, very seriously and treat it as a career opportunity. Luckily, I was able to do that and I can trace it back to that day.

It is definitely paying off for you. We have heard the album and think that it is amazing. You mentioned the video for “Ghost Town” and that was very cool as well. Great work!

Thank you very much! That is so awesome. The best reward a guy can get from this is having someone say that they love the album. I love to hear that and it is really inspiring. I have to thank you very, very much for that!

Before I let you go, I just wanted to mention that we are both big fans of your work on The Howard Stern Show but Steve Johnson here is an even bigger fan of the “Chocolate Bandit Mask”!

[laughter]

Hey Steve! You know, maybe one day if you wanna come on the show for a plug, Sal can give you a chocolate bandit mask! I have had it done to me and it doesn’t hurt very much but it is very gross.

We will see! [laughs] Thanks again, Richard! All the best to you and the guys in the band. We will be spreading the word!

Alright, thanks guys! Take care!

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Charred Walls of The Damned’s self-titled debut album is scheduled for release on February 2 via Metal Blade Records.

Keep up with Richard Christy at the following locations:
www.myspace.com/charredwallsofthedamned
www.facebook.com/charredwallsofthedamned
www.twitter.com/cwotd
www.richardchristy.com

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