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Metal Musicians On ‘Headbanger’s Ball’: Then And Now

To celebrate the release of the third installment of the “MTV Headbanger’s Ball” compilations, entitled “MTV Headbanger’s Ball – The Revenge” (due on April 11 via Roadrunner Records), some of the participants have got together to answer questions on their relationship with the MTV series and compilation.

Question: Were you a fan of the original “Headbanger’s Ball”? Do you watch the current one?

Zakk Wylde of BLACK LABEL SOCIETY: “Of course I watched the original. I watch the current one when I want to watch some ass-kickin’ heavy bands.”

Joel Stroetzel of KILLSWITCH ENGAGE: “I was a big fan of the original ‘Headbanger’s Ball’. I remember the first few times I saw videos like ‘Staring through the Eyes of the Dead’ (CANNIBAL CORPSE), and ‘God of Emptiness’ (MORBID ANGEL). I’d lose my mind! I try to watch the new one as much as I can…”

Nick Brooks of IT DIES TODAY: “I try to watch the current one as much as I can. I think I was like 3 or 4 when the original was on so I suppose I couldn’t fully appreciate it then. Ha ha!”

Sam Totman of DRAGONFORCE: “Yeah, it was fuckin’ cool, we didnt get it in New Zealand so I would sometimes get a few episodes someone had sent over and we thought it was the coolest thing ever! I don’t watch the new one though only because I have no TV!”

M. Shadows of AVENGED SEVENFOLD: “Yeah, loved the original… Riki [Rachtman] was a great host. I don’t watch the new one much. They do a good job of playing the popular metal bands nowadays.”

Mike Hasty of WALLS OF JERICHO: “I loved the original ‘Headbanger’s Ball’ and tried to watch it every time. My favorite parts were when Riki went on location to shows or the studio or whatever. It was more crazy and really a lot of fun to watch. I miss that about the new version of the show. And yes, I do watch the new show when I can. But between tours and real life I get to see only about 1 a month or so.”

Brock Lindow of 36 CRAZYFISTS: “Yes, I’ve been a fan since the days of way back. Yes I watch the current one… good stuff.”

Björn Gelotte of IN FLAMES: “I used to watch it growing up whenever I got the chance, at that time it was running on regular MTV — a channel we get in Sweden. Nowadays, as it’s running on MTV2, I only get to see it when we are on tour in the U.S. It’s always been a very important way of getting metal to the masses — it was for a long time the ONLY way for some of us to find news about our favourite bands and festivals.”

Mark Hunter of CHIMAIRA: “I was a fan of the original. The only thing I hated about it was that I had to watch all the glam bands just to get something good. I do watch the new one quite a bit and I think Jamey does a killer job. At first I thought he had the on camera personality of a salad bar, but he rocks it now.”

TJ Miller of STILL REMAINS: “I’ve been watching ‘Headbanger’s Ball’ ever since I can remember. I do watch the current one, when I have time at home from tour.”

Jonathan Davis of KORN: “I watch it when I can. It’s a good show, always has been and it’s dedicated to the music that I love. It sounds like a cop out but I don’t watch as much TV anymore — family, touring and overall record make it tough.”

Peter Lindgren of OPETH: “Oh yeah, we grew up with it. That was the old days for us, watching videos. We hardly get to see the new one since we’re always on tour now.”

Chris Adler of LAMB OF GOD: “Huge fan of the first one when I was a kid. Used to make sure I was home early or head out late on Saturday nights just to catch it. Got exposed to some great stuff — and not such great stuff as well! Either way, this show made a big difference to me growing up.”

Dave Peters of THROWDOWN: “Yes, the HELMET video for ‘Unsung’ and the PANTERA video for ‘Mouth For War’ were what got me hooked on the original ‘Headbanger’s Ball’. I think I appreciate the original ‘Headbanger’s’ now even more when I learned that our manager bought a Volkswagen from Riki Rachtman in Huntington Beach years after the show. I can only hope that Jasta will someday sell me a Passat.”

Paolo Gregoletto of TRIVIUM: “I wasn’t old enough to watch the original, I do watch the current one when I am able to watch it on the road.”

Dez Fafara of DEVILDRIVER: “‘Headbanger’s Ball’ was an very important part of the music that we where into. It was great seeing that MTV was smart to dedicate a show just for hard & heavy music. Jamey J does a great as a VJ and I still watch it every Saturday to this day.”

Sonny Moore of FROM FIRST TO LAST: “I was just barely born when the first ‘HBB’ was going on so I couldnt say I was a ‘fan’ of the show but I remember some years a go watching the it when it came on and was stoked on it.”

Scottie Henry of NORMA JEAN: “Yeah, I definitely was a fan of the original ‘Ball. That show was amazing! I watch the current one as much as possible.”

Doc Coyle of GOD FORBID: “I was a huge fan of the original as a kid. It exposed me to a lot of heavier stuff like ‘Far Beyond Driven’-era PANTERA, and SLAYER. It was good because they played cool rock stuff on there like ALICE AND CHAINS and SOUNDGARDEN. There was a nice mix. My brother and I used to watch Saturday night horror movies on USA at 10PM and than switch to MTV at midnight. It was the best. I don’t get to watch it very much recently, because we tour all the time. Usually when it’s on, I’m playing somewhere. It’s a show that I think works best for exposing teenagers to heavy music because they aren’t old enough to go out drinking and clubbing on a Saturday night. I’m glad Jamey is on it though because he has a great knowledge and respect of all sides of heavy music.”

Mike Amott of ARCH ENEMY: “I never saw too much of the original U.S. version of ‘Headbangers Ball’. There was a European version for a few years that actually was very good. MTV in Europe need to give METAL some love again! Living in Sweden Europe, we are not able to watch the show. Although we do tune in on the tour bus when we are on tour in the U.S. — it’s always cool to check out the new metal videos.”

Cristiano Migliore of LACUNA COIL: “I used to watch the European ‘Headbanger’s Ball’ (Vanessa Warwick was hosting it) but it was still when MTV wasn’t very popular in Italy so it was pretty hard to watch it regularly… Same problem with the new one: it’s not on the Italian MTV (we have something called ‘Superock’ which is just a selection of rock/metal video clips with no host)!”

Des Kensel of HIGH ON FIRE: “Yeah I was a fan of the original ‘Headbanger’s Ball’. I thought the coolest intro was Kerry King walking down a wet alley and hitting a gong with his guitar while ‘Angel of Death’ was playing. I tell you what, I don’t care how fucked up that alley was, he’s the only white boy that can get away with something like that. I haven’t been able to watch the current one because I haven’t lived in a place hooked up to cable in the last ten years.”

Brennan Chaulk of HASTE THE DAY: “I have been more of a fan in recent years. I grew up in Canada and we had MuchMusic, not MTV. I wish I would have had the chance to. I am sure I would have loved it.”

Kirk Windstein of KINGDOM OF SORROW/CROWBAR: “Yes, we (CROWBAR) got some love back in the day and it was “the show” to watch and yes I am a big fan. It was great to be a guest and they played the CROWBAR video for a few weeks which was really cool. When I am not on the road I will have a couple of the fellas stop by the house we’ll crack some brews and turn young Jasta on the boob tube. I am glad there is a cool place to see metal and hardcore videos again! They even played the ‘Hear N Aid’ video!!!”

Jesse Hasek of 10 YEARS: “Definitely a fan of the original and I watch the new one as well. Myself and all the members of 10 YEARS are fans of ‘Headbanger’s’. It’s unadulterated rock and it beats ‘Cribs’, for goodness’ sakes.”

(Thanks: Roadrunner Records U.K.)

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March 21, 2006 - Posted by | ROCK

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