“Metal Jim” INTERVIEW
A New Brand of Comedy And a Clear Love For Metal By Michael Aronovitz
As a new writer for Metal Heads Forever, I try to review bands that push the boundaries, but Metal was never just about the music. It’s about family. It’s about a massive, timeless network that excites us, mystifies us, satisfies us, and brings people together. I started the series “Spin Goddess” to celebrate female radio personalities who develop parts of the mechanism in their own special way, and here, I want to send a shout out to those who contribute to the Metal Scene without drums, guitars, or radio stations at their disposal.
“Metal Jim” is an interesting new You Tube personality I caught on my Facebook feed a couple of months ago. He does these short bits, maybe ten minutes at the most, talking about current Metal in a sardonic way that I found entertaining from the get-go. Like a good musician he knows his lexicon, making references to different bands as if his own “instruments,” all in tactical moments that demonstrate a wonderful sense of what works and what doesn’t. His timing is razor sharp, and the relevant filmatic inserts are priceless.
Metal Jim knows the music he is going to feature so well in fact, that when he “plays along” with it, the overall effect is far more potent than some kid playing air guitar. It’s a matter of interpretation, innuendos, suggestion, and omission. And while some of this appears to be improvised, it so well executed that one can’t help but think of the early routines of Robin Williams, and the way he took things we saw in one context and transferred them seamlessly to others, making the odd and eccentric play like some wacky form of new street poetry.
Mostly, however, this guy is just plain funny, a scream, absolutely hysterical. I have never really been a comedy guy, but I find myself looking out for his videos, if not to get a lead on who are the hottest bands of the month, then just to get a good laugh. Of course, for the most part…for me at least…Metal is serious business I take seriously. But I like to joke too. Metal Jim lets me get there through a prism of the greatest music on earth, and what could be better than that?
Mike – Why did you start filming yourself doing this kind of show?
Metal Jim – So after a heavy night of drinking, doing blow, and making out with chicks, (kidding) I was sitting at home with a hangover (not kidding) looking at You Tube videos of metal album reviews. I said to myself that I could do it too. I noticed that all the commentary was super serious and a lot of critics were still claiming the same old shit, you know, that you love Satan if you listen to Deathcore and Industrial Trace Metal, and all my other current faves. I wanted to prove that you can laugh sometimes too, and you don’t need to give your soul to the devil…well…you still can if you want but it isn’t in the manual. Overall, the media gives a bad name to Metal and some You Tubers’ views are just….boring.
Mike – What would you like to tell your viewers about your past?
Metal Jim – Oh man. I can hardly remember last week. For starters, Mom was a groupie for some 80s band, so I don’t know who my dad is. I’m guessing he was a band member. She still sleeps around but hey, all the power to her. I’m fine with it, but I admit I got picked on in high school because of it, so I started listing to Metallica. That opened me up to Metal. Then I met Pedro and he was a big Metal Head and he showed me more shit. See? Metal helped me savior my past. I know…I meant “save” my past. No “savor” my past. Oh, fuck it. “Savior” my past is more metaphorical, or metaphysical. I think. Just go with it. Now don’t get me wrong. Way before Metallica I loved (still love) Hair Metal bands. Thanks to my mom. But like I said, I got made fun of for it because most of the bands looked like chicks. You know the drill. “Hey, is that your dad singing or your mom?” “I bet your mom fucked the light guy from Motely Crue.” I mean she did, but they didn’t have to be dicks about it.
Mike – How do you come up with the bands you talk about? They are excellent by the way!
Metal Jim – Oh, thanks my man! Pedro is my main source of, “Hey man check out this band!” But now that I’m getting noticed, bands come to me on the email machine and say, “Hey check us out!” Without Pedro I would have never known about local bands, I only heard shit on the radio. Local bands are the shit. Support them!
Mike – Wait. Who the heck is Pedro?
Metal Jim – Don’t worry about it.
Mike – Ok! But, Jim, Metal is serious business when you get right down to it. I take its dark side and link it with horror fiction. You found a comedic link. How did that happen?
Metal Jim – Well like I said in the first question, everyone seems to think it only has to be serious. I want to show that it’s ok to have it serious but it’s okay to laugh too. Like the first time I was hanging out with the band Dead Horse Trauma, they were cracking jokes and just fun to be around. Their music is pretty sick and serious. It also has a good message, but behind the music is always a fun, out-going group of dudes and chicks who can joke around as well as “Metalling” it up on stage. But like any music you have other bands that have a bunch of dickheads in them. Fuck ‘em.
Mike – Where do you see your show going content-wise? I see that you began with small bits about specific songs or rock-gossip, and you recently added a “Best of the Week” show. Where are you taking this?
Metal Jim – Well, I guess I’ll take it as far as it can go. I always have ideas shooting in my head so I don’t know. I’m just trying to have fun with this until everyone gets sick of me. Which they won’t because I’m awesome and no one can be as good as me….sorry had an OTEP moment there.
Mike – You obviously love metal. In a generation more geared toward hip-hop and pop, where does your loyalty come from?
Metal Jim – Metal all day. Metal is a real sound. These bands write their own music and play instruments. Katy Perry has what…6, 7 writers to make a song about her big tits….or a fucking space alien thing. Metal and Rock and Roll is where my loyalty is. Half the bands I’ve met are down to earth, cool people. Some can be d-bags but you get that with any music genre. Metal can make a bad day turn good in 5 to 10 mins. Shitty day at work? Girlfriend/Boyfriend being a jerk? You’re out of drinks and weed? Go blast some metal to get the anger out! No other music gets me in a better mood. With most metal bands they have some low tone music in the album and you need a neck rest, so those songs are great as well for bringing the mood up.
Mike – Favorite bands?
Metal Jim – Good lord you had to ask that question. Well let’s see. Dead Horse Trauma, A Silent Truth, Amerakin Overdose, Ultrea, Killswitch Engage, Metallica, HellYeah, Lamb of God, Machine Head, Steel Panther. And Mushroomhead is pretty tits too. Those are off the top of my head. There are so many up and coming bands, so that list will change soon.
As a last note, I must say, Metal Jim, that we all look forward to what will come next!
Michael Aronovitz is a college professor, rock reviewer, and published author of horror fiction. His latest release is the scariest book of the decade titled Alice Walks, available on Amazon in E-Book form through Cemetery Dance Publications. http://tinyurl.com/y9fkxjhv
Michael Aronovitz / MHF Magazine