It’s not often that you see a comedian signed to a heavy metal giant like Metal Blade Records. Well, that just changed thanks to VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show co-host and longtime metalhead Don Jamieson, who released his very first live stand-up CD, Don Jamieson: Live And Hilarious, on April 26 via Metal Blade Records. Don, who is one of three heavy metal connoisseurs on That Metal Show alongside Eddie Trunk and Jim Florentine, is a New Jersey native and often jokes that he’s proud to be “Jersey White Trash.”
For the last four years, Don Jamieson has been a regular opener for legendary comic Andrew “Dice” Clay. He’s also collaborated on the hidden camera DVD and Comedy Central web series Meet The Creeps with That Metal Show co-host Jim Florentine, as well as a series of very popular prank call CDs, Terrorizing Telemarketers, which gets a lot of airplay on The Howard Stern Show. Don’s proudest moment, though, was winning an Emmy Award for his work on HBO’s Inside The NFL. Once again, Don and his comedy life-partner, Jim Florentine, lent their sick sense of humor—writing, producing and performing sports-themed comedy skits—to the extremely popular football show, and they actually won an award for it.
Back in January of this year, Don Jamieson performed at Bar Anticipation down in Lake Como, NJ, where he filmed and recorded his performance for Metal Blade Records. I’ve seen Don a few times down at Uncle Vinnie’s Comedy Club in Point Pleasant, NJ, where Don befriended me and the guys in my band by making fun of us and then having drinks with us after the show. This new CD really captures the essence of Don’s live performance. Don gave me a call last week to talk about his CD, Don Jamieson: Live And Hilarious. Here’s what we talked about:
Now, Metal Blade Records releasing a Comedy CD? How did this happen?
That’s a good question! I’m the first comedian signed to Metal Blade, which is a killer honor. They’ve been around for 30 years, and I went out on the road opening for one of their bands, Charred Walls Of The Damned, which features drummer extraordinaire Richard Christy and former Judas Priest replacement Tim “Ripper” Owens, and I unveiled my comedy at all of these rock clubs, and it was really killer and it really worked. Then Brian Slagel, the head of Metal Blade came out and saw a couple of the shows, and either he dug what he saw or he drank a little too much red wine one night, and he offered me a record deal. Whichever way it happened, I’m glad to be a part of it. I mean, I’m on the same label as King Diamond and Amon Amarth. So, I’m pumped! This is a great collaboration!
So, you said this was the first comedy CD Metal Blade Records has put out?
Yeah, I mean there are comics who’ve put out CDs through metal labels. Brian Posehn did a record for Relapse Records, and then Roadrunner is putting out the Doug Stanhope CD, and those guys are super funny, and they’re metal guys, but I’m the first one on Metal Blade, and then [Jim] Florentine is right behind me. He’s going to do a record for Metal Blade too! So, we’re going to build a little comedy franchise here in the metal world.
Maybe you can change the name to Comedy Blade! Didn’t you and Florentine already have a record deal for your Terrorizing Telemarketers CD?
Yeah, we also have a record deal with Steve Vai’s record label, Favored Nations, for our Terrorizing Telemarketers CD. That’s another one where we were like, “What? Steve Vai likes our nonsense? He likes our childish buffoonery? The genius upon all geniuses on guitar wants to sign us to his label? He wants to take us to dinner? He’s allowing us, two white trash pieces of junk, in his house? Doesn’t he know who he’s dealing with?” Don’t get me wrong, he’s the nicest guy in the world, and we’re so proud to have a record out on his label too but this one is more personal because it’s my stand-up, and I’ve never done a live stand-up CD before, so it’s my first one. And I always wanted to do it in this way, with a record label tied with my love of metal, and all that stuff and really make it cool. I’m really pumped for this!
What made you choose Bar A in Lake Como to record your first live stand-up CD?
I knew that I wanted to do it in Jersey, and I just thought that I would give it more of a rock and roll vibe. And we’ve done comedy at Bar A before so I knew that it would work in there. So I figured, let me do what I do onstage, and it came out really great, man! I’m really proud of it for my first album. It’s pretty awesome.
You have to love That Metal Show! You get to mix your love of metal with your comedy. How much better can a job get?
You know it! It’s amazing! Just to walk out of the studio and see Bill Ward from Black Sabbath standing in the hallway by himself, and put his hand out and go, “Hey Don, how ya been?” And I’m like, “Hey Don, how ya been? How do you know my name? Why do you know it? You’re Bill Ward, you don’t know who I am. I’m an insignificant piece of Jersey dust!” It’s amazing! With Slash it’s the same thing. These guys are so cool. It’s just great to have them on the show, and we just sit there and BS about music, like when I hang out with you and the guys in your band. We just sit there and we talk about music. We’re all just fans of music. Kirk Hammett was on the first episode of the season, and he’s still a music fan. Musicians are all fans of music and they like to talk about it.
Has your sex life changed since That Metal Show first aired?
(Laughs) Yeah, I don’t have to pay for it anymore! Honestly, I haven’t been able to take advantage because I’ve been going with my girlfriend for a while now and we’re actually about to move in together, but it’s been pretty wild. The fans that usually approach us in public or at shows are usually big fat sweaty white guys, but every once in a while the hot rocker chick will come up and flip you her number, and that’s cool, but it’s really nice to know that people who love hard rock and heavy metal do love the show and that’s the important thing, and not if I get my dick sucked or not.
Do you think that the show helped you land the deal with Metal Blade?
Absolutely! If I wasn’t on the road with one of Brian’s bands from Metal Blade, he probably still would’ve offered me a deal, but of course, the exposure on the show is tremendous. Metal Blade is going to run commercials on the show. They’re sending me out to The Big Four to sell my CD at the Metal Blade booth, to sign autographs. So it all ties in. I mean, no one was offering me record deals when I was doing stand-up at strip clubs in South Jersey. They were offering me lap dances, but not record deals.
After Live And Hilarious is a huge success, what’s next for Don Jamieson?
Well, I appreciate your optimism, and it will be a success, but I have a couple more options with Metal Blade to do two more CDs, and Jim Florentine and I have a new Meet The Creeps DVD out too. That’s our hidden-camera series that people should be looking out for. It’s just another crazy comedy thing that Jim and I have been doing for years along with the Terrorizing Telemarketers CDs. If fans want to get the Don Jamieson experience, like you have, they have to come to the live show. As you know, it’s very unpredictable. It’s very on the edge. It’s not for everybody—there are a lot of sensitive metal fans—but I think that the metal fans are really going to respond for me.
Don Jamieson: Live And Hilarious is available at metalblade.com/donjamieson. You can also catch Don live at Uncle Vinnie’s Comedy Club in Point Pleasant, NJ from May 25 to May 28. You can buy your tickets now at unclevinniescomedyclub.com.