Headbangers’ Brawl is a weekly column where Metal Insider’s Bram and Zach take a moment to debate and analyze two opposing sides of a topical issue occurring in the world of metal and/or the music industry.
When talking to Bram back in August, Dave Brockie (aka Oderus Urungus) revealed that they were trying to invade late night TV in some fashion. Well it looks like the mutants in GWAR are one step away from late night domination. GWAR will be performing on NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon on October 28! The band is set to perform the song “Zombie’s March!,” which is the first single off of their new album Bloody Pit Of Horror, out on November 9 via Metal Blade Records. This marks GWAR’s first performance on late-night network television. Though they’re no strangers to TV, as Oderus has just made his 13th appearance on Fox News’ Red Eye talk show, this is still a big deal for them. It also seem fitting that they’re first network performance will be on Jimmy Fallon’s show. Since its start in 2009, the former SNL cast member has featured performances from bands like Mastodon, Shadows Fall, Megadeth and Slayer.
With the excitement of possibly seeing GWAR spew semen all over The Roots, Bram and Zach got to thinking and decided to use this week’s Headbangers’ Brawl to debate over the most awesome metal band appearance on TV.
Zach: I have to go with the appearance than in a way made me a music fan. And that is Alice Cooper on The Muppet Show (way back in 1978). Yes, I wasn’t actually born when it first came out, but the beauty of reruns made it possible for me to see this. It was my first exposure to the hard rock world. I just remember sitting in front of the screen and watching this scrawny guy in monster make up run around and scaring the crap out of Kermit. To me, this was awesome! So awesome, in fact, that it made me want to see Cooper live in concert at the age of 6 (my first concert).
Bram: That’s awesome, because I actually remember that as well. My parents shielded me from music they didn’t like and a lot of TV, but of course the lovable Muppets weren’t off limits. I remember being freaked out by Alice on The Muppet Show too. One other childhood memory of seeing a metal band where they weren’t necessarily supposed to be was in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, at the end of the movie when Pee Wee rides his bike through a Twisted Sister video shoot for “Burn In Hell.” My fragile little mind was blown! I love the way that GWAR is slowly moving earlier, in that Oderus is usually on at Fox’s Red Eye at god knows what time in the morning (I’ve never seen it, because, well, fuck Fox News). As far as late night TV show appearances, do you have a favorite or one that stands out in your mind?
Z: I remember that in Pee Wee’ Big Adventure as well!! I loved the fact that they actually used “Burn In Hell” instead of one of the poppier hits. Another show that tends to have great musical moments is Saturday Night Live. Usually it’s poppier or hip hop acts, but once in a while they’ll get some cool ones. Metallica (I believe in 1997, Nathan Lane definitely hosted though) and System Of A Down’s (in 2005) performances stand out to me. Plus, Dave Grohl’s cameo in the hardcore wedding skit last season was hysterical!
A late night TV show that stands out for me is Shadows Fall on Jimmy Fallon. I know it’s kind of recent, but I felt it was so cool to see a new (well ok, newer) metal band get exposure on TV, especially a band like Shadows Fall who have been way overdue for more exposure. To be honest though, there are so many other cool performances from Conan’s show that I’m sure I’m forgetting. But if you asked me now, Shadows Fall’s appearance stands out. How about you?
B: Shadows Fall was great on Fallon, but when I think of memorable metal bands on late night TV shows, two things come to mind. Slipknot performing on Late Night With Conan O’Brien. Even though they were a platinum band, I still think it was a huge leap for middle America to see nine dudes in masks playing heavy shit on TV. Plus, it apparently helped Max Weinberg get into metal! Similarly, when Conan had The Dillinger Escape Plan on to play “Black Bubblegum,” that seemed like a pretty big move for a band that most people probably hadn’t heard of.
So what are some of your favorite metal moments on TV and in movies?