Metalheads tend to take themselves and their music of choice very seriously. Brian Posehn does not. Considering he's a comedian by trade, that's probably not so surprising. What's more surprising is that he managed to rope in a veritable all-star metal militia for his recently released album of music and comedy, Grandpa Metal: Slipknot's Corey Taylor, Anthrax's Scott Ian, Soundgarden's Kim Thayil, Testament's Chuck Billy and Amon Amarth's Johan Hegg, to drop just a few names. More comedically inclined guests also pop up. Weird Al. Metalocalypse's Brendon Small. Steel Panther's Michael Starr.
Inspired by S.O.D., Scatterbrain, and Cheech and Chong, the 14-track Grandpa Metal is full of songs that are supposed to be funny — and deliver on that intention in spades. But as any honest headbanger will admit, heavy metal at large is packed with cuts that are totally hilarious but unintentionally so. With that in mind, we hit up Posehn to get his top 10 picks from among those songs. Read on and prepare to laugh or cry or maybe both at the same time.
The lyrics are really silly ... Even as a teenager, I remember that it was the first Priest song that kind of lost me, where I was, "Whoa ... what now? What are they doing?" It didn't sound like the other Priest songs, it wasn't as heavy, and then that kind of ZZ Top Eighties production that everybody had. And then the lyrics just threw me ... Let's see ... "We hold each other closer as we shift to overdrive ..." So it's about robotic lovemaking? This is confusing ... It might be from the POV of a fancy high-end Eighties vibrator, I'm not sure.
When I was a teenager hearing the song in my tiny bedroom, I thought it was pretty cool. It has not aged well. Silly, over-dramatic lyrics about a dude beaten up and left for the dead, down by the ocean, like Redondo Beach ... the gods send a ship for him, or something? I don't know ... and then Orson Welles comes in and it's supposed to lend it some legitimacy. It didn't. It just makes it weird. Then it gets heavier and rapey and all revengy. And hilarious.
It feels like a cheesy, Eighties soundtrack song because it is a cheesy, Eighties soundtrack song. It was such a cash-grab at the time, it just felt like ... I was a huge Dokken fan and I liked Freddy Krueger, and still somehow, the song was not for me. It opens spooky, Don Dokken screeching "Dream Warriors," it's hard to take it seriously. And then George Lynch shows up with a skeleton guitar and it's not scary at all.
I have not heard this but I am sure it is hilarious.
The lyrics are silly, the horns are stupid, the production is so big and dumb. The upside: If you watch the video like I did, the Eighties girls will make your pants feel weird.
I picked "Freight Train" but I could have picked Out-Fucking-Rageous or really anything else they ever recorded, because every song they recorded, they meant to be super serious and over-the-top metal. And it was funny when it came out. It's even funnier now.
Man, I don't know what they were thinking when this came out, I still don't. The title, the lyrics, the song, the video. They should have called this song "Oops." It is such a massive misfire. And you'll laugh, especially if you laugh at cats falling off furniture and Parkour fails.
Of course, Limp Bizkit. One of their lyrics, if you can call them that, things that the guy yelled, things that that guy with the red hat yelled ... "I know why you want to hate me, 'cause hate is all the world has ever seen lately." Nope, that's not it. I hate you for my own reasons.
Yep, Manowar made it twice. That's pretty awesome, good job, Manowar. You're trying to be serious and it winds up being funny instead. Dumb lyrics, you say? Oh yeah, fuck yeah. "I need metal in my life, like an eagle needs to fly." All right ... "I walked inside so I could hear, and the guy beside me gave me a beer." BOOOOOOOO. They were the worst lyrics I've ever heard. "There's a battle for true metal, they're marching on me and you!" No, they're not really — no one outside of metal really cares what's going on in metal. We don't even get to go to the Grammys, they do it in the parking lot in the afternoon. No one cares about true metal, Manowar. Quit yelling 'get off my lawn, Grandpa Metal!
Whenever you have a band where English isn't their first language, you can get weird songs. Accept ... Man, I don't know, I remember hearing this right out of high school, I'm a young kid, in my brand new leather jacket, loving Accept, I loved "Fast as a Shark," I'm driving my VW Bug around Sacramento, rockin' out to "London Leather Boys" and then singing it out loud and going, "Wait ... what? What's going on with the London Leather Boys? Hey Udo, weird old German guy that looks like Patton Oswalt, I'm not sure this "London Leather Boys" imagery is as cool as you think it is.