"Headbangers Ball" is back with a vengeance over at MTV2, where host Jose Mangin gives metalheads their weekly dose of heavy riffs and thrashing vocals. And each week we'll dive into the show for some metal immersion therapy and come back to you with the five most face-melting moments for metal purists and noobs alike.
It's the most wonderful time of the year, which means your brain has been invaded by dozens of stale Christmas songs and sleigh bells are jinglin' ring-ting-tinglin' in your ears on a grating endless loop. So let the vicious riffs and growls featured on this week's episode of "Headbangers Ball" cleanse your palate and pulverize any sugar plum fairies dancing around in your head.
1. Mastodon drops some knowledge.
Mastodon drummer Brann Dailor spoke with the Ball a couple hours before their headlining show at New York City's Terminal 5. Proving they are the thinking man's metal band, Dailor gave a history lesson on WWI deaths and the influenza epidemic of the early 1900s, all sparked by a haunting 1917 portrait Dailor purchased in the East Village before the show. History's a lot cooler when taught by metal's reigning neo-classicists.
2. Lumberjack sluts touching wood.
In their video for "Curl of the Burl" off their latest album The Hunter, Mastodon delivers a Paul Bunyan meets bad shroom trip tale that's unsettling and goofy all at the same time. We think it's about a man desperately yearning for a chance to--ya know what, just stick around for the lumberjack sluts at 2:48.
3. What do you get when you mix Henry Rollins with George Carlin and Dave Grohl?
Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour, apparently. While he declared he was nowhere near as cool as any of those guys, Taylor explained that's the best description of his half spoken word/half acoustic tour in support of his New York Times bestseller "Seven Deadly Sins." So for those keeping score, history lessons and book readings are now par for the metal course.
4. Cheerios are part of the Dillinger Escape Plan's rider.
Gotta get your whole grains in! After opening for Mastodon, Jose chatted with the dudes from Dillinger Escape Plan in front of their craft services table, which featured a box of Cheerios. As a side note, we're always captivated to hear metal singers speak. Vocalist Greg Puciato has one of the most intensely vein-popping wails in music, but you'd never guess from hearing him in this interview, which took place AFTER their performance. We're astounded; we'd be mute and spitting up blood for a week.
5. As I Lay Dying celebrates 10 years
And to celebrate the anniversary, one hard-core fan sent frontman Tim Lambesis cupcakes featuring their album covers. Even thrashers like them some red velvet. Lambesis also talked about his side project Austrian Death Machine, the completely hilarious/genius Arnold Schwarzenegger parody metal tribute band. If you don't seek out their videos after that description, you may not have a soul.
Photo: Getty Images