Compiled from over 400 interviews conducted by respected music journalists Jon Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman, Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal (It Books; May 14, 2013; Hardcover; $32.50) is a chronological history of heavy metal, told through the words of the men and women who created it, played it, re-invented it, and continue to rock it.
Revolver senior editor Wiederhorn and Nights with Alice Cooper producer Turman dug deep into their extensive list of contacts to uncover never-before-heard stories, eye-opening admissions and the truth behind metal’s most explosive legends. Candid and confessional commentary comes straight from icons of the genre, including: Ronnie James Dio, Ozzy Osbourne, Bruce Dickinson, Eddie Van Halen, Vince Neil, Tommy Lee, Lita Ford, Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, Axl Rose, Slash, Corey Taylor, Dave Mustaine, Chuck Schuldiner, Lemmy Kilmister, King Diamond, Dave Grohl, Trent Reznor, Slayer’s Kerry King, Phil Anselmo, Rob Zombie and more. With an introduction by Scott Ian of Anthrax and an afterword by Rob Halford of Judas Priest, and with two 16-page photo inserts, with some never-before seen candid shots by celebrated rock photographers Stephanie Cabral and Robert Matheu, this is the book metal fans have been waiting for.
The many musicians interviewed by these veteran journalists offer their take on their influences, touring, the music business, and songwriting, as well as their often-traumatic upbringings, battles with substance abuse, and bizarre sexual exploits. Industry insiders (including managers, record label executives, family members, friends, scenesters, groupies, journalists, and porn stars) provide additional insight.
From the creation of Black Sabbath in the late 1960s, to Judas Priest’s development of the leather-and-studs look, to Metallica introducing the world to thrash, to the inception of Ozzfest, to Faith No More accidentally creating the first hybrid of rap and metal, to the provocative exploits of the Sunset Strip scene, to the death and destruction surrounding Norwegian black metal, Louder Than Hell gets to the meat of the metal matter:
Rob Halford of Judas Priest reveals how he kicked cocaine and alcohol in 1986 after tragically witnessing his boyfriend’s suicide and sought solace in spirituality, which has helped the Metal God stay clean to this day.
Guns N’ Roses' Axl Rose talks about the early days of Guns N’ Roses, the making of the 36-million-copy-selling debut Appetite for Destruction, and how Robert Willams’ graphic cover art was censored.
Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi explains how he lost parts of his fingers while working a day job in a factory – and created homemade prosthetics so he could play guitar, which changed the tonality of the instrument and the sound of heavy metal forever.
Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson shares how he dug through his own vomit in search of the balloon of heroin he’d swallowed to avoid being arrested by the police, and then used that heroin to celebrate his victory over not getting busted.
Members of Metallica and Anthrax detail the horrifying events of 1986 when Metallica’s tour bus crashed and tipped over, crushing bassist Cliff Burton beneath it while the rest of the members escaped relatively unscathed.
Alice Cooper reveals how it was really wheelchair-bound members of his AUDIENCE who tore the live chicken apart during his fateful concert in Toronto, while Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne give first-person accounts of Ozzy biting the head off a dove while wasted during a high-level record company meeting, and decapitating a bat onstage during his Diary of a Madman tour.
Hellhammer, drummer of Norway’s pioneering black metal band Mayhem, talks about ex-vocalist Dead committing suicide and how guitarist Euronymous used a chunk of Dead’s brain to make a Mexican stew.
Biohazard guitarist Billy Graziadei details how gang bangers stabbed a member of the group’s posse with a hunting knife while shouting, “Payback, Motherfucker!” and how the band vowed to retaliate. Vocalist Evan Seinfeld also recounts his graphic sexual liaisons while on tour, and how they led to his career in porn.
Slipknot bassist Paul Gray (who died of an overdose at age 38 during the writing of Louder Than Hell) discusses the evolution of the lineup; physical fights between band members, and his own struggles with addiction.
Louder Than Hell explores the transformation of metal culture, with stories and anecdotes straight from the mouths of the most infamous and successful bands. Filled with hundreds of revealing interviews representing every type and era of heavy metal—from metal progenitors such as Blue Cheer, Led Zeppelin, and the MC5 to current day innovators including Slipknot, Mastodon, and Lamb of God—Louder Than Hell is the ultimate look behind the curtain at one of our most dynamic, controversial and enduring musical genres.