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The definitive oral history of heavy metal, Louder Than Hell by renowned music journalists Jon Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman includes hundreds of interviews with the giants of the movement, conducted over the past 25 years.
Unlike many forms of popular music, metalheads tend to embrace their favorite bands and follow them over decades. Metal is not only a pastime for the true aficionados; it’s a lifestyle and obsession that permeates every aspect of their being. Louder Than Hell is an examination of that cultural phenomenon and the much-maligned genre of music that has stood the test of time.
Louder than Hell features more than 250 interviews with some of the biggest bands in metal, including Black Sabbath, Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Spinal Tap, Pantera, White Zombie, Slipknot, and Twisted Sister; insights from industry insiders, family members, friends, scenesters, groupies, and journalists; and 48 pages of full-color photographs.
During his career, Jourgensen has engaged in all of the rock 'n' roll clich's regarding decadence and debauchery and invented new forms of previously unachieved nihilism. Despite this and his addictions, he created seven seminal albums, including the bonafide, hugely influential classic The Land of Rape and Honey, 1989's The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste, and 1992's blockbuster Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed.
Ministry imparts the epic life of Al Jourgensen, a survivor who tempted fate, beat the odds, persevered, and put the pieces back together after unraveling completely.
Ian tells his life story with a clear-eyed honesty that spares no one, least of all himself, starting with his upbringing as a nerdy Jewish boy in Queens and evolving through his first musical epiphany when he saw KISS live on television and realized what he wanted to do with his life. He chronicles his adolescence growing up in a dysfunctional home where the records blasting on his stereo failed to drown out the sound of his parents shouting at one another. He sets down the details of his fateful escape into the turbulent world of heavy metal. And of course he lays bare the complete history of Anthrax -- from the band's formation to their present-day reinvigoration -- as they wrote and recorded thrash classics like Spreading the Disease, Among the Living, and the top-twenty-charting State of Euphoria.
Along the way, Ian recounts harrowing, hysterical tales from his long tour of duty in the world of hard rock. He witnesses the rise of Metallica, for which he had a front row seat. He parties with the late Dimebag Darrell while touring with Pantera and gets wild with Black Label Society frontman and longtime Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde. He escapes detection while interviewing Ozzy for "The Rock Show" while dressed as Gene Simmons and avoids arrest after getting detained on suspicion of drugs while riding the tube in England with the late Metallica bassist Cliff Burton.
In addition, I'm the Man addresses the trials and tribulations of Ian's life and loves. He admits his foibles and reveals the mistakes made along the way to becoming a fully-functioning adult. He celebrates finally finding peace and a true sense of family with his wife, singer/songwriter Pearl Aday, and examines how his world changed after the birth of their first son.
I'm the Man is a blistering hard rock memoir, one that is astonishing in its candor and deftly told by the man who's kept the institution of Anthrax alive for more than thirty years.
In his song “You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll” Ozzy Osbourne sings, “Rock and roll is my religion and my law.” This is the mantra of the metal legends who populate Raising Hell—artists from Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Slipknot, Slayer, and Lamb of God to Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot, Disturbed, Megadeth, and many more! It’s also the guiding principle for underground voices like Misery Index, Gorgoroth, Municipal Waste, and Throwdown.
Through the decades, the metal scene has been populated by colorful individuals who have thwarted convention and lived by their own rules. For many, vice has been virtue, and the opportunity to record albums and tour has been an invitation to push boundaries and blow the lid off a Pandora’s box of riotous experiences: thievery, vandalism, hedonism, the occult, stage mishaps, mosh pit atrocities, and general insanity.
To the figures in this book, metal is a means of banding together to stick a big middle finger to a society that had already decided they didn’t belong. Whether they were oddballs who didn’t fit in or angry kids from troubled backgrounds, metal gave them a sense of identity.
Drawing from 150-plus first-hand interviews with vocalists, guitarists, bassists, keyboardists, and drummers, music journalist Jon Wiederhorn offers this collection of wild shenanigans from metal’s heaviest and most iconic acts—the parties, the tours, the mosh pits, the rage, the joy, the sex, the drugs . . . the heavy metal life!