And the 'Bang Plays On
MTV's big-hair-era metalfest has an edgy second life with the revived Headbanger's Ball.
If you, like any good ’80s metalhead, tuned in to MTV’s ”Headbanger’s Ball” (which aired 1987-1995) to see the likes of Guns N’ Roses and Cinderella wreak havoc on the set, then a visit to the greenroom of the network’s reimagined ”HB” would come as a slight shock: Instead of Axl and Co. hurling furniture and destroying backdrops, these days you’d see the tattooed, spiky-haired members of bands like Sick of It All, Poison the Well, and E.Town Concrete quietly lounging on leather couches and nibbling fresh fruit and crudites. And forget the Jack and Stoli…the hardest drink on hand is Diet Pepsi. Ah, we’ve come a long way since Poison’s hair-sprayed manes filled these halls. ”I honestly think it’s better, I really do,” says host (and Hatebreed lead singer) Jamey Jasta of the resurrected ”HB”’s harder-edged lineup. ”It was too much glam metal and not playing enough of the heavier underground stuff.” And the fresh formula seems to be working: ”HB” — which debuted on MTV2 last spring — is one of the highest-rated shows on the net and has already spawned a Top 40 soundtrack album and a current 20-date multi-act tour. But some things, thankfully, never change. ”The older fans that come to our shows look totally the same,” says SOIA’s Lou Koller. ”Long hair, denim jacket, you know.” We’ll raise our lighters to that.