EXCLUSIVE: We Chat To ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin About AC/DC, Iron Maiden And Hanging With Slayer
WWE icon, actor and, most recently, Podcast host, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin is not only a total badass and an absolute legend, but a huge heavy metal fan, too. We thought it was only fair to grab the man himself to chat about, y’know, riffs and stuff…
Hi, Steve! So, this Podcast of yours isn’t just about wrestling, right?
“A lot of the stuff I cover is about wrestling, but as the show continues to grow, I want to talk to a lot of people doing a lot of different things. Obviously, the world I come from is the one I’m very comfortable in! The other week I talked to David Lee Roth and I’m working on getting Sammy Hagar on the show, and I recently sat down with Kerry King from Slayer.”
We heard you’d had Kerry on the show! How the hell did that come about?!
“I met Kerry back in the day during several Ozzfest tours that I was going to. I’m very good friends with Zakk Wylde from Black Label Society – and of course this was back when Zakk was playing with Ozzy. I stumbled into Kerry and Kerry was also a wrestling fan, I was a big fan of Slayer, so I later called him up and we were finally able to co-ordinate. We sat down and talked about music, football, life…my goal in life back in the day was to be a rock ‘n’ roll star!”
No way! Were you ever in a band?
“I have no musical talent! I’ll give you a quick story: back in the day, KISS was one of my favourite bands, and I was sitting in me and my brother’s room. I had my headphones on, and I remember when Ace Frehley sang the track Shock Me [from 1977's Love Gun] and I was singing along, and someone comes along and headslaps me and the headphones fell off. It was my brother Kevin! I said, ‘Dude, what the fuck are you doing?!’ He goes, ‘Man, you sound like shit! Take those headphones and listen to yourself!’ So I did, and I sucked. So that’s when I realised I couldn’t be a singer. But it turned out OK…”
That it did. So who was the first real heavy metal band you got into?
“Man, I was more really into, I hate to call them ‘hair bands’, but Scorpions, Dokken and Ratt. I was a big AC/DC guy, Judas Priest…Iron Maiden are probably one of my favourite bands of all time. Dio was one of my favourites, and all the stuff from Ozzy Osbourne. But I listen to many different things!”
You also once had Disturbed do a cover of your WWE theme. Was that something that you chose or that just came up?
“It came up! [WWE] are always looking to go into the world of music. Motörhead did HHH’s song, The Game, so I think it just brings outside eyeballs in to wrestling. And, from our fans’ standpoint, they have other interests outside of wrestling. They’re music fans as well. It’s a win-win for everybody.”
Why do metal fans have such an affiliation with pro-wrestling?
“I guess it’s because music and simulated violence go well together. Ha ha ha! And I mean that in a positive regard, and probably even moreso back in the day when the product was a little bit more aggressive, the Attitude Era. But, shoot, if you go back into the early 80s, the connection was with [artists like] Cyndi Lauper! Ha ha ha!”
We’d definitely take Disturbed over Cyndi Lauper.
“I remember working with those guys, and they were pretty cocky back then! They were only a few years into being Disturbed, but they all had unique personalities and were very bright individuals. It was fun hanging out with them.”
For more information on The Steve Austin Show, head to http://podcastone.com/Steve-Austin-Show
Interview by Merl