When you think of the No. 1 metal comedy dad, one name usually comes to mind: Jimmy "James" Hetfield. But comedian Brian Posehn comes in at a close second. We first came to know Brian from the HBO cult sketch comedy Mr. Show. He has since blown the fuck up, appearing in things like The Sarah Silverman Program and The Comedians Of Comedy, writing for Marvel Comics and directing and appearing in videos for bands like Red Fang and Steel Panther. We caught up with BriPo, a native of NorCal and father of a 4-year-old son, to talk metal and ask him some fatherly advice in anticipation of his stand-up appearances at Cobb's Comedy Club, April 11-14.
You grew up in the Bay Area?
I grew up Sonoma. Once I could drive, I spent all my time in the city going to metal shows. I missed the first couple of Metallica shows because I was lame. By the time I got into them they were playing places like the Kabuki. I was way into the second wave of thrash, though. Bands like Exodus, Violence, Death Angel, Testament, Forbidden. I was at all those shows. We were going to shows at places like The Mabuhay Gardens and Rock on Broadway.
So thrash was your thing?
Well I started liking all the classic stuff, like Scorps, UFO, and Priest. I was a huge Maiden fan, but once I got into that NWOBHM stuff I just wanted things faster and more aggressive, and started discovering bands like Angel Witch. That's the sound we all wanted. I was really into Accept and Riot and I also discovered Yngwie around that time.
There was faster stuff around that time though...
It's funny. I was such a weird kid. The really hardcore stuff like Venom -- I was totally aware of them and I listened to some of it -- but they actually frightened me. I also thought the production was bad compared to the slick bands I liked.
You're a dad now, and you're still living the lifestyle of a touring comedian. Do you see yourself doing this for a long time?
Yeah I hope I'm like (UFO's) Michael Schenker, where I'm just out performing forever. How is that guy still walking? How does he do anything?
Brian, a bunch of metal dads wrote in asking for some advice. Are you down to dish out some Dear Abby shit?
Let's do it.
Brian -- how do you explain your gory metal T-shirts to your kids? I have a certain Cattle Decapitation shirt and my kid asked me, "Why are they
attacking that man?" - Dave B., Simi Valley
My kid got it at an early age. In my office there's the original Jaws and Friday the 13th posters he was exposed to since birth. Also, I never really tell them what's happening in the pictures. I have a Phantasm shirt and my kid asked, "Why is the boy on the silver ball?" and I just say, "He's flying!" So my advice is to start them early and lie.
Hi Brian, I'm a stoner that has never quit smoking pot since I started
when I was 13. Now I'm 35 and have a 2-year-old son. I still smoke but I
find myself sneaking off in dark corners of the garage after my kid is
sleeping to get high. Should I be ashamed of myself? - Peter L., Bayview
No! As long as you don't do any of those things that people that don't do drugs think you would do, like put him in the microwave -- DON'T DO ANY OF THAT STUFF -- you'll be okay!
Brian -- I bought a Scion to drive my kids to school because the Melvins did a commercial for them. Am I sell-out? - Keith V., Daly City
No way. I ran to Carl's Jr. immediately after I heard a Death Angel song in one of their commercials. It's weird, but Scion is kind of cool. I couldn't drive one because I'd look like one of those McDonald's Happy Meal toys with giant heads sticking out the window. I drive one of those douchey hybrid SUVs now. It's pretty funny when I get spotted cranking metal super loud and someone spots me headbanging with the child seat in back. I look like a clown.
Hi Brian -- longtime fan -- do you think it's appropriate to teach my children about the great band Manowar or are they too dated? - Gary H., The Tenderloin
Just school them on everything! My kid is learning the basics right now. A lot of Sabbath and Dio just to get him ready. I'm starting to sneak things in here and there. He will get the compelte history of metal including a whole day devoted to learning about Yngwie Malmsteen.
Hi Brian -- I'm an old out of touch dork and still listen to the same
albums I did in 1987. What new bands should I check out? - Eric T, Alameda
Brian Posehn performs at Cobb's Comedy Club April 11-14.