Backstaged: The Devil in Metal

Backstaged: The Devil in Metal

A time machine through the origins of metal music, its connection to darkness and decadence, the lifestyle of many of its followers and how its upped the ante on the phrase "sex, drugs and rock n’ roll." It might be the colossal doom of Black Sabbath, the cutting precision of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden or the graphic lyrics of Slayer, metal is The Devil’s Music. Some fans have fallen under its seductive spell, turning them into rebellious beasts. Bestselling author and music journalist Jon Wiederhorn is your host with insightful and sometimes outrageous interviews with musicians from over 30 years. Take a trip through the tropes of metal and examine — and sometimes celebrate — what makes metal so lasting. Hear from members of Black Sabbath, Metallica, Pantera, Slayer, Anthrax, Motley Crue and many more as we hunt down the devil within and discover why it’s okay, and even necessary, to keep metal alive.

Episodes

November 16, 2021 1 min

Introducing a new podcast from Diversion Podcasts & iHeartRadio. What if we could go back in time, before he became the icon, and ask him: how did you become Kobe Bryant? “I Am Kobe” tells the story of Kobe Bryant’s early life through his coaches, his family, his friends. With never-before-heard intimate tapes of Kobe himself. His thoughts, his dreams, his goals from his teenage years, revealed for the first time. Listen to “I ...

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Ronnie James Dio is metal music royalty. From his early days in New York playing the trumpet and singing in small bands to becoming a metal vocal powerhouse with Rainbow, the resurrected Black Sabbath and his own band, Dio experienced it all, riding the highs and enduring the lows in every band he played in. Then, an unexpected musical reunion with his ex-Black Sabbath band mates Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler brought him the kind of...

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July 15, 2021 57 min

Pointless. Spontaneous. Hazardous. Deadly. That’s what mayhem can be like for some metal musicians. Host Jon Wiederhorn dives into the daredevils of metal music’s outrageous pranks, destructive binges, violent outbursts and near-death experiences. And, sometimes, these antics are so outlandish, they couldn’t be true. From trashed hotel rooms and sunken boats to out-of-control tour buses, find out the truth behind the over-the-top e...

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July 8, 2021 54 min

Ever since Black Sabbath named themselves after a horror movie and started writing dark, foreboding songs that buzzed with menace and defiance, fans and creators of hair-raising films and metal made a run into the darkness. In this episode, we dare to peer into the darkest parts of human nature through the lens of metal music and horror. Alice Cooper explains how he invented horror rock and Rob Zombie and Dee Snider talk about thei...

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July 1, 2021 57 min

The bottle has called to many metal musicians since the genre’s early days. Some artists found it as a way to push the boundaries of excess, and in some cases, numb out physical and psychological pain. The late Eddie Van Halen drank to write and perform. Other artists got caught up in the partying lifestyle. Either way, whether a happy drunk or crappy drunk, going sober for many was an uphill battle. In this episode, hear scary, an...

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Judas Priest’s success skyrocketed in the early 1980’s. Along with their boom in fame, came a decline in Rob Halford’s emotional and physical health. In the second episode of the two episode arc, host Jon Wiederhorn delves into Halford’s inability to be himself in the public eye. Eventually Halford would temporarily split from the band, enabling him to explore his music and come out publicly. Hear members of Judas Priest, At the Ga...

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As one of the most eclectic and popular British metal bands and pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Judas Priest and their vocal powerhouse frontman Rob Halford will forever be one of the greats. In this episode, the first of a two episode arc, host Jon Wiederhorn discusses the beginnings of Judas Priest with a strong focus on Rob Halford. As a closeted gay man in a heterosexual music world, Halford spent a good portio...

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June 10, 2021 48 min

This episode further explores the impact heroin, a drug some called the angel of death, had on some metal musicians in the 80’s, 90’s and beyond. Host Jon Wiederhorn and many of metal’s biggest names share outrageous stories that include Ministry's drug-fueled visit with William S. Burroughs, Jane’s Addiction’s adventure through New York City’s Alphabet City to score dope, and Guns N’ Roses’ failed attempt to smuggle heroin ont...

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June 3, 2021 45 min

In the 80’s and 90’s metal scene, musicians used heroin to push the limits of excess and chase away their demons. The drug took its toll on some of metal’s greatest artists. Many ended up spiraling into the hellish chaos of addiction, some not making it out alive. It was during this period of time that heroin truly became the devil in metal. In this episode, host Jon Wiederhorn interviews members of Alice in Chains, Black Sabbath, ...

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May 27, 2021 57 min

Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll...and girls. All part of metal music’s culture. In the five decades of metal, there have been groupies and partying around the clock. The 1980's saw an avalanche of a culture of partying, sex, and overall debauchery. Host Jon Wiederhorn tells how metal profited off that spirit, creating an aesthetic of peak hedonism within its music. Members of KISS, Van Halen, Def Leppard, Ratt, Skid Row, Biohazard...

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Black Sabbath and lead guitarist Tony Iommi laid the foundation for metal music. In this episode, Tony shares highs and lows of his journey to becoming a metal legend, including the story of an almost career-ending injury that actually added to Sabbath's dark, demonic sound. Members of Black Sabbath, Anthrax, Pantera, Type O Negative and others share tales and take a deep plunge into the cauldron of molten metal.


Black Sabbath’s...

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May 14, 2021 39 min

As metal music continued to grow in popularity, thrash bands turned up the inclusion of Satanic lyrics and sound in their music. Venom and King Diamond were among those to lead the way. Many metal bands became more extreme, musically and lyrically. Host Jon Wiederhorn speaks with Venom vocalist and bassist Cronos, Gary Holt of Exodus and Slayer and King Diamond of Mercyful Fate and many others, as he explores “The Devil in Metal.” ...

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May 14, 2021 36 min

Metal became part of culture and music’s fabric more than fifty years ago. Host Jon Wiederhorn dives into the dark, outrageous and sometimes raw world at what some call “the devil’s music.” Through never-before-heard audio, Wiederhorn takes us on a behind-the-scenes tour of the history of metal music to hear how the devil brings heaviness and intensity to the music. Hear wild conversations with Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, ...

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Hear from the biggest names in metal. “Backstaged: The Devil in Metal” is a time machine through decades of metal that examines the origins of metal music, its connection to darkness and negativity, the lifestyle of many of its followers and how the genre has upped the ante on the phrase sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. Bestselling author and music journalist Jon Wiederhorn is the host of “Backstaged: The Devil in Metal.” Through insig...

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