"Essential." —REVOLVER (4/4 stars review!)
"An indispensable oral history of an often misunderstood musical genre."
—KIRKUS REVIEWS (a starred review!)
"I'm not saying this just because I'm in the book, but . . . if you love metal, great stories, and music history told by the people who made it, then Louder than Hell is a must-read."
"…the authors' inclusiveness give this examination a weight that is just as heavy as the music."
"This is the best oral history I've read since Please Kill Me. Louder than Hell is the first book that really delivers the brutal truth from the mouths of the artists and key players themselves!
I couldn't put it down." —Matt Pinfield
Compiled from over 400 interviews conducted by respected music journalists Jon Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman, LOUDER THAN HELL: The Definitive Oral History of Metal (It Books; May 14, 2013; Hardcover; $32.50) is a chronological history of heavy metal, told through the words of the men and women who created it, played it, re-invented it, and continue to rock it.
Revolver senior editor Wiederhorn and Nights with Alice Cooper producer Turman dug deep into their extensive list of contacts to uncover never-before-heard stories, eye-opening admissions and the truth behind metal's most explosive legends. Candid and confessional commentary comes straight from icons of the genre, including: Ronnie James Dio, Ozzy Osbourne, Bruce Dickinson, Eddie Van Halen, Vince Neil, Tommy Lee, Lita Ford, Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, Axl Rose, Slash, Corey Taylor, Dave Mustaine, Chuck Schuldiner, Lemmy Kilmister, King Diamond, Dave Grohl, Trent Reznor, Slayer's Kerry King, Phil Anselmo, Rob Zombie and more. With an introduction by Scott Ian of Anthrax and an afterword by Rob Halford of Judas Priest, and with two 16-page photo inserts, with some never-before seen candid shots by celebrated rock photographers Stephanie Cabral and Robert Matheu, this is the book metal fans have been waiting for.
The many musicians interviewed by these veteran journalists offer their take on their influences, touring, the music business, and songwriting, as well as their often-traumatic upbringings, battles with substance abuse, and bizarre sexual exploits. Industry insiders (including managers, record label executives, family members, friends, scenesters, groupies, journalists, and porn stars) provide additional insight.
From the creation of Black Sabbath in the late 1960s, to Judas Priest's development of the leather-and-studs look, to Metallica introducing the world to thrash, to the inception of Ozzfest, to Faith No More accidentally creating the first hybrid of rap and metal, to the provocative exploits of the Sunset Strip scene, to the death and destruction surrounding Norwegian black metal, LOUDER THAN HELL gets to the meat of the metal matter:
- Rob Halford of Judas Priest reveals how he kicked cocaine and alcohol in 1986 after tragically witnessing his boyfriend's suicide and sought solace in spirituality, which has helped the Metal God stay clean to this day.
- Guns N' Roses' Axl Rose talks about the early days of Guns N' Roses, the making of the 36-million-copy-selling debut Appetite for Destruction, and how Robert Willams' graphic cover art was censored.
- Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi explains how he lost parts of his fingers while working a day job in a factory – and created homemade prosthetics so he could play guitar, which changed the tonality of the instrument and the sound of heavy metal forever.
- Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson shares how he dug through his own vomit in search of the balloon of heroin he'd swallowed to avoid being arrested by the police, and then used that heroin to celebrate his victory over not getting busted.
- Members of Metallica and Anthrax detail the horrifying events of 1986 when Metallica's tour bus crashed and tipped over, crushing bassist Cliff Burton beneath it while the rest of the members escaped relatively unscathed.
- Alice Cooper reveals how it was really wheelchair-bound members of his AUDIENCE who tore the live chicken apart during his fateful concert in Toronto, while Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne give first-person accounts of Ozzy biting the head off a dove while wasted during a high-level record company meeting, and decapitating a bat onstage during his Diary of a Madman tour.
- Hellhammer, drummer of Norway's pioneering black metal band Mayhem, talks about ex-vocalist Dead committing suicide and how guitarist Euronymous used a chunk of Dead's brain to make a Mexican stew.
- Biohazard guitarist Billy Graziadei details how gang bangers stabbed a member of the group's posse with a hunting knife while shouting, "Payback, Motherfucker!" and how the band vowed to retaliate. Vocalist Evan Seinfeld also recounts his graphic sexual liaisons while on tour, and how they led to his career in porn.
- Slipknot bassist Paul Gray (who died of an overdose at age 38 during the writing of LOUDER THAN HELL) discusses the evolution of the lineup; physical fights between band members, and his own struggles with addiction.
LOUDER THAN HELL explores the transformation of metal culture, with stories and anecdotes straight from the mouths of the most infamous and successful bands. Filled with hundreds of revealing interviews representing every type and era of heavy metal—from metal progenitors such as Blue Cheer, Led Zeppelin, and the MC5 to current day innovators including Slipknot, Mastodon, and Lamb of God—LOUDER THAN HELL is the ultimate look behind the curtain at one of our most dynamic, controversial and enduring musical genres.
To learn more about LOUDER THAN HELL, please visit these official locations:
About the Authors:
Jon Wiederhorn is a senior writer for Revolver who also writes for Guitar World, Yahoo.com, eMusic.com and Noisey.Vice.com. His second book, the authorized biography of Ministry's Al Jourgensen, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen, is scheduled for release in August. His work has also appeared in Rolling Stone, SPIN, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, Loudwire.com, AOL Noisecreep, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, RIP, Alternative Press and Cosmopolitan. Jon currently lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, down the street from legendary '80s/'90s metal club L'Amour. His greatest accomplishment is teaching his two pre-teens to flash the devil horns long before they discovered Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber.
Katherine Turman is the producer for Alice Cooper's nightly syndicated radio show, Nights with Alice Cooper. A former editor of RIP magazine and producer at TV's The Sharon Osbourne Show as well as radio's Rockline, her writing has been in major publications including Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, SPIN, Billboard, Marie Claire, Guitar World, Metal Hammer, Village Voice and Daily Variety. A Los Angeles native, she now lives in Brooklyn.
Advance Praise for LOUDER THAN HELL:
"Louder Than Hell comes straight from the twisted minds of rock icons and flows seamlessly through various eras of heavy metal. You hear from the guys that were there on the stage, in the pit, puking in the gutter. It brought back memories, and I even learned a few things I never knew. I really dig this book." —Riki Rachtman, DJ, VJ
"Books on the history of even something as cool as metal can be a bit antiseptic and boring—not this one. It's the story straight from the horse's mouth. Even better is when the horses have experimented with drugs and black out occasionally. . ." —Brendon Small, creator of Dethklok and Metalocalypse
"Who likes rock n roll here?? Well if you do, this is the book for you! Every rock has been overturned, every band has been analyzed, quoted, and lionized and every page offers a new fact or figure that you probably didn't know. This is the definitive chronicle of all that is heavy metal and I've read them all!" —Chris Jericho, Fozzy
"Katherine Turman and Jon Wiederhorn know metal. Louder than Hell is an amazing gathering of different breeds of heavy metal rockers telling the tales metal fans want to hear."
—Tom Morello, Rage Against the Machine
"This is the book every metal fan should own. A fascinating high-octane chronicle of metal mayhem that takes readers on a wild ride, from metal's earliest days to the head-banging present. I'm not saying this just because I'm in the book, but . . . if you love metal, great stories, and music history told by the people who made it, then Louder than Hell is a must-read."
"Louder than Hell is a love letter to the misunderstood genre of heavy metal music, written by trusted companions who had a front row seat on the devil's rollercoaster. The definitive chronological testimony by the people who were there, including some who are no longer with us." —Mark McGrath, Sugar Ray and co-host Extra
"An amazingly comprehensive book on all eras and genres of hard rock and heavy metal. The stories and attention to detail make it an instant must for anyone who ever was or is a fan."
—Eddie Trunk, DJ and host of "That Metal Show" on VH1 Classic