Hello reader! I’m very excited to tell you that this week I got to speak with the legendary Brian Posehn. I grew up seeing him make guest appearances on such sitcoms as Friends, Seinfeld, and Just Shoot Me. Posehn’s career has been non-stop, with credentials that speak for themselves, from his work on Mr. Show and as a voice actor for video games like Halo 2 to his writing for comic books like Deadpool, and of course, his comedy metal album. The hard-working comedian has evolved into public figure representing metalheads, stoners, nerds, and of course, standup comedians. Brian and I talked about all that in anticipation for his string of shows this weekend at Sandman Comedy Club. Here’s our conversation.
Gabe: Thanks for doing this, man. Big fan. Have you ever been to Richmond?
Brian: No. It’s one of those that’s been on a list. There’s not very many cities that I haven’t been to at this point, but that’s one of the ones that I’ve been wanting to check out. I have friends in bands there. I hear things about good food, and I love cities with good food. And that things like the general vibe is something that I would like.
Gabe: It’s all here. Good metal music here. GWAR and Lamb of God are a couple of the big ones from here.
Brian: Those are the main ones I know. And then the guys from Municipal Waste used to be from there. I know they went down to Florida. But it’s just a city I’ve been wanting to get to for a while. It has a good reputation with me.
Gabe: Well, since we’re already talking about it, I know you love metal music, and I believe you have a podcast where you pump metal songs.
Brian: I have one podcast where I play Dungeons and Dragons, called Nerd Poker, and then I have a radio show that’s on, uh I think iHeart Radio bought it, but Gimme Metal was the streaming service that I started on, and I’m 118 episodes in, and it’s crazy. I play two hours of metal every week, and it’s called Grandpa’s Metal Stash.
Gabe: That’s dope. Do you have a preferred era of metal?
Brian: Yeah. So, on the show, the listeners… because I get to talk to them in the chat room, we started calling the late seventies to mid-eighties the hashtag #oldmanshit. I’ll do blocks where I play anything from UFO, to even early Metallica or, you know, first record by Anthrax. And that would be considered ‘old man shit.’ That’s half the show, is me playing the stuff that I grew up with, and then all the other subgenres and eras that I’m familiar with. Nineties a lot, and a lot of stoner metal, and then more modern stuff too. I try to stay on top of it. And then it makes it easy, because a lot of my favorite bands are still putting out records, like Exodus and Testament. I’ve been listening to those bands forever.
Gabe: I feel like there’s a resurgence of metal music with the kids, now that it’s been featured on a popular show. How do you feel about it gaining popularity again? You think it’s cool, or is it like ‘I was there first’?
Brian: I might have been like that when I was young, but now that I’m old, I’m just happy that kids are listening to good stuff and not some of the other shit that’s out there. I’m not a fan of pop music. And I’m not a fan of some of the other things that are out there. So, if some kid’s gonna listen to loud guitars, even if I don’t like the music, it’s a step in the right direction.
Gabe: I’m so glad it’s getting appreciated again.
Brian: My kid is thirteen and he has really good taste. We were just talking about, like, he says most of the kids at school are listening to current music. And I asked him how many kids listen to old music, and he goes, “Oh, a couple of us.” It’s good that some kids are sticking with it.
Gabe: Definitely. So, it’s Halloween season. You’re a horror movie fan, right?
Brian: Yeah. Huge.
Gabe: What are your Halloween movie go-tos?
Brian: Well, the all-time favorite, and it’s in my top five of any kind of movie, is Halloween, the original. That was the one that I was a kid when it came out, and it got me. I was already kind of getting into horror, and seeing some things that I shouldn’t have seen already at that point. But then I heard about Halloween through my church group, of all things. We were going to play mini golf, and an older girl has seen the movie and she was telling her friend the whole movie, and I just stuck by them. They were annoyed at first, but then they realized I was actually into it as much as they were. So, she told me the whole plot before I ever saw the movie.
Gabe: Oh wow. So, you’re like ‘I gotta see this.’
Brian: And that just stuck with me as, like, The Best, you know? And then most of the other stuff I’m into is eighties stuff, but then I also like the Scream movies, and I like a lot of current horror too. Guys like [X director] Ti West.
Gabe: Have you seen any seen some of the movies this year?
Brian: Yeah, I’ve seen X.
Gabe: Loved it.
Brian: Yeah, that was pretty good. I haven’t seen Pearl yet. And there was one that my buddies are [into]… the thing that’s out in the theaters right now, Barbarian. And I really wanna see that, but my wife actually likes horror too. So I’m trying to get it so we can both go.
Gabe: I was looking at what’s out and everything, and it’s cool to actually see a bunch of good movies at the same time.
Brian: Yeah, for sure. Horror seems like it’s in a pretty good place right now.
Gabe: Definitely. I was thinking about something, how these horror films have comedic aspects. A lot of comedy people are involved in horror now. Jordan Peele is putting out his movies, Chris Rock did a Saw movie, and Zach Cregger, who did The Whitest Kids U’ Know, directed Barbarian.
Brian: I’ve got one.
Gabe: You got one?
Brian: I’ve got my own idea, if I ever get to do my own thing. You know, write and direct. And I’ve got a comic book idea that I’m trying to get made, down the road.
Gabe: That’s awesome. You write quite a bit. You just put out a comic book called Halloween Party?
Brian: Yes. Just this week.
Gabe: What can you tell me about that?
Brian: It’s a character that we just did a 4/20 book with last year. Myself, Gerry Duggan, Scott Koblish. When I worked on Deadpool with Gerry, we had several artists, but Scott was one of the ones that we got along with the most. And the fact that he does comedy really well — some of our funnier Deadpool issues, he did the art in. Gerry had this idea, he just came to me and said, ‘We want to do a 4/20 book.’ We didn’t have much time, and we rushed this thing out, and it came out really great. We introduced the world to this character, Scotch McTiernan. The first book was called The Secret History of the War on Weed. And we took some real history but, you know, it’s a comic book. We took a guy like a eighties hero, like a Schwarzenegger mixed with Rambo. Both the big guys, but it could be anybody. And it’s this kid who was in Vietnam when he was eight years old, and he’s a badass. He’s just been killing for his country since he was a baby.
Gabe: [laughs] That’s crazy.
Brian: He gets sent up to kill hippies and stop them from farming weed. And it’s totally satirical and very eighties-friendly. We threw as many references as we could from those kind of movies. [Halloween Party] is more of the same. It’s a big fat book though, like 40 pages. So there’s two big stories in there, and then a wraparound.
Between his podcasts (Nerd Poker/Grandpa’s Metal Stash), putting out his brand-new comic book, Halloween Party, and touring as a standup comedian, Brian Posehn has a full plate. You can catch him at Velocity Comics this Saturday at 1pm for a meet-and-greet, as well as Sandman Comedy Club performing five shows starting Thursday, October 20. Be sure to show up early for food and beverages. Tickets are available at Sandman Comedy Club’s website.