VH1 Classic's 'That Metal Show' kicks off its eighth season on Saturday night (Aug. 20). What started out as an idea for co-host Eddie Trunk has blossomed into an untouchable metal brand and evolved with a traditional talk show format, foregoing goofy, off-set antics in favor of good old-fashioned panelists and debates. The formula works and while they are not tweaking for Season 8, there are some subtle changes in terms of guests.

One reason for the success of 'TMS' is the passion, the knowledge and the back-and-forth between Trunk and his co-hosts, comedians Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson, who were 'Howard Stern Show' regulars. The trio's chemistry draws viewers in and holds them there. "We're friends and huge fans of the music," Trunk told Loudwire in an exclusive interview. "We're slightly different in the things we like, but the core is that we're all on the same page. I knew that going in, from when they came and sat in on my radio show with me."

It's ironic that Trunk, Florentine and Jamieson all grew up outside of NYC, loving the same bands and music, but never crossed paths until a decade ago. Some things are just meant to be.

This season's guest list is kicked up a notch, with the likes of Lars Ulrich, Tony Iommi and Corey Taylor stopping by. However, the most poignant guest is the now-late Jani Lane, whose episode has been pushed up due to his tragic passing last week. "It was his final major TV interview," Trunk admitted. "We had talked about him a lot of times, about having him as a guest." Again, with 'TMS,' some things are just serendipitous.

Getting Lars Ulrich was also a huge coup and a nice follow up to last season's "big get" guest, Kirk Hammett. Turns out, the Metallica duo have a bit of a friendly "rivalry" with one another, when it comes to TV shows. "It's no coincidence that we have Lars after Kirk," Trunk acknowledged.

Besides being a fountain of all metal knowledge, which you can witness via his "Stump the Trump' segment, Trunk is tasked with leveraging the relationships he has cultivated as a New York radio personality to help bring in big guests. He said, "I got Kirk by speaking to him directly and got him on the hook to do it because I had Uli John Roth on the episode, and he is a big fan, so that a was a big carrot for him. When I went to the Big Four, Lars came up to me and asked, 'How did you get Kirk to do a TV show? Now I gotta do it.' I was like, 'We've been asking you.' One thing lead to another. That's how it all worked out."

While many 'TMS' fans clamor for some of the newer metal bands to appear on the show, Trunk broke down some of the criteria for their bookings, saying, "There are a zillion bands we love but don't get to talk about. This season, we have Corey Taylor on. Even though Slipknot have been around 10-12 years, the network and the channel is built on the MTV era of hard rock and metal, so that's who we have on the show." Since MTV barely and rarely televises metal in the waking hours anymore, 'TMS' harkens back to an era when metal dominated the network.

"We realize there are a zillion styles and genres and artists we don't deal with, but that is by design," Trunk admitted. "That's not what the channel goes for, but we like other things, as time moves forward and the show evolves, we bring in other elements when it makes sense and having Corey as a lead guest, we got to pair him with Night Ranger. It's hysterical. Corey loves them and had a blast talking to them. We love breaking down those walls and pre-conceived ideas. It's such a great episode."

Loudwire will recap each week's episode, so check back regularly for all your 'TMS' happenings.

That Metal Show Season 8 Episode Guide (performers listed in parentheses):

8/20: Tony Iommi (Phil Collen, guitar)
8/27: Michael Sweet, Jani Lane, Taime Downe (Phil Collen) - moved up from Oct. 1
9/3: Tom Morello & Dug Pinnick (Tony Macalpine, guitar)
9/10: Corey Taylor & Jack Blades, Brad Gillis (Billy Sheehan, bass)
9/17: Charlie Benante, Scott Ian & Snake Sabo (Vinnie Moore, guitar)
9/24: Sammy Hagar (Alex Skolnick, guitar)
10/1: TBD*
10/8: Mike Portnoy & John Sykes (Tony Macalpine)
10/15: Rick Nielsen & Graham Bonnet (Vinnie Moore)
10/22: Lars Ulrich (Alex Skolnick)

*Likely to be replaced with the original 8/27 episode: Stephen Pearcy & Tim Ripper Owens (Billy Sheehan)

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