Matt Striker Talks About Hulk Hogan & Metallica Rumor, His Relationship With Edge & More
Former WWE talent Matt Striker recently spoke with Journey Of A Frontman. Here are the highlights from the interview:
On if he’ll give more time to his music career now that he’s done with WWE: “Yeah. The thing about music with me though is that I have to be inspired. I need a muse. I have to have a desire to sit down behind a drum kit or pick up the guitar or do anything, as far as making music goes. When inspiration hits, now that I give it more time, of course I would expect it to be something that I could pay a little more time to.”
On the Lemmy documentary and fans of Motorhead in WWE: “No. I’ve seen the Motorhead one, but I haven’t seen the one that was focused on Lemmy himself. My exposure to Motorhead came from my Aunt Sheri. I always dug just how driving they were. And I always chose Motorhead over AC/DC. That was pretty much how that worked for me. Growing up, you either dug Motorhead or you dug AC/DC. But when I got to WWE, it turns out that a few people that I really looked up to were big Motorhead fans. William Regal, Triple H, guys like that. So I got to meet Lemmy once backstage at a WWE event. He and Hunter were just talking in a hallway and all the wrestlers were walking past Lemmy and they had no idea who he was. It broke my damn heart. So I remember interrupting their conversation and I was a little scared that I was gonna offend Hunter, but at the same time, he knew that I was a fan. I said to Lemmy, “Hey man, I just wanna let you know, it’s really f’ing cool to meet you!” And Lemmy chuckled, we shook hands, and I just kept walking. And that was a very cool thing for me. I don’t think anyone else knew who the damn guy was! And they should all be put out to pasture for that.”
On the way Lemmy would be treated by those in WWE: “Then you’d watch everyone go into ass kissing mode because they would want to gain favor with Triple H. They’d say, “Oh man! Great to meet you! I really like uh…Ace of Spades!” They would just throw out whatever commercial Motorhead song they thought they knew. I just thought it was cool that Triple H saw the fanboy in me and almost thought it was cool how sheepishly I approached Lemmy to just shake the guy’s hand. And I mean it’s just so cool. That’s a musical icon. That’s a great treasure of the world, Lemmy should be.”
On musicians he’s met backstage in WWE during the RAW guest host era: “I got to meet the guys from Alter Bridge. They were hanging out with Edge and that was pretty cool. I’ve met George Thorogood through CM Punk. That was really neat. I think there’s a Chicago connection there. Ozzy Osbourne, Zakk Wylde, got to meet them backstage at RAW. I dug that WWE, for a while, was using really cool musical guests, not just for Wrestlemania. So I would really dig when those people would come around because being a musician, I would watch their soundchecks. And I would just watch how they would finger a chord or how a drummer would hit a particular note somewhere. So I always really, really liked that sort of stuff. I also got to chill with Snoop Dogg in his personal dressing room, but I won’t get into much more! (laughs) But wink, wink, wink!”
On his relationship with Adam “Edge” Copeland: “Adam’s got a unique musical taste. As part of our unique friendship, we don’t really talk about wrestling, but we do talk about other things. And music is definitely on that list. He’s a big Pearl Jam guy too. And he’s a big Foo Fighters guy, that’s his band all day every day.”
On wrestlers in WWE who have strong music tastes: “That’s a great question. There’s a lot of guys that I connected with on different levels of music. I remember when I first got to WWE, I wasn’t well-received. I was the new kid in school. And one of our first European tours, we all travel on a bus. Good guys travel on a luxury bus, bad guys travel on a luxury bus. I was on bad guys’ bus. And I remember Chavo Guerrero and Mark Henry were in the back and they had their phones, they were listening to music. They were listening to a lot of good seventies and early eighties disco music and house music. So I opened up a conversation with them about that. So guys like Chavo and Mark Henry were into that style. Teddy Long used to be a DJ on the air and I used to travel with him. Man, we would talk about soul music. I mean just some real good stuff such as Teddy Pendergrass, The Main Ingredient, The Platters. Guys like Big Daddy V would put that stuff on in the locker room and most of the young, white wrestlers would leave! (laughs) It would just be me, Mark Henry, Teddy Long, and Big Daddy V tappin’ our toes to some cool Rare Earth and stuff like that. William Regal is a big Motorhead fan, as well as a big Smiths and Morrissey fan. He and I talked about that a lot. We had a little bit of a side wager, how many different Smiths or Morrissey songs could I work into commentary for a William Regal match? I think I hit about sixteen of them and tried to make them all make sense, while not just saying names of albums or songs.”
“Kane, I know he likes Pink Floyd. Sometimes you’ll hear Delicate Sound of Thunder coming from his private, little locker room. Vince McMahon is a big AC/DC guy, very muchso. CM Punk is very, very into a lot of alternative music, bands like Minor Threat and those other hardcore bands. He doesn’t go far without his headphones on. He really identifies with that culture. I believe he brings Lars from Rancid backstage. He’s a really, really cool, down to earth dude. Christian listens to Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, Justin Bieber, and Celine Dion. That’s the truth. Jericho and I always got along really well and again, it wasn’t about wrestling, it was about music. Jericho is a music trivia machine guy. He’s buddies with Mike Portnoy whose from Long Beach, New York, two towns over from me. He’s buddies with Eddie Trunk, and being a Long Island kid, Eddie Trunk’s voice is a staple. Out here on Long Island rock and roll radio and stuff like that, And Jericho likes Rush a lot. And he’s a big Beatles guy too. And not just I Wanna Hold Your Hand and Here Comes The Sun, side two of Abbey Road and Let It Be and things like that. That’s what Jericho and I really talked about. He’s also a hair metal guy. Saxon and Warrant and bands like that.”
On Chris Jericho’s band “Fozzy”: “I have heard a couple of Fozzy songs. I had just never really gone out and pursued their catalog. I find that a lot of their stuff with Chris’s fronting reminds me of early Maiden or early Judas Priest and stuff like that. I admire Chris for having the courage and the talent to go out there and forge a career outside of wrestling. Chris Jericho’s a talented guy, musically. And also with his podcast and his web show. Pretty much everything Chris Jericho does is successful. That’s a testament to Chris’s talent.”
On cracking Vince McMahon up on commentary: “Oh, of course! It’s funny, when I was on commentary once, I don’t remember how the segue came up, but I started to break into my rendition of Stand Back live on RAW. And Vince came in my ear over the headset and you can just hear him laughing for a good thirty seconds and then said, “Knock that shit off!” (laughs) I would get away with the references no matter what because half the time, no one knew what I was talking about. There’s no way Vince McMahon or the executive producer of the television product in the truck was able to pick up on a reference I made. I used to go out there and make these independent hip hop references. I was very into guys like Slug, whose apart of Atmosphere or Brother Ali. And I would quote lyrics fully on the air on any show and then the feedback on the internet would be great. While Vince is catering to the nine year old kid, he forgets that there’s still a large population of people twelve and up that watch our product as well. You need to engage them as well. I was able to get away with a lot of stuff because I would cleverly veil my references.”
On the Hulk Hogan/Metallica rumor: “I know he used to play bass in a bar as a young man. If that’s the case, then I auditioned for Metallica too. Maybe he did audition for Metallica. But I’m sure Lars would remember Hulk Hogan coming in to play bass. (laughs).”
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