Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal

by Jon Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman

Published by It Books, June 2013

Louder Than Hell is an unflinching examination of the cultural phenomenon of heavy metal, a much-maligned genre that has not only stood the test of time, but has metamorphosed with each new generation of bands and audiences. Unlike many forms of popular music, whose fans are fickle and transitory, metalheads tend to embrace their favorite bands and follow them over decades. Metal is not only a pastime for these people; it’s a lifestyle and obsession that permeates every aspect of their being.

The book features over 300 interviews conducted by renowned journalists Jon Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman over the past 25 years. It also includes candid and confessional commentary from late icons of the genre, including Pantera and Damageplan guitarist Dimebag Darrell Abbott, who was murdered onstage in 2004 in Columbus, Ohio by a crazed fan; frank admissions from Type ONegative singer Peter Steele, and surprising insights from Ronnie James Dio. In addition, the book features comprehensive interviews with established metal musicians in the genres of classic metal, nu metal, death metal, hair metal, black metal, crossover and morediscussing their often-traumatic upbringings, musical histories, battles with substance abuse, sexual exploits, plus expert analysis of the heavy metal scene from the ‘60s to the present. Industry insiders (managers, record label A&R people, family members, friends, scenesters, groupies, journalists, and porn stars) will provide additional insight.

Louder than Hell does for metal what Please Kill Me did for punk.

About Jon Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman

Jon Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman

Jon Wiederhorn sang before he could speak. When he realized singing and playing guitar wasn't going to pave his way through life, he started writing about music, supporting the axiom, "Those who can rock, those who can't write about those who can rock." He was booted from his high school newspaper for not being a "team player," yet stubbornly persevered, earning a BS in Journalism from Boston University's College of Communications in 1990. He immediately started freelancing for London's "Melody Maker" (for whom he had interned in college),The Boston Phoenix, Tower Pulse, Request and Rip. His first staff job out of school was as the associate editor of Oil Express, a newsletter for the petroleum industry, which he gladly left a year later to work for a community newspaper One night, Nirvana was playing a club show and Wiederhorn was unable to attend because he was covering an environmental meeting about how the ducks that were overtaking the community pond. He was visibly disgruntled and the next day was fired for being "oppressive to work with." He took this as a cue to stop writing about anything he had no interest in. In 1992 he moved to New York and worked for the College Music Journal as their Loud Music Editor. Several years later he was hired as an associate editor at Rolling Stone and wrote numerous news stories, features and reviews including a cover story about Alice In Chains. He later worked as a newswriter for MTV.com, and Executive editor at Guitar Magazine, Guitar.com and MusicPlayer.com. Then he become the writer and editor of MTV's Headbanger's Ball Blog and programmed videos for the show. Shortly after, he hosted the AOL Noisecreep podcast "Creep Show," which featured a panel of industry experts and interviews with numerous musicians. He is currently a senior writer for Iand a regular contributor to Guitar World, eMusic.com and Spin. He has also written for Stuff, Penthouse, Inked, Maxim, Cosmo, Teen People, Amazon.com, VH1.com. In addition, he appears in the films "Metal Machine Music: Nine Inch Nails And The Industrial Uprising," "Tool: The Ultimate Review" and has been featured in severeal episodes of VH1's series "Metal Evolution" and Fuse's "Mad Genius." Wiederhorn's second book, the authorized biography of Al Jourgensen, "Ministry: The Lost Gospel's of Al Jourgensen" comes out in August. Wiederhorn currently lives with his wife and two children in Brooklyn and longs for the day the kids will stop listening to pop music and share a "Slayer moment."


Katherine Turman is a Los Angeles native who started seeing bands at Sunset Strip clubs while still in high school. She currently produces Alice Cooper’s nightly syndicated radio show, Nights with Alice Cooper, produced Rockline, and served as a talent booker/music producer on the Sharon Osbourne Show TV show. She was editor in chief of Larry Flynt’s Rockbeat and Rip magazines for seven years, worked as entertainment editor at TEEN, was editor of the Los Angeles Alternative Press, and has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, SPIN, Billboard, Marie Claire, Guitar World, Metal Hammer, Daily Variety, Village Voice and other outlets. Katherine can be seen in several VH1 “Behind the Music” episodes and appears in the “Nirvana, Live Tonight Sold Out” documentary. At USC’s journalism school, she was the only student covering Twisted Sister and Accept for the Daily Trojan and attending Slayer shows. She currently lives in Brooklyn.