Metal Maniac

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NFL Football and heavy metal music are inherently linked. From the rebellious souls of the sport’s fledgling athletes decades ago, to the rebellious spirits in heavy metal that terrified the general public, hard-hitting sports and music are bound to find each other. Both are beautiful and brutal simultaneously, and both are the extreme of sports […]

NFL Football and heavy metal music are inherently linked. From the rebellious souls of the sport’s fledgling athletes decades ago, to the rebellious spirits in heavy metal that terrified the general public, hard-hitting sports and music are bound to find each other. Both are beautiful and brutal simultaneously, and both are the extreme of sports and music as far as aggression, testosterone and violence. It is these shared aspects that Kyle Turley embraces and excels in. As an offensive tackle for the New Orleans Saints, Kyle Turley’s job is to protect his QB, and clear paths for his RB; he is the Huscarle of the modern era, an armor-clad barbarian that competes in combat, for pride and honor. It’s not coincidence that Kyle Turley is also a fan of heavy metal, for it too is a musical manifestation of all that Kyle stands for – power, aggression and uncompromising beliefs. Those who witnessed Kyle’s attempted beheading and subsequent helmet toss on national television can attest to the man’s emotions – emotions ripe for heavy metal. So as a New Orleans Saints and heavy metal fan I saw fit to try to bring these two worlds together to give the readers of DigitalMetal an exclusive interview with the NFL’s mascot for metal, Mr. Kyle Turley.

First Kyle, can we talk a little about the apparent link between heavy metal music and professional football? It seems to be a match made in heaven.
Well, basically heavy metal especially; it’s fast, it’s aggressive, and just like football it’s a little bit testosterone driven, and it’s definitely a music form where you get just completely cranked up, metal just makes you wanna go out and just cause mayhem. When you go to a concert everyone gets nuts, the pit is nuts and it’s all caused by the music, and that’s like football, especially to me. During to pre game in the locker room, a lot of my teammates are listening to R & B or some crap, but every now and then, I’ll throw in some Slayer and it gets everyone just cranked up and ready to go kill someone (laughs). Well, not kill someone, we don’t want to relate it to that. Metal is just so fast, that when you listen to it you can’t help getting cranked up.

Speaking of getting cranked up, I know as a former football player there is one song that just flips your switch and gets you ready to go to war. (for me it was Dismember’s “Bleed For Me”). What’s that one tune that gets Kyle Turley ready to go?
I have only one CD I listen to before games, and that’s Seasons in the Abyss, by Slayer. I listen to the whole CD before a game; it’s the only CD I take on road trips, and in my locker. I listen to all kinds of metal, Pantera, Down and other stuff, but that one CD, man. I listen to the whole thing before a game, but I time it perfectly to listen to the title track, song number 10, right before I go out. I get completely pumped up. (laughs). One time I had this one fan tell me, “That song isn’t so great”, so I told him, “Go back and listen to it again”, but then said “Y’know? Don’t listen to it again because you obviously didn’t get it the first time”. That song just builds man, it just builds and drives in. Then explodes.

I thought Seasons in the Abyss was Slayer’s last decent CD, what do you think of their newer stuff?
Y’know God Hates Us All wasn’t too bad. But Seasons… is my favorite, and of course Reign in Blood is killer, but Seasons… just does it for me.

So what are you listening to right now?
Well, man, I got a six disc changer so I got bunch of stuff. I got a bunch of stuff guys just give me trying to get me to listen to their band. But of course the new Down CD, “Bustle in your Hedgerow“, is awesome; that CD is killer, and those guys are great musicians. I actually opened up their show at voodoo fest this year; I rode my motorcycle up on stage. They are just a great band; Phil has a great voice that can hit any note. And of course the guys from Crowbar, Eye Hate God, COC; that’s just a group of killer metal musicians.

Speaking of local bands, are you into the NOLA scene – Crowbar, Eye Hate God, etc.?
Hell yeah! I’m friends with a lot of those guys so I dig those bands a lot, I’ve got all those CDs. It all kinda started ‘cos New Orleans has Phil’s House of Shock down here. It’s a horror house thing that Phil does that has been on VH1 and such. I met Phil there, and growing up listening to Pantera it was like a dream come true to meet the guy, and he’s a Saints fan on top of that, he the introduced me to Kirk from Crowbar, Rex, Vinny, Dime Bag Darryl. Crowbar’s last CD was kickass. I actually got to sit in on the recording of that album.

Speaking of Phil. What do you think of his Superjoint Ritual project?
Y’know I like it. It’s a little fast, it’s one of Phil other bands; it’s just one of his other outlets though.

Have you heard any of his extreme bands like Eibon, Necrophagia, or Viking Crown?
No, I’ve not heard any of his crazy stuff. I’ve heard he’s going to Europe to record something with Tony Iommi, which should be cool. Generally though, I don’t go for the real crazy stuff. Superjoint Ritual is about the hardest I’ve heard. Down for me was a perfect album – it’s soulful, and has so many transitions. It’s on fire man, and I think it’s one of the greatest albums ever. It’s better than the first one, but that was done while ago, so it’s like comparing apples and oranges.

I enjoyed the recording process Phil and company used for the new album, just locking themselves in a barn for a month with booze and porn.
Yeah, I actually went out there for some of the recording, it was very cool – those guys are awesome.
What do you think about the horrible trend of nu-metal that has invaded metal? The Korn’s, the Limp Bizkit’s and countless other clones?
I liked Korn back when they started out, I thought they were awesome. They had some great songs that were heavy, but now it seems like they are kinda in it for the money, and letting the business side of things direct the music; that’s at least the impression I get from them. This last album had some decent songs. I not really into the whole metal hip-hop thing, but at the same time when you’ve got talented bands that have been doing it for years. The fact Slayer got beat at the Grammy last year by Tool was a travesty. Tool is a good band, and all but Slayer at least need a lifetime achievement award or something. Instead, all these bands are taking attention away from these real hardworking bands. You got bands like Down and Slayer who are hard at work, and some punk samples their riffs, mixes it with rap and gets millions of dollars while MTV and radio won’t even play a Down video. But I guess if it brings together two genres it’s okay, ‘cos if some kid hears one of those bands and starts to appreciate metal music. For example, Down just played down here in between No Doubt and Sum 41, so if the kids come to hear that crap and end up gaining an appreciation for bands like Down it’s all good.

So what’s the heaviest hardest album you own?
Hmm, like I said I’m not into too much of the really crazy stuff with all the screaming. I have Slipknot, White Zombie’s first album. I’ve heard of some of the other bands like…erm, Nile and Morbid Angel, but maybe Soulfly and Fear Factory might be the hardest stuff I have in my collection. I like a lot of the heavier music, and the beats, but the growling and the screaming don’t do much for me. I’m a vocals guy, I like a lot of soul and vibe in my music.

I understand from a recent Fox Sports piece that you dabble in music yourself a little bit?
Well, some friends and me just kind of fool around and jam. Jerry Fontenot (center for the New Orleans Saints) and some friends just really mess around. I like to play guitar, but I’m playing more drums now as Jerry can only play guitar and someone has to play drums, so I learned how to play drums. We got benefit concert coming up. I like to sing and have some feeling to my voice.

What’s the band called?
Right now we a recalled Southern Kane, it’s me, Jerry, Jimmy and the guitarist is a guy from a local band called Four Mag Nitrous – you should check them out. The bass player is local guy who can play anything.

So is Jerry Fontenot into metal too?
Well, he’s a older guy so he’s not too into the newer stuff, he’s coming up on 36 now so he’s likes a lot of the classic heavy metal, like Iron Maiden and that stuff.

Do you want to get serious with this band and record something or is it solely for fun and love of music?
It’s all for fun, however, we’d love to record. It’s starting to sound good, we might put something down soon. It’s Southern rock kinda like Down and stuff.

I read in a recent Esquire interview that you would consider doing the WWE if that chance presented itself-care to talk little about that possibility?
Quite possibly, If Vince laid out a good deal on the table for me I would do it. I don’t think I could go for the travel schedule though. My body gets pretty beat up playing football, so I don’t think I could do anything regular while playing ball.

What would your intro/theme song be?
Aww, man. I dunno, I’d probably make one up myself. I’d like to come out with a guitar or something, rip out a metal tune and smash the guitar on the other guy’s head or something!

Another interesting thing from that article was the alternate metal/raps days in the weight room-this situation ever some to a head.
No not really, y’know, they don’t want to listen to my stuff, and I don’t want to listen to that crap. But we’re all professionals and we all get along; they let me play it fairly often so I can’t complain. We all respect each other.

You have clothing line ( What’s up with that?
Well, it’s going kinda slow now, we’ve taken a while to get started, but its’ coming along. I had a booth at a local motorcycle rally and we sold a shitload of trenchwarfare stuff, we have mainly t-shirts and hats, long sleeves and stuff. It was my idea to develop a clothes line built around the concept of trenchwarfare. I grew up skateboarding and surfing so I want to give kids some stuff to wear that represents, y’know, going out, playing, battling and stuff.

Let’s talk about some other metal related stuff – your tattoos. When I met you three years ago you had a couple of visible tattoos, and this year you are covered. What are the meanings of all the ink you have? Where did you get them done?
My tattoos represent my life as they do for most people. I majored in art, I majored at SDSU, and I designed all of them myself. I’ve got a tribal, my daughter’s name, and, of course, my U.S. flag I got done right after Sept 11th, so it has a lot of meaning there. I got them done a Freakytiki tattoos here in New Orleans. It’s a gradual process. I got my first behind my parent’s back, a couple in college, then did Aztec tribute piece on my arm, then my name down the back of my arm, then I’ve got little New Orleans piece. It just grows and represents me and my life, man.

Are there many NFL football players into metal?
Y’know, I don’t know if there was I’d probably have met them through the bands. I do my own thing man, other guys are doing their thing, and I’m doing mine. I’ll tell you who is though – Randy Johnson, The Big Unit. He’s way into metal man, his favorite band is Soulfly.

Being a star of sorts-do you get a chance to go to concerts?
That’s the great thing about metal, I can go to a show and be myself. I go to some of these other big concerts with my old lady like Aerosmith or something it’s just like a big show if who’s who and who knows who and shit. Tickets cost 70 bucks or so, but metal shows are just awesome; down to earth, and that fits me. No matter how much money I make, i’ll always go to a metal show when it comes to town. There are some pretty good venues down here like House of Blues and the lakefront arena.

Speaking of concerts at a recent Down show, the screen behind the band showed an image of you and Kirk from Down and Crowbar facing off against each other – any amusing story of how that situation came about?
(laughs). That was just filmed out at the barn where they were recording the new album. They were recording, and the guys did it for fun and wanted to see what a defensive guy is looking at across from me. Kirk’s a bowling ball though, he’s pretty stout.

So how many mind-altering substances were used during that time?
Those guys aren’t as wild as they used to be. They’ve done their share of booze and drugs and had near death experiences and shit, so now they’re just laid back. They don’t go to too many more extremes like when they were younger, they don’t do too much more than most normal folks in America, everyone does shit not everyone wants to admit it.

Kyle, I totally appreciate this chance to shoot the shit with you.
Anytime, I’ll check out the site man. Let me know when this thing is up alright?


  1. Commented by: HellBanger


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