Category: A Conversation With

Shira’s Story Corner: Brooke Josephson Discusses Daughter’s Inspiring Cause

Shira Josephson

There’s an old adage that says the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and in the case of acclaimed singer/songwriter/artist Brooke Josephson, that sentiment couldn’t be more true. Josephson’s creative gene has been passed down to her daughter, Shira, in a uniquely wonderful way.

Shira Josephson, a book lover and Junior Ambassador at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, noticed that many of the hospital’s patients were so ill that they didn’t have access to the hospital’s first-floor story corner. So the resilient eight-year-old did what any forward-thinking artist would do — she created one of her own.

Last summer, Shira and her mother started Shira’s Story Corner, a video series where the young girl reads some of her favorite books that are later shared with patients. Shira’s weekly series was an insant success; bringing comfort and virtual companionship to many of the non-profit hospital’s isolated patients.

The Junior Ambassadors are the hospital’s youth fundraising group, and following a recent trip to New York City where she befriended another girl, Shira wrote and illustrated her own book, “The Girl On The Subway,” to help raise funds for the hospital. To date, Shira has raised more than $13,000 from book sales and other fundraising efforts.

On Saturday, October 6th, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles will hold its annual Junior Ambassador Action Day, where every donation made will be matched dollar for dollar. This year, The Josephson Family and Shira’s Story Corner are the matching donors. In addition to other fundraising activities planned for the day, Shira will be selling copies of “The Girl On The Subway” as well as her brand new book, “The Fickle Cat Called Pickles,” with all proceeds benefiting CHLA.

As for Shira’s mother, Brooke Josephson, the songstress will be back in New York City on September 21st for a performance at Prohibition. The show will be in support of her amazing new EP, “Sexy N’ Domesticated’. She’ll follow it up with a trip to Amsterdam to shoot the video for a remix of her song, “Mr. Fix It”, with DJ Rocky G.

I recently spoke with Brooke Josephson about Shira’s cause and much more in this exclusive new interview.

How did your family become involved with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles?

A few of Shira’s classmates in pre-school had been patients at the hospital and were blown away by the work they had done for them and their families. Then, two weeks before Shira graduated from pre-school, she fell and broke her arm pretty badly. It required her going under anesthesia for surgery and having to wear three different casts. The time she was away from us was very brief but it left such an impact on her. Then she started thinking about her friends who had been born with heart defects and needed to have surgery every few years. That’s when we started donating and getting involved. 

When did Shira’s love of reading originate?

I’ve always loved books. Even when I growing up, I’d always volunteer in our school library re-shelving books while everyone else was at recess. When Shira was a baby, I’d read to her every night. Then, once she started reading on her own, it became a passion for her as well.

How did she become involved the Junior Ambassador program and what inspired Shira’s Story Corner?

When Shira was going into first grade, we started looking into other ways of getting involved instead of just writing a check. That’s when we found out about the Junior Ambassador program, and Shira loved it right away. The program is a mixture of kids from the community as well as current patients. Shira was able to work alongside kids her own age right up to high school seniors. It was during her second training session, when they were doing a tour of the hospital, that they came to the end of the hall, where doors led to floors where the kids were too sick to have visitors.

Afterwards, Shira seemed sad, so I asked her what was wrong. She explained to me that the tour had ended because they couldn’t go past a certain point. Then she lit up and came up with an idea. There was a story corner on the first floor of the hospital; and even though the sick kids couldn’t go there, what if she could make her own story corner and bring it to them? One where she could read books and I could make videos for them to watch. It took off from there! 

What inspired Shira to write her own book, “The Girl On The Subway”?

Part of being a Junior Ambassador is creating your own fundraisers, and it was at one of the brainstorming sessions that Shira decided to make her own book. Part of that came from a story she’d read called “The Chocolate Bar” that a little boy had written for his friend who had a rare disease. They had sold the book to raise money for his friend’s treatment. Since we had recently taken a trip to New York, Shira wanted to write a book about a girl her age she met on the subway. To date, she’s raised more than $13,000 between her book and other fundraising. Even other kids in her elementary school have joined the Junior Ambassador program after seeing the work she’s done. It’s been exciting to watch the ripple effect.

What can you tell me about her new book, “The Fickle Cat Called Pickles?” 

She actually came up with the idea when she was being interviewed about “The Girl On The Subway” for the hospital. She loves to eat pickles and always wanted to have a cat, but because of allergies, we can only have dogs. One of the cool things was when she was drawing the characters. She wanted the middle part of their bodies to be in the shape of a pickle and the cat’s head to have a heart-shaped face.

Let’s talk about this year’s Children’s Hospital of L.A. Junior Ambassador Action Day.

It’s one day set aside where every dollar donated to the hospital is matched. This year on Action Day, Saturday, October 6th, you can purchase copies of Shira’s books, or you can also go to the CHLA website to make a donation.

Is there a message you’d like people to take away from Shira’s work?

I’m blown away by kids and their courage, even with Shira’s book, “The Girl On The Subway”. She literally just met the girl, and when the adults saw how well they were interacting they asked her how long the two of them had been friends. Shira told them, “We just met.” Then everyone started asking each other why we can’t do this as adults. It was humbling and inspiring. We all need the ability to look each other in the eye and make the world a better place.

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Actress Erin Fleming Discusses Her Role in Emotionally Charged New Film, ‘Custody Road’

From the time she learned to walk, Erin Fleming knew performing would be her calling. The beautiful, multi-talented actress, producer and director certainly has a knack for creating emotionally powerful characters. A feat that’s evidenced in her new film, “Custody Road”.

In “Custody Road” Fleming plays the role of Ashley Towne; the ex-wife of a struggling, up and coming comedian named Logan (portrayed by Josh Daugherty). The film centers on the trials and tribulations of the couple as they battle in court for custody of their young son. But when Logan enlists the help of friends and goes to extremes in an attempt to get his own way, the lives of many are forever changed.

Written and directed by John Lacy, the world of “Custody Road” is best described as a hauntingly desperate landscape. A turbulent and authentically relevant story with an amazing ensemble cast and an insatiable “Sleeping With The Enemy” vibe. Fleming’s performance is particularly appealing, as she channels her own personal struggles into creating an emotionally flawed character that resonates with audiences.

I recently spoke with Erin Fleming about her role in “Custody Road” and more in this exclusive new interview.

How did you become involved in “Custody Road”?

My very good friend and co-star, Frank Crim (who plays Otis in the film), called me up one day and told me about a role he thought I’d be perfect for. He wanted to know when I’d be available to meet the director, John Lacy. So, John and I met and history was made. I actually met Josh [Daugherty] on that same day. It was chemistry from the very start.

What was it that attracted you to the project?

The character of Ashley relates to many women who’ve gone through trauma in their lives. She’s someone who’s gone through a difficult lifestyle with her mother and father; surviving an abusive husband, and then having her husband continue to bully her after the divorce. Those kind of things are what a lot of women have to face daily, and most of their stories are never told. I was so happy to see that John was willing to explore such a powerful story. It’s something we really need more of.

As an actress, is there a certain mindset you have to get in to take on such a role?

We all have our own personal traumas we go through, so exploring my own world and the things I’ve had to deal with was a major factor in getting into the character. I also had an abusive boyfriend for years and so, for me, it was instantly personal.

Erin Fleming – Custody Road

How would you describe the story of “Custody Road”?

It’s a story about two broken people really struggling within themselves and over the custody of their son, and the journey of figuring out how to heal.

What else can you tell me about your character, Ashley?

Ashley comes from a really dysfunctional family. One that was always hiding behind the false pretenses of religion. She’s desperately trying to break free of that world and uses her body and herself to find a connection she never had with her personal life. She’s trying to pursue her own salvation like so many humans do in life. But we sometimes hurt each other along the way, when all we’re really trying to do is help ourselves.

Click here to watch the trailer for Custody Road.

What was the filming process like?

It was such a fun journey to meet these people and become a big family. I really enjoy working with directors with a pro attitude and John’s technique is fantastic. Being that he also comes from the acting world made it that much better. The chemistry between Josh and I was spontaneous and wonderful. We really understood each other well. It was fun, and terrifying, to explore the lives we were creating. I’ve also been wanting to work with Frank Crim for years. The entire cast was so talented and the set was really special. It was amazing all around.

Was a career in entertainment something you always knew would be your calling?

I’ve wanted to act ever since my body and brain could communicate with the world. Everything was art to me. My dad is an actor and my mom is a makeup artist. Dancing and acting is what fed my soul. I started acting professionally when I was five with the Seattle Children’s Theatre and then with Seattle Repertory Theatre. From there, I traveled in a show in San Diego when I was seventeen and when I was finished with the show, I moved to L.A.

Do you ever foresee yourself getting on the other side of the camera at some point – either as a writer, producer or director?

I started my own company, Shakespeare In The Sphere, in 2015 with Tony Williams and Don Purnell. We produce film, television pilots and 360 degree educational and behind the scenes entertainment. I also direct many of the projects. The learning curve is interesting to me and fascinating.

Are there any other projects you’re currently working on right now?

Right now, I’m producing a TV pilot that has some seriously amazing talent attached. I’m in the cast as well and it’s very exciting. I have to leave it at that for now but stay tuned!

What are you most looking forward to about this next phase of your career?

I’m looking forward to the next creative journey. I love what I do and am so blessed with my strength and hardworking ability as a woman. “Custody Road” is such an amazing film that really speaks to the human experience. I’m ready for whatever comes next.

‘Custody Road’: Actor Josh Daugherty Discusses New Film, Career

With over twenty years experience as an actor and more than seventy national commercials to his credit, it’s safe to say you’ve probably seen some of Josh Daughtery’s work. His impressive resume includes notable commercial work for Budweiser and Kellogg’s as well also appearances in films like “We Were Soldiers” and “John Carter”, and in television shows like “Supernatural”.

But perhaps no role has given the multi-talented Daugherty the flexibility and creative freedom to dive deep into his craft than in his new film, “Custody Road”.

In “Custody Road”, Daugherty plays the role of Logan, a struggling stand-up comedian who goes to extreme measures to prevent his ex-wife her from winning sole custody of their young son.

Written and directed by John Lacy, the world of “Custody Road” is described as “Desert Gothic Noir”. A hauntingly desperate, violent and at times, tender landscape that audiences are sure to embrace. The film, which also showcases Daugherty’s vocal ability as a singer, in addition to his acting prowess, also stars Erin Fleming, Frank Crim and Andrea Muller.

I recently spoke with Josh Daugherty about “Custody Road,” his career and much more in this exclusive new interview.

How did your involvement in “Custody Road” come about?

The director, John Lacy, and I have been circling each other for the last ten years. He’s an incredibly talented actor with an amazing body of work. We both knew of each other and had shared words, but never really had an opportunity to get to know each other. We eventually became friends during an acting class where he told me about this idea he had brewing. In addition to being an amazingly talented actor, he’s also a phenomenal writer. He showed me some of the pages he’d written and I loved it. I told him I didn’t know where he was going but I wanted to be a part of it.

What was it about the project that appealed to you?

John really had his thumb on this character, Logan, who’s this incredibly flawed guy. A guy who’s a bit of an idealist in a lot of ways. Logan is a stand-up comedian and philosophizer who parses out the bullshit of everyday life. Sometimes, that’s done with philosophy and other times it’s through comedy or music.

How would you describe the story of “Custody Road”?

It’s a tough tale because it’s about male-female relationships and how, in some ways, it seems like they’re doomed from the get go. Men don’t under women; women don’t understand men; and egos, DNA and conditioning can all get in the way. It’s an unromantic look at the male/female condition and asks the question, “Are we really supposed to work out?”

What was the filming process like?

I love shooting independent films because you really get to immerse yourself in the process. It wasn’t a large crew, and we sometimes had to work in extreme conditions, but you really got to see the best in people. It was instant family.

Click here to watch the trailer for “Custody Road”.

What was it like working with John?

It was great. As a team leader, John set a wonderful tone for keeping things light and focused and fun. He’s one of those guys I think of as a close friend. My dad told me years ago that business was relationships, and that is never more true than in creative endeavors. John was very open for me to shape this character. I remember when we started talking about music, he even suggested I play a few songs. He had a great beginning for the project, and for me it was like, “O, Captain! My Captain! Take the lead. I’m in!” [laughs].

You mentioned playing a few songs in “Custody Road”. Was singing always a part of your life?

Oh, yeah. I come from a musical house, so music has always been a huge part of my creativity. I grew up doing musical theater and was even a vocal jazz major in college. The fact that John welcomed that and embraced it for my character and film was a lot of fun.

Was a career in entertainment something you always envisioned for yourself?

From the age of five, I knew this was what I was going to do. I can still remember my first time setting foot on stage doing musicals with my dad. I didn’t notice it at the time, but looking back now I can envision that moment clearly. I walked onstage, turned around and saw an empty house. At that moment, it was almost as if God had tapped me on the shoulder and said, “This is what you’re going to do.”

I have to ask you about your work on the show, “Supernatural”. What was that experience like?

That was really the first dark, evil character I played and it was a terrific experience. It was such a tight cast and crew. They’re a wonderful family, and Jensen [Ackles] and Jared [Padalecki] were such great guys.

Are there any other projects you’re currently working on?

One project I’ve been working on for the past few years is called “Nobody”. It’s a project I created with my partner, Felicia Willson, who’s an Emmy-winning writer. It’s an intense project about sexual trauma. And now with the #MeToo movement, it’s even more current and relevant. People are finally able to talk about their experiences and find healing. The project’s gotten incredible feedback and we’re looking to put together the right team and make it come to fruition.

What excites you the most about this next phase of your career?

With regard to the film, I’m looking forward to seeing all those days of long hours finally pay off. John is a master storyteller and I’m excited to see how he’s put it all together.

Custody Road” is available on iTunes and VOD July 24.

Granny 4 Barrel’s Terry LeRoi discusses new video, ‘She Likes Guns’, Working with Stormy Daniels

Granny 4 Barrel & Stormy Daniels

Known as the matriarch of metal for her neo-Victorian shock rock, Granny 4 Barrel and her band of outlaw renegades represent the rebellious spirit of rock and roll and nonconformity. But when the time came to shoot a video for the band’s latest single, “She Likes Guns”, front man Terry LeRoi (Granny) decided to go one step further by enlisting the help of veteran adult entertainer and director, Stormy Daniels.

The acquisition of Daniels and her creative vision as director takes the groove-laden track, which already features tasty elements of metal, rock and an infectious hybrid of country/bluegrass, to an entirely new level. Together, LeRoi and Daniels have forged metal heaviness into a video of double-entendre sexiness and raw power.

I recently spoke with Terry LeRoi about the new Granny 4 Barrel video, “She Likes Guns”, working with Daniels, songwriting and much more in this new interview.

To those who may not be familiar, how would you describe the music of Granny 4 Barrel?

It’s a musical hybrid. I’ve always loved straight-up metal and when I was growing up my favorite bands were [Judas] Priest, [Iron] Maiden and [Black] Sabbath. But with this band, we started experimenting with bluegrass and classical violin sounds. We now have the best elements of guitar along with the additional sound of a violin. It’s fun playing around with an amalgam. We don’t lose any of the heaviness and it adds more elements to the sound.

Where do you draw inspiration for songwriting?

It can come from anything. It could be a lyrical idea, like a cool title for a song, or it could start out with just a riff. It’s never one particular way and it’s always evolving.

Can you give me the origin of the new single/video, “She Likes Guns”?

That one is an example of writing a song from a title. Originally, the title was “I Like Guns”, because I do [laughs]. But I didn’t like the way it sounded, so I started playing around with pronouns. Then I said wait a second. This is a shock-rock band, and this song sounds way cooler if “she” likes guns. It could be sexy, heavy and have double meaning. I went into the studio with producer, Jeff Tomei (Jerry Cantrell, Matchbox Twenty) who works out of Jesse James Dupree’s studio. Jeff and I, along with two other writers, Johnny Blade and Roman Glick, sat down with my chorus and started playing around with a groove. We found the tempo and I finished up the lyrics.

How did Stormy Daniels get involved in directing the video for “She Likes Guns”?

Once we had a “female perspective/women taking down bad guys” song, I started thinking about what we could do for a video. Jesse is friends with Stormy and suggested her. He told me she directs rock videos, so I called her up. She thought the song was cool and the two of us worked on the treatment for a few weeks and then did the video.

What was it like working with her on the video?

Whenever I work with professionals I always like to see how they handle a big crew and deal with people. It can be challenging when you’re trying to be creative and be the boss and get your artist’s vision across, but she handled it very well. She had everyone’s respect and was making things happen. I was very impressed. 

What are Granny 4 Barrel’s tour plans like for the rest of the summer?

There’s going to be another run of dates in September when we’ll be working the next single. We have a new record that hasn’t been released yet but another single ready to go.

What can you tell me about the next single?

The next single is a song called “Nitro Sexy”. It’s powerful, fast and people love it when we’ve been playing it live. It’s got the best elements of metal and shredding. There’s some screaming high notes and my fiddle player is the featured lead player on it. Stormy and I have already started talking about shooting the video for it in early October.

You mentioned a new Granny 4 Barrel album. What can fans expect from it?

You can expect that hybrid sound along with a diversity of song topics. But make no mistake, you’re going to get that underlying heaviness. It’s classic metal mixed with the wackiness of Granny. Right now, I’m Terry, but when Granny takes over I have to start thinking, “Ok, what would a f#cked up, old woman write about?” [laughs]. What I will say is that Granny thought it would be a great idea to remake a Judas Priest song off British Steel for the new album.

Did you always know that music would be your calling?

Music is first and foremost in my life and doing Granny is so much fun. You’ve got all these crazy characters on stage: The Maestro on fiddle; The Butcher on guitar and The Judge on drums. Then you’ve got Granny, who’s this Normal Bates mom come to life. It’s good fun and kicks you in the ass at the same time.

What excites you the most about this next phase of your career?

I love all parts of being an entertainer and keep that at the forefront of my mind. It’s one thing to be a musician (and I certainly enjoy it), but entertaining and performing is what it’s all about. There’s a real energy the band puts out and receives back from people. But whether its songwriting, performing, touring or creating a video, I enjoy every facet of it.

Interview: Singer-Songwriter Emily Kinney discusses her beautiful new album, ‘Oh, Jonathan’

Photo by Chad Kamenshine

Emily Kinney’s introspective new album, Oh, Jonathan is a bit of a departure from the singer-songwriter’s previous work. It’s a collection of cinematically inspired songs about love, relationships and metaphor.

Produced by friend and collaborator, Ben Greenspan, Kinney’s album is a poetic and visceral stamp of the artist’s thought process and life. Songs like the infectious “Boy Band Hero” draw from the idea of high school daydream, while deeper tracks like “Jonathan,” “Mortal” and “Soda Glass” are as much autobiographical as they are hook-laden. The use of synth elements is also widely prevalent on Oh, Jonathan. Giving the album a mature, cohesive quality.

Widely known for her stint as Beth Greene on AMC’s “The Walking Dead” (where her music and singing were often featured), Kinney has successfully balanced the role of both musician and actor. And with Oh Jonathan, she’s also succeeded in creating an atmospheric and relatable album. Whether it’s that special place in your heart for unrequited love or the feeling of never being exactly sure of what it is you want. Kinney’s music fills that space. Your imagination will fill in the gaps.

AXS recently spoke with Kinney about Oh, Jonathan and more in this exclusive new interview.

AXS: How would you describe Oh, Jonathan in terms of its sound and how it relates to some of your previous work?

Emily Kinney: When I was approaching this project, I wanted to see a little more of an atmospheric and sonic landscape. I wanted it to have a little more air and space. It led me to using more synths and less guitars. I also started experimenting with different producers and eventually found Ben Greenspan. He influenced a lot of the different instrumentation on this album.

AXS: Has your approach to songwriting changed much over the years?

EK: I still write the same way. It usually starts with something I want to say and then figuring out a way to say it in a phrase or little poem. All of these songs relate and chronicle the on and off relationships I’ve had. The other thing I usually do is just play around on the guitar. “Popsicles” is a song where I came up with a simple guitar riff and wrote the poem over that riff. “Mermaid” is that way too. I found a riff and laid the words out over it.

AXS: What inspired the song, “Boy Band Hero”?

EK: I was in a relationship that had ended and came up with the idea of feeling like a lot of it was all made up in my head. I thought about another song on the album, “Jonathan,” where I’m drawing him, tracing his face and making him into someone he might not be. Now that I was so far removed from this relationship, it felt like it was all just a daydream and I had imagined in all. That line, “just a daydream” kept going on in my head. I thought back to high school and when my imagination would just run away with itself. The whole idea of being in class and imagining things is how it all began.

AXS: What can you tell me about the song, “Mortal”?

EK: “Mortal” is one of my favorites. That song reflects on a time when everything was so magical. It was inspired by an evening when there was an eclipse and the moon turned pink and red. I remember we went up on the roof on a building downtown. We had pizza and just sat and watched. All of these songs describe real moments.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Emily Kinney by Clicking Here!

Interview: The Dead Daisies’ Deen Castronovo Discusses New Project with Johnny Gioeli – ‘Set The World On Fire’

Gioeli – Castronovo

Deen Castronovo and Johnny Gioeli first joined forces on Hardline’s 1992 debut album, Double Eclipse. Since then, Gioeli has continued to lead Hardline while Castronovo (who had previously been in the super-group, Bad English), went on to perform with such artists as Ozzy and Revolution Saints as well as completing a seventeen-year stint with classic rock legend, Journey. He’s currently the drummer for another hard rock supergroup – The Dead Daisies.

Twenty-five years later, Deen and John have finally reunited for an impressive Gioeli-Castronovo debut album. The aptly titled, Set The World On Fire.

The strength of the new album stems not only from the melodic, hook-laden songwriting but also from Gioeli’s raw vocal talent and Castronovo’s double-shot combination of driving rhythm and his own high octane vocals. Whether it’s autobiographical songs like “Through” and “Who I Am” or surprises, like the duo’s cover of Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now”, Set The World On Fire is a nod to the past and a look to the future for two of music’s finest artists.

AXS recently spoke with Deen Catronovo about Set The World On Fire; The Dead Daisies; his career and more in this exclusive new interview.

AXS: How did this project with Johnny, Set The World On Fire, come about?

Deen Castronovo: It actually started with Serafino Perugino, the president of Frontiers Records. He called me up one day and said, “You know, Dean. If you could collaborate with any singer, who would it be?” I told him it would have to be Johnny [Gioeli], hands down. I’ve always loved Johnny’s voice and he’s one of the most talented singer/songwriters and frontmen I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with. Johnny and I hadn’t worked together in nineteen years, and he and I together is pure pandemonium. When we first got together it was a blast telling stories about our time together in Hardline and when we were opening for Van Halen. It was like we’d never left. Johnny’s voice hasn’t changed a bit. It sounds just as good, if not better than when we were both in Hardline.

AXS: The album has a cool, melodic rock vibe. Can you speak a little to the songwriting? 

DC: Alessandro Del Vecchio does much of the songwriting. He loves melodic rock. It’s his forte and he knows just what to write. He and I have this telepathic connection. He knows what I want and I know what he’s looking for.

AXS: Is there a song on the album that has special meaning to you?

DC: The first song I really loved was “Who I Am”. It describes a little about where I was in my life three years ago. Through it all, Johnny never left my side. As a friend, he’s had my back and stuck with me. So, that song is really special.

AXS: The song, “Through” also seems very autobiographical.

DC: That one was a Johnny and Allesandro song. It’s another one that talks about Johnny and I and the things we’ve gone through. If you watch the video, there are pictures of us when we were in Hardline.

You can read the rest of my
Interview with Deen Castronovo by Clicking Here!

Interview: Eddie Trunk Discusses New AXS-TV Series, ‘Trunk Fest’

Photo: Stewart Volland/AXS TV

He’s known as the go-to authority for his hard rock and heavy metal expertise, but now radio and television personality Eddie Trunk is hitting the road. Taking viewers on a behind the scenes journey to experience the sights, sounds, stunts and culinary cuisine at some of the country’s legendary music festivals with his brand new AXS-TV series, “Trunk Fest”.

As one of the genres leading proponents as well as an encyclopedia of rock music [Trunk’s famous “Stump The Trunk” segment was a fan favorite on “That Metal Show”], “Trunk Fest” takes Eddie out of his comfort zone and has him doing things he never would do. Whether it’s getting schooled in the ways of motorcycle stunts with daredevil Doug Danger at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally at Buffalo Chip or making jambalaya at the New Orleans Voodoo Fest + Art Experience, “Trunk Fest”  is more than just music. It’s an overall experience.

In addition to interviewing such diverse artists as George Thorogood, Taylor Hawkins [Foo Fighters] and Tom Morello and Chuck D [Prophets of Rage], the series also gives viewers an inside look into what really makes the festivals tick.

Future episodes of “Trunk Fest” include excursions to Kentucky’s Larger Than Life Festival; a jaunt to the California coast for the eclectic KAABOO festival, and a trip to scenic New York for Mountain Jam.

I recently spoke with Eddie Trunk about “Trunk Fest” and more in this exclusive new interview.

How did this new series, “Trunk Fest” come about?

Eddie Trunk: I had done some things with AXS over the last few years. Most recently, I hosted a documentary film series called “Reel To Real”. They came up with the idea of covering music festivals and wanted to know if I’d be interested in hosting. The executive producer, Evan Haiman, is an old friend and the two of us got together over lunch and talked. It was a no brainer and now here we are. What’s cool for me is that the show takes me a little bit out of my wheelhouse. It’s still music related and talking to artists, but it’s also about traveling and the festival experience. It’s taken me to some really cool places and taught me some things along the way as well.

What was the filming process like?

ET: Most of the shows we’ve done have been two day shoots. Normally, I’d come in and shoot all my segments [the interviews, the stand up] over the course of a day and the crew would usually stay on an extra day to shoot B-roll footage. Then it’s all edited up. It’s a great crew and they do a great job. We were in some amazing places shooting outdoors and the show looks incredible.

What was your favorite part about doing the series?

ET: I’ve interviewed artists my entire career in radio and TV and love it, but my favorite part about this series is that it’s not just doing interviews. It’s taking me out of my comfort zone; putting me in different situations and discovering things I normally wouldn’t discover. Like being on a motorcycle; firing guns; being to cities I haven’t been to in a long time and experiencing foods I’d never tried before. For me, it’s about the exploration. We have more festivals in America now than we’ve ever had and it’s cool to get out and explore what’s happening. The experience is the buzz word for this show.

Click here for a preview of the premiere episode of “Trunk Fest”.

You mentioned learning some things while filming this series. What were some of the revelations?

ET: One of the things I was surprised about was an episode we shot in New Orleans for Jazz Fest. It has of all the music genres (pop, hip-hop, rock, classic rock) but the least amount of jazz [laughs]. That was eye-opening. There was another huge festival in San Diego I’d never heard of called KAABOO, which was also really interesting. Then there were moments with Chad Smith from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Taylor Hawkins from Foo Fighters and Tom Morello, who’s a good friend. The whole experience has been phenomenal.

Did you always know you wanted to have a career in entertainment?

ET: The number one thing for me from the time I was in high school was how can I take the music I love and share it with other people? Over the last thirty-five years, I’ve done radio and TV; worked in a record store; did freelance journalism; worked for a record company; managed artists, and have written two books. But it’s never been about trying to promote me or becoming famous. It was always about promoting the bands and helping to push them.

You’ve always had a strong opinion when it comes to The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Has that opinion changed with the recent induction of bands like Deep Purple, KISS and Bon Jovi?

ET: It actually has. I’ve been a vocal opponent of the Hall of Fame but have to give credit where credit is due. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but seeing Alice Cooper, Rush, Bon Jovi and Deep Purple be in there is a positive movement. About four years ago, they [The Rock Hall] made me a voter, and that’s another good sign. Even though I beat the hell of them, instead of holding it against me, they brought me in and let me have a voice.

Are there any other projects you’re currently working on?

ET: Right now, my focus is on getting word out about “Trunk Fest”. Ever since “That Metal Show” ended, I’ve been busy doing radio. I do six live shows a week on Sirius/XM; one daily on a channel called Volume that airs every day from 2-4 p.m. ET and replays at 9-11 p.m. ET. Outside of that, I’m doing a lot of hosting and appearing at festivals. I also just recently got confirmed to go on tour with Deep Purple in November and host their shows in Mexico. After all these years to know artists and have these opportunities is amazing. I’m really lucky.

What excites you the most about the new series, “Trunk Fest”?

ET: A lot of people know me for being a music junkie, but this show has me doing things I normally wouldn’t do. The show is very real and honest. I also don’t go into a situation knowing all the background. I’m learning right along with the audience as we go. The other thing is that any festival I would normally go to would be more hard rock-based, but I went to one in Mexico for Zac Brown and others that focused more on EDM and pop. Even though that music might not be my favorite stuff it’s been really educational and I’ve learned a lot. I think the audience will as well.

Trunk Fest premieres Sunday, July 1st at 9:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. PT on AXS-TV