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Standup comedian talks about his past, present, future

SANTA ANA PUEBLO — Standup comedian Brian Posehn is no stranger to the Land of Enchantment.

In fact, Posehn, pronounced “Poe-sane,” has shot several movies in New Mexico and is good friends with “Better Call Saul” star Bob Odenkirk, who worked with him on the sketch comedy series “Mr. Show” on HBO.

A self-proclaimed metal head and Star Wars enthusiast, Posehn drew much of his earlier standup material from his life as a proud nerd. Now with many years of performing live under his belt and a Christmas list of TV and movie spots, Posehn said in a phone interview that his new material is more on the political side.

The Rio Rancho Observer took some time to ask Posehn, who is scheduled to perform at The Stage at Santa Ana Star Casino on Aug. 10, what it’s like to always be on the move, career-wise, and have a family at home.

Have you been to any of the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge theme parks yet?

No, I haven’t been to the one in Florida or in California yet. I’m waiting until the fall. My wife and I go to Disneyland a lot, but we never go in the summer. I mean I’m super excited about it, but the lines, because it’s a new attraction, I know will be brutal. As a grown-up, you feel like you’ll never see (the Millennium Falcon) and it looks like people are having a religious experience in the videos I’ve seen of the place.

Do you get the jitters before going on?

I do get a little nervous before shows, but when there’s a new element involved, like if I’ve never been to a certain place, or if I’m recording it, that’s where I feel a little more nerves. I think (heavy metal musician) Alice Cooper had a quote about how you don’t get paid to be on stage — you get paid for the other 23 hours.

For me, being on stage is the fun part, but being in a hotel in Grand Rapids for three days is not the fun part. Another part that sucks is getting on a plane at 4 a.m. in the morning and that can be brutal, plus being away from your family.

Speaking of family, how old is your son (Rhoads) now?

He’s 10 now. He hates my career. He hates the fact that I’ve been gone as much as I have. What he doesn’t know is I’ve really been home as much as I could be. When I am home, I am a super-involved dad.

Did DJ’ing in high school help you break out of being shy?

Yeah, I think it did. I didn’t see it like that because to me it was two different careers. I wanted to be a DJ before I wanted to be a comedian. But I was such a shy kid I didn’t even want to speak in English class. But when I DJ’ed, it was fun and helped me break that mentality.

Do you have some new material that you are working with?

It’s a brand new set. I mean, I’ve gotten a little political only because I feel like it’s the elephant in the room. If you don’t comment on the current state of politics, people are like, “Is this guy clueless? Does he know what’s going on in the world?” So I hit on it in my style. That’s the thing: Whatever jokes I do, whatever topics I do, if it’s something I haven’t touched, it’s always going to be done my way. Even if it’s a topic people feel they’ve heard before. If my take was similar to someone else, I wouldn’t do it.

What other projects can we expect from you in the future?

A thing I’ve been working on for quite a while, I wrote a full comedy metal record — no standup — where I do this thing with Weird Al (Yankovic) right in the middle of it. I am going to release it and start promoting it in the fall.

It’s crazy because me and Scott Ian (Anthrax guitarist) were talking about this and I got a record deal from this label called Mega Force that signed Metallica in 1982…so they’ve got this history. For me as a metal head, it’s really surreal that I recorded with them.

I called in a ton of favors, so I got Kim Thayill from Soundgarden, a bunch of guitar players from (San Francisco) Bay-area bands like Death Angel, Testament and the guy from Exodus. The music is really, really good with me hacking through the singing (laughs).