Full Metal Jackie Is on a Mission to Keep Heavy Metal on the Airwaves
Full Metal Jackie
Jackie Kajzer looks like a medieval empress. There's a Victorian pendant of a black spider dangling from her neck, a red ruby on her pinkie and dark leather straps around her wrists. Anthrax sang, "We're soldiers of metal and we rule the night." As Full Metal Jackie, Kajzer now rules the airwaves of the night. Her nationally syndicated radio show plays purely heavy metal across 70 stations.
She picked up her pseudonym in the mid-'00s, while hosting a show called Chaos on Indie 103.1. Her fellow DJ, ex–Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, once remarked: "Oh look, there goes full metal Jackie," and the name stuck.
Kajzer arrived in L.A. in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. Her roots can be traced back to New Jersey, where in the mid-'90s she was indoctrinated into metal at Seton Hall University's 89.5 WSOU-FM. "It was the only rock or metal station in the area," she says.
She graduated in 1998 and got a job at alternative station WHTG-FM, where former MTV VJ Matt Pinfield was once program director. "There weren't any females doing what I wanted to do," she says. "Matt was the encyclopedia of music. So I wanted to emulate him." Before MTV, Pinfield would DJ at local haunt the Melody Bar. Kajzer, following in his footsteps, did the same. "I was the only girl DJ there. So I took it very seriously."
In her quest to become a metal goddess, Kajzer scored a gig at the Firm, an L.A. management company, where she was the only woman in the trainee program. She then pitched Indie 103's program director on a concept. "It was crazy, because they were an indie station, but I just saw a hole in the market, and nobody else was doing a metal show, and nobody had the balls to give it a chance."
Full Metal Jackie's show Whiplash can be heard locally on 95.5 KLOS-FM.
Kajzer got the gig and remained on Indie 103 for five years, before the station was sold in 2009. Her interviews with the likes of Black Sabbath, Metallica, Pantera's Phil Anselmo and Megadeth gained the attention of stations across the country; they began to air a syndicated version of her show, on which she played such bands as Iron Maiden, Death Angel, Mastodon, Lamb of God and Testament.
One interview at Indie 103, with Gene Simmons, never made the air. "He lived up to his whole persona as a woman hater," Kajzer says. "He called me a 'baby maker' on the air. He was such a dick, so I never aired it."
A year and a half ago, she was picked up by 95.5 KLOS-FM, where she launched a new show called Whiplash. "KLOS is the closest thing we have to a rock station in this market," she says. Since then, she's become nationally synonymous with metal and hard rock. She's hosted the "black carpet" of the Golden Gods Awards for every year except one, while juggling a career as nationally syndicated DJ and manager of metal band Five Finger Death Punch.
If MTV was still MTV, and heavy metal got the respect it deserved, Kajzer probably would be hosting an even more metal version of Headbangers Ball. Instead, her mission is a pure, simple one: "It's more important now than ever to get people to go out to shows."
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