For anyone that watched the 13th incarnation of CBS reality show Big Brother this past Summer, Adam Poch was a revelation. The 39 year-old music industry executive was a huge metalhead whose signature growl was heard quite a bit in the early phases of the game. It was played up by the reality show that his three loves were metal, bacon and Beverly Hills 90210. Over the course of 75 days, Poch outlasted the majority of the competition, making it to the final three. Now back at his job at Sony, where he’s a supply chain planner, Metal Insider caught up with Poch to talk about how he kept it metal on the show, what bands inspired him, and the celebrity death he predicted while on the show.
Tell me how you brought your “metal attitude” to the show.
Well , the first day when I walked in the door, first thing I did was give my metal growl to set the stage, if I was to live in this house, if I’m gonna be here, its me, I’m bringing me. So I got people startled right away, and they didn’t really quite know what to expect from me. They got used to it pretty quickly, and I just tried to keep it metal while I was in the house, because that is definitely – besides my girlfriend, the one thing I really missed the most was listening to metal. Metal calms me down, metal relaxes me, so I just missed that so much. I would always give the horns in every picture. I would flash up the metal horns. I knew I was missing a lot of great concerts this summer. I was missing Machine Head, I was missing Volbeat, , and as it got longer, I realized I was going to miss the Big 4, which I was devastated by that. I missed Clutch on a boat, so I was definitely missing the metal.
I bought your tickets by the way, thank you.
You’re welcome, thank you for going! I heard it was a great show.
So there was no music allowed at the house, right?
They wake you up to music, but its not always music you want to hear.
What kind of stuff was it?
It varied, they played a little something for everyone in the house, but they did rock out a couple metal songs. I cannot say what they did or did not play, but they did take care of me a couple of mornings. But there were a lot of mornings where I woke up to dance music, and it was the only music I heard so I started dancing.
You mentioned this to me before, and I don’t know whether you’re able to talk about it here, but you really weren’t allowed to sing because of copyright concerns?
No, you can’t sing because if I’m singing someone else’s lyrics they had to pay royalties, so we would get into trouble for singing and they would shut down the feeds and yell at us to stop. The famous voice in the sky. Sometimes you just cant help it.
You were talking to me earlier about a celebrity death you predicted and one you didn’t .
I don’t remember saying it, but it definitely makes sense. We were bored in the house and wondering what was going on in the outside world. Everybody’s wondering about the Casey Anthony trial, the NFL strike, and the pop culture guy that I am, I know that every few months celebrities die. I don’t know why someone was talking about it, but we started talking and apparently one of the people that I thought may have died was Amy Winehouse. After I got out of the house somebody came up to me and was like “how did you know Amy Winehouse died,?” I was like ‘what do you mean?‘ I was surprised that I said it and I’m surprised that it really happened, but I hate to say it and it sounds morbid, but celebrities die. The one thing I was mad at though is that nobody seemed to tell me thatJani Lane died.
How did you find out about it?
It was about 3 or 4 days later and somebody mentioned it. That upset me of course that he died, but Amy Winehouse dying versus Jani Lane. If I had to know one or the other, I would choose Jani Lane, since I was a much bigger fan of his.
Having watched the show all summer, it seems like you didn’t really come alive until the very end. Like when you gave the one speech right before you got kicked off or when you came out and greeted the crowd and were acting like the rock star that I know you are. Were you like that the whole time and it got edited out?
I had to pick and choose when to be a big character, and when I just had to sit back and shut up and watch. Game-wise there were a lot of big players in the house this year. They brought back six players that all knew the game inside and out and have played strong games. And then they put 8 people that are just trying to figure it out. So obviously the veterans had the upper hand. When the house started to split into sides, everybody wanted to be like “ha-ha check mate, I got you , I got you, I got you” and I realized that that was everybody trying to pick off each other so I sat back and I just did what I did naturally. I was just a little goofy, which turned out perfect when I had to wear that elf suit for a week. It would seem like a punishment to some, but I danced around the house, I made people laugh, like you don’t wanna get rid of the funny guy. So I didn’t need to play a strong game because there were enough strong players that were playing, trying to pick each other off. So I kept myself reserved a lot. There were times were I just did go a little bananas, get metal and start thrashing around the backyard just in my own head thinking of songs. Actually my favorite song to sing to myself was “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” I’m a big Maiden fan, they’re my favorite band ever. That’s a 13 minute song, so you can sing that song and kill 13 minutes, and in that house you want to kill time. You want to cause it just goes so slow.
Yeah, I’m sure. Other than Clutch, were there any shows you’re bummed you missed while on the show?
Well, again one of the shows that I missed the most this summer was Volbeat. Volbeat, to me, is the next big band, at least for me. How big they get we’ll see, but I just love them. Their live show is phenomenal. I am so excited for the Anthrax, Testament, Death Angel show. I did miss the big 4. But to see Anthrax, Testament, and Death Angel, that’s what I grew up on, that’s when I started liking metal.
What are some of the other metal bands that you grew up on and like now?
I got into metal in the mid-’80s, so I like all the classic metal bands – Slayer, Overkill, Testament, Anthrax, SLAYERRRR! As years went on, I got into bands like Nuclear Assault, Helloween, Pantera, Wrathchild America, Alice In Chains, Slipknot, Clutch, Mastodon, Lamb of God, Meshuggah, Static-X. The list goes on. Voivod, Mindfunk, Mudvayne, Biohazard, System of a Down, Children of Bodom. I also love hair metal from the ’80s, like Kix, Cinderella, Faster Pussycat, Dangerous Toys and Motley Crue. And weird stuff like Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Primus and Incubus. My first metal concert was April 28, 1986 – Ozzy and Metallica. My first club show was Megadeth and Crumbsuckers.
You were definitely a polarizing presence on Big Brother, a lot of people loved you, a lot of other people hated you. Did you know there would be haters out there?
While I was playing I knew I was not playing the greatest game in Big Brother history, and that’s the one thing I think people do not understand, is when you’re playing this game there are no rules saying “this is how you’re supposed to play.” There are many different ways to play the game. I personally did not like the game that I played, but that’s the game that I had to play to get by and it got me to the final 3. I’m not the strongest person in the house. I’m good at questions but I bombed a couple competitions. So I was not showing that I was a strong player. I did come up big a couple times. There was the one veto that I thought I won outright, which I know Jeff let me have, but I made sure Jeff was safe before I “begged him to let me win it.”
I knew there was going to be some criticism about the way I played the game because if I was watching at home, I’d have criticism about it. But when you’re in the house, you have to do what you have to do to get by and whatever it takes. And some people what it took was lying to get them further in the game. I was just hoping to get as far as I could on whatever it took and then actually start winning some competitions and at the end there I did, I took control, I won a veto, and then I won the very next HOH, so I showed why I deserved to be in the final 3. I’ve read some criticism about the fact that I won these competitions against girls, but I was playing against people like Rachel, who is one of the strongest competitors in big brother history. You can’t look at her as a girl, she’s a competitor and everybody also has that drive for half a million dollars, so its going to bring out the competitive nature.
So you’ve read criticism online?
Yeah. I’ve actually enjoyed the criticism because that’s what’s keeping me humble about all this. Reading the negative stuff makes me understand that I couldn’t please everybody, but the bottom line is I had to do what I had to do. On my Facebook page, I mistakenly went on one time and said ‘if you want to criticize my game, criticize my game, just don’t be nasty.’ And people got all offended like “freedom of speech, freedom of speech.” Thank God some of the other fans came to my defense and said “this is a fan page, and if you don’t like Adam, don’t be on the fan page. So you’re going to have the haters, you’re going to have the lovers. It definitely has kept me stable.
Do you think you’d be asked back?
I’m very curious, because this is the first time they brought so many people back besides the all-star season, which was season 7. I think they are going to do different things to mix up the show, I don’t know if they’ll do an all-stars. I think I was likable enough to be brought back, but at the same time, I think a lot of people that would be playing in a situation like that would get me out because they knew what kind of game I played and it would be tough for me to play a different game, so I would have to think about that. If I did get asked back and it fit into my life, I would consider it. I’m not just gonna jump at an opportunity. This was the dream of my life to be on Big Brother. I was not looking for fame, I was just looking for fortune.
And your music industry job was cool about letting you take time off?
They were very cool about it, I have to thank my boss a million times over. If you noticed in the diary room when I cast my vote to evict, I had the necklace from my girlfriend but I also grabbed my earlobe, that was a shout out to my boss who’s a huge Big Brother fan. Every time she saw me touch my ear, she knew I was thinking about her. I would have had to come back to the job anyway because even if I won the $500,000, after taxes, that’s not enough to quit your job. And I love working in the music industry.
You work on the physical production side of things at Sony, right?
Yeah, I basically make the CDs and vinyl, so please do not download, I know people download all the time, but the physical product, don’t make it go away yet, its so much better. You can hold it you can touch it!