You're a kid in northeast Minneapolis, and you hear the familiar ice cream truck jingle. The truck is nearby, and unlike most ice cream trucks that are white, this one is black. You approach anyway hoping to get a nice frozen desert and instead of ice cream, you are blasted with some killer Lamb of God tunes as the driver hauls ass to get away from you. Congratulations, you just met Hell General.
Hell General has been getting a lot of clout on social media lately when a Tik Tok star named Erica Lueth posted about it. You can see a brief video of the truck here:
One look at the Hell General website and you understand exactly what it's about. "My intentions with the truck have nothing to do with selling ice cream. Rather than indulge brats with over price cream pops, I mean to deny those looking to buy a cold tasty treat by playing my happy chimes through the streets. And when the children materialize in the streets? I will coast right past them with the sinister look of rejection."
The inspiration came when Hell General was 10 years old and tried to get ice cream from his local truck. He realized he didn't have enough cash and ran home to get some. "In my hasten return, I found by the time I reached my front porch, he had already began to leave. I screamed and wailed for him to stop, pounding hard on the windows in our porch. I pounded so hard I eventually broke through the glass, cutting my wrist. Realizing what I had done, I stood there trembling as the ice cream man just kept driving away. I sat in my kitchen cleaning myself up, trying to keep my composure."
Hell General was changed that day. "I realized one thing at that moment; the Ice Cream Man was one sick mother fucker."
Hell General is the work of one Matt Peterson. While his truck might look like an ice cream truck, as Citypages notes "The only things the truck dispenses are metal music and disappointment."
So how did Hell's General get started? I messaged Matt on Facebook and got the inside, ahem, scoop. Peterson said he initially wanted to show up to metal gigs in style. "I wanted a cool vehicle to bring to metal shows and tailgate before hand like folks do with sports games."
Unfortunately, his area doesn't seem to allow for much tailgating. "Unfortunetly though, most of the shows I go to don't have great spots for tailgating," Peterson tells us "so I end up just driving through my neighborhood blaring metal and ice cream truck jingles."
What inspired turning the truck into an ice cream truck? "It was a lot of little reasons. what really pulled all the various ideas together was the song 'Satan's Ice Cream Truck' by Strapping Young Lad."
As for where he got the truck, he said he found a listing of an old converted mail truck on Craigslist. "It used to be an old fashioned soda truck. These are old mail trucks that would often get converted into ice cream trucks. I found it on Craigslist and the seller was having it worked on. I bought the truck from him and had the guy who was working on it do all the work, like paint it, sticker it, and make it drivable."
While there are designs for metal-inspired ice cream pops on the side, Peterson doesn't actually serve any ice cream. He just blasts this playlist, along with ice cream jingles. Among the songs on his playlist are cuts from Cephalic Carnage, Obscura, Gorod, Gojira, Misery Index, Ihsahn and more.
Sometimes, patrons don't get the joke. According to the Citypages story, "Grown men have tried to foist money into his hand while they — and Peterson — drove at 25-mile-an-hour speeds. He smiled and peeled off. Fathers have asked him to explain to their four-year-old kids why they can’t have the popsicle they wanted. Smiling, he refused. He’s seen 12-year-olds watch him drive away, watched their mouths form the words, 'What the fuck.'"
As for Matt's favorite ice cream flavor, he is a man of culture. He notes to Metal Injection that his favorite flavor is "peppermint bonbon."