In the 90s, there were two guaranteed constants along the space-time continuum: endless sketch comedy, and Maynard James Keenan joining another band. I mean, there was Puscifer. The Kids in the Hall. Green Jello. Mad TV. Tapeworm. The State. The 90s were like a never-ending barrage of rock and irreverence. It's no wonder it was fucking amazing.
This is why Titannica—the supergroup featuring Keenan and Scott Ian of Anthrax—just may be the apex of this grand concoction of commodities. Of course, fans of sketch comedy series Mr. Show, which starred David Cross and Bob Odenkirk and ran from 1995 to 1998 on the HBO Network, are no strangers at least to the name 'Titannica.' It derived from the fictional group featured in the show, meant to spoof Metallica. A recent Ultimate Guitar article has explored the show's frequent creative overlap with heavy metal
After the show's end, the cult hit spawned a spinoff film in 2003, the direct to video Run, Ronnie, Run, featuring Cross as a dim-witted rube thief who is captured on tape in a fictional law enforcement-focused reality television show. This is where Keenan and Ian come into play: the soundtrack to Run, Ronnie, Run credits an actual band called Titannica for the track "Ass-Kicking Fat Kid." You can listen to the audio below. Keenan's vocal comes in at the 2-minute mark.
How did this colossus of a supergroup fade from our memory? That may be because the roots of Titannica—the band—are quite scattered. In addition to Keenan and Ian, comedian Brian Posehn shares lead vocals, and Hole drummer Samantha Maloney is behind the kit. The other musicians on the recording remain a mystery. Some have said Tool guitarist Adam Jones plays on the track, but that has never been confirmed. Same goes for Armored Saint bassist Joey Vera. Frankly, we may never know the origins of this prolific cultural artifact.
After Run, Ronnie, Run, David Cross and Bob Odenkirk went on to have very successful careers, the latter starring in Breaking Bad and its spinoff, Better Call Saul. But their contribution to the world of metal will always be revered.
Maynard James Keenan would go on to form 25 other bands, including the very successful and very fine A Perfect Circle.