Friday, August 4, 2017
Interview with Brian Slagel of Metal Blade Records!
Hey Brian, how are you?
Good, thank you
Metal Blade Records, at its roots, is the forefront of Heavy Metal music. I know you’ve discussed the beginnings more than enough in the past, but can you give us a quick rundown of how Metal Blade Records started?
I was just a huge fan of the New Wave of Heavy Metal back in 1980. I started the first ever US Metal Fanzine, The New Heavy Metal Revue, and then started working at a record store in LA. Once I found there were some good bands in LA and no one was paying any attention, I decide to do a compilation album of the local bands. That turned into a distribution deal with a indie distributor and the rest is history.........
Some of the biggest bands in Metal have made their way through Metal Blade as well, knowing you were the starting point for a lot of these bands must be an incredible feeling.
I was just happy to play whatever small role I could to help the scene out. I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. It is pretty amazing looking back at how many amazing bands we got to work with. Even better they are still all friends to this day.
Having the reputation you do heading Metal Blade, do you have any tips for all the up and coming bands on getting noticed?
Try to get out and be a part of your local scene. Also social media is a huge help as it exposes you worldwide. Also in terms of music, it is good to be influenced by your favorite bands just do not try to sound like them.
I’m sure you’ve seen a fair few bands in your time, what makes a band stand out to you live?
It is just something that hits me. For sure you have to sound good and play good, but some bands just have "it"
What’s your process on signing a band to the label? How many people does a demo go through and do you need to see the band live before you finally decide?
Usually someone at the label or someone we work with will mention a band to me. We really do not have to see them live as much as back in the day. They will have some stuff online we can check out as well. If something hits me, we like to work with them.
Metal Blade’s roster at this point has some high profile Metal bands including Amon Amarth, Goatwhore, Cattle Decapitation and The Black Dahlia Murder, just to name a few, but there’s also some lesser known bands on there. What Metal Blade bands would you like to see get into the spotlight?
Igorrr, If These Trees Could Talk, Visigoth, Alleageon, Mother Feather, Portrait, Below, Abnormality, just so many!!
What are some of your personal favourite releases so far from Metal Blade Records? Either of all time or just so far this year.
Well that is so hard to answer, I love them all. Kinda like picking your favorite child. But Armored Saint's "Symbol Of Salvation" is up there. I talk about it in our book, but the circumstances of having lost a guitar player to leukemia and making an amazing album make it very special
I would like to thank you very much for your time, Brian. Last up i would like to ask what albums fans should be keeping an eye out for in the future?
New Cannibal Corpse, Black Dahlia Murder, King Diamond new album and a Live DVD........
Thanks a lot for your time, Brian!