Interview by Tarja Virmakari
On August 29th, Metal Blade Records and BMG released “For the Sake of Heaviness: The History of Metal Blade Records” – written by label founder and CEO Brian Slagel with Mark Eglinton, and featuring a foreword by Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich. Celebrating the storied label’s 35th anniversary, “For the Sake of Heaviness” is an inside look at how Slagel built Metal Blade from a one-man operation in his mom’s non-air-conditioned garage to the preeminent international home of heavy music that it is today.
On August 3rd, Metal Shock Finland‘s CEO/Founder and President Tarja Virmakari had a chance to interview (for Truemetal.it) BRIAN SLAGEL, talking about his book “For the Sake of Heaviness: the History of Metal Blade” in detail. See below the list of main topics. Join the conversation below, enjoy!
To read the interview on Truemetal.it, in Italian, go here.
The main topics of the interview:
(0:20) Now that the book is written, what are your feelings?
(1:14) When was the moment you decided to write it with Mark Eglinton?
(1:55) The name of the book: “For The Sake of Heaviness” is the song of Armored Saint…
(2:29) Lars Ulrich wrote in his foreword: “When you tell the story of Brian Slagel and chart the course of Metal Blade Records, the three words that come to my mind are loyalty, consistency, and dependability.” How do you respond to his definition?
(3:20) Reading the book, it’s clear that you really live what you do! so the passion is your real life-style, philosophy! But please tell me, was there a moment that you just wanted to give up and change the direction?
(5:03) How important was the work of the talent scouts? You tell in the book that often you went to gigs, looking around for new bands, who played live, after a hard work and long time they had spent in the rehearsal rooms. While today anyone can record a demo with the simple computer intake and softwares…
(6:47) Talking about different metal genres, I think now-a-days it’s pretty difficult to categorize some bands, also because new sub-genres are born nearly every day, but to your opinion, is it so important today to stamp the bands under the specific styles?
(8:44) Your personal favourite sport has always been ice hockey, and you’ve had some many great opportunities to put it together with metal, would you like to tell me some of your greatest memories?
(11:20) Metal Blade has been involved in almost every movement that has happened in heavy music since 1982. You havent really followed any mainstream trends, but you’ve singed the bands that you like, despite their music style or what the others think about them. Is this the leading guideline for the success of Metal Blade?
(13:29) Also your mother’s role in all this was very important…
(14:28) I’m part of Alpha Omega Management, and as Bill Metoyer is part of our team, too, I just have to ask about him and his contribution… you also mention him several times in the book.
(16:09) you wrote: “it’s unrealistic to hope that you’re going to hit the board with every dart you throw. That’s not going to happen, but I’m a firm believer in the idea that, to be successful, you’ve got to keep throwing the darts.”
(17:39) To your opinion, where is the record business going?
(20:51) “For the Sake of Heaviness: The History of Metal Blade Records” comes out On August 29th, what will happen the day after?
(21:38) With the exclusive box-set, besides the book, there’s also a music casette including great songs from the Metal Blade history! The choice to put them on a handwritten casette was something that tells a lot of your “old school” passion.
(22:40) A classic question (honestly this one comes from my 12-yrs daughter): if you would find yourself stuck in a desert island for a month, which 5 albums or things you would take with you?
(23:40) What is your message to all those bands out there whose dream is to become “somebody” and who would want to be signed by Metal Blade?
To order “For the Sake of Heaviness: The History of Metal Blade Records”, please visit: smarturl.it/mbr35th – where an exclusive box-set is available, with the following contents:
–For the Sake of Heaviness: The History of Metal Blade Records book
–For the Sake of Heaviness cassette
–Metal Blade Records 35th anniversary bookmark
–bookplate autographed by Brian Slagel
* box dimensions: 9.375″ x 6.375″ x 1.25″
See below for the For the Sake of Heaviness cassette track-listing:
1. Fates Warning “Guardian”
2. Lizzy Borden “Lord of the Flies”
3. Omen “Holy Martyr”
4. Cirith Ungol “Black Machine”
5. GWAR “Gor-Gor”
6. Cannibal Corpse “Stripped, Raped, and Strangled”
7. Six Feet Under “War Is Coming”
1. Mercyful Fate “Egypt”
2. King Diamond “Voodoo”
3. The Black Dahlia Murder “Funeral Thirst”
4. Unearth “Black Hearts Now Reign”
5. Amon Amarth “Twilight of the Thunder God”
6. Visigoth “From the Arcane Mists of Prophecy”
For the Sake of Heaviness pulls back the curtain to reveal the definitive look at how Metal Blade began, what they’ve accomplished, and where they’re going. Slagel reveals the early advice he gave that helped guide Motley Crue‘s career; how he helped Metallica replace their bassist – twice; his detailed work on Thin Lizzy and Alice Cooper re-issues; his behind-the-scenes role in the careers of Slayer, GWAR, Mother Love Bone, Alice in Chains, Faith No More, Goo Goo Dolls, and Lamb of God; and his unlikely ventures with kindred metal heads – from hockey star Ken Baumgartner, to celebrity chef Chris Santos, to The Howard Stern Show‘s Richard Christy, to comedians Jim Florentine, Don Jamieson and Jim Breuer.
Get more information at http://www.metalblade.com