So says Brian Slagel, the man behind Metal Blade Records which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. In an interview with the Ventura County Star Slagel states that “What’s happening now reminds me so much of the early ’80s,” he said. “I think there will be a second big wave of heavy metal.”
One thing that is fascinating is his take on running an indie label and the one thing that makes it such a challenge:
If metal gets big again, Slagel concedes that Metal Blade might face the same issue it did in the ’80s — losing bands to major labels. Back then, about 15 bands defected (although some would later crawl back). Slagel admitted that sometimes that hurts, after doing “all the dirty work” to help bands grow. But part of it, he added, is natural career progression.
That is the unfortunate situation of a lot of indie labels. They are like the minor leagues of rock and roll in some ways and tend to do all the work only to be usurped by someone bigger. Such is life in the rock and roll jungle. It doesn’t sound like Brian Slagel is complaining too much.