Brian Slagel

The Mastermind of Metal Blade - A Conversation with Brian Slagel

Metal Blade Records. Those three words linked together have been a hallmark in heavy metal's vanguard for thirty years. Headed by the agile mind of Brian Slagel, Metal Blade has continually kept their ear to the underground, catapulting handfuls of prominent metal bands into the public eye. GWAR, Cannibal Corpse, Slayer, even the monolith that is Metallica owe some or all of their humble beginnings to Slagel and Metal Blade. They say in sports that the litmus test of a hall of fame member is if it is impossible to tell the history of that sport without mentioning that player. if that same standard holds true for metal, then Metal Blade Records and Brian Slagel are first ballot hall of famers. As his label celebrates its 30th anniversary, we spoke with the founder candidly about his legacy, the track record of his label's success and the changing industry that all labels must adapt to.
M.DREW: Thirty years have gone by. Did you ever imagine when you started Metal Blade as a record store employee, that you would ever be where you are or as big as you are?
BRIAN SLAGEL, FOUNDER and CEO, METAL BLADE RECORDS: Never in a million years [laughs]. No way. Back then everything was so small, it was impossible to imagine.
M.D: To your mind, across three decades, what’s the best album you’ve ever released?

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