Brian Slagel

Last updated
Brian Slagel
Born (1961-02-14) February 14, 1961 (age 58)
U.S.
Origin Woodland Hills, California, U.S.
Occupation(s)CEO
Years active1982–present
Labels Metal Blade Records

Brian Slagel (born February 14, 1961) is the founder and CEO of Metal Blade Records. Slagel is known for having initiated the Metal Massacre series of compilation albums in 1982, the first of which included the first commercial recording by Metallica. Metal Blade has since released seminal albums by Slayer, Mercyful Fate, Cannibal Corpse, Fates Warning, Amon Amarth and The Black Dahlia Murder, among others.

Metal Blade Records record label

Metal Blade Records is a heavy metal independent record label founded by Brian Slagel in 1982. The U.S. office for Metal Blade is located in Agoura Hills, California. It also has offices in Germany, Japan, Canada, and the UK. The label is distributed in the U.S. by RED Distribution, and in Canada by Sony Music Entertainment. It was distributed by Warner Bros. Records in the United States from 1988 to 1993.

<i>Metal Massacre</i> album series

Metal Massacre is a series of compilation albums released through Metal Blade Records. It is famous for "shedding light" on bands such as The Obsessed, Trouble, Overkill, Metal Church, Metallica, Slayer, Virgin Steele, Hellhammer, Voivod, Armored Saint, Lizzy Borden, Possessed and more.

Metallica American heavy metal band

Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, and has been based in San Francisco, California for most of its career. The group's fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Metallica's current lineup comprises founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.

Contents

Biography

Slagel grew up in Woodland Hills, California, and with an early love of heavy music, began working at a rock record store, Oz Records, as a teenager. [1] With the new wave of British heavy metal sweeping the underground metal scene, bands such as Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Diamond Head were virtually unknown in the US, outside of the tape trading underground. Slagel began importing NWOBHM records, and noticing a public interest in European metal, organized one of the first metal fanzines, The New Heavy Metal Revue. [1] As the fanzine started to pick up steam, Slagel began working as a columnist for Kerrang! , Sounds Magazine, and other music publications. [1]

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

The new wave of British heavy metal was a nationwide musical movement that started in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s and achieved international attention by the early 1980s. Journalist Geoff Barton coined the term in a May 1979 issue of the British music newspaper Sounds to describe the emergence of new heavy metal bands in the mid to late 1970s, during the period of punk rock's decline and the dominance of new wave music.

Iron Maiden English heavy metal band

Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. The band's discography has grown to thirty-eight albums, including sixteen studio albums, twelve live albums, four EPs, and seven compilations.

In 1982, Slagel organized the release of a compilation album, featuring all local Los Angeles metal bands, called The New Heavy Metal Revue Presents Metal Massacre. The album featured the first recordings of Ratt, Steeler, Black 'n Blue, Malice, Avatar, Cirith Ungol, Bitch and Metallica. The album quickly sold all 5,000 copies that were printed, and led to a distribution deal with Enigma Records in 1983. Slagel founded Metal Blade Records in 1982, and released albums by Warlord, Bitch, Armored Saint and Slayer's Show No Mercy , which sold 40,000 copies worldwide. [1]

A compilation album comprises tracks, which may be previously released or unreleased, usually from several separate recordings by either one or several performers. If by one artist, then generally the tracks were not originally intended for release together as a single work, but may be collected together as a greatest hits album or box set. If from several performers, there may be a theme, topic, time period, or genre which links the tracks, or they may have been intended for release as a single work—such as a tribute album. When the tracks are by the same recording artist, the album may be referred to as a retrospective album or an anthology.

Ratt American glam metal band

Ratt is an American heavy metal band that had significant commercial success in the 1980s, with their albums having been certified as gold, platinum, and multi-platinum by the RIAA. The group is perhaps best known for hit singles such as "Round and Round" and "Lay It Down", tracks that ranked on Billboard's top 40 at No. 12 and No. 40, respectively, as well as other songs such as "Wanted Man", "You're in Love" and "Dance". Along with groups such as friendly rivals Mötley Crüe, Ratt has been recognized as instrumental in the formation of the early 1980s Los Angeles glam metal scene, also known as "hair metal" or "pop metal".

Steeler was an early 1980s American heavy metal band originally formed in Nashville, Tennessee by Ron Keel in 1981. Original band members included Ron Keel on vocals and guitar, Michael Dunigan on lead guitar, Bobby Eva on drums and Tim Morrison on bass. In 1982, they released the single "Cold Day in Hell".

Metal Blade quickly expanded, signing bands such as Trouble, Flotsam and Jetsam, GWAR, Sacred Reich, and Corrosion of Conformity, and although the label's roster expanded, Slagel ran the company alone until 1988. [1]

Trouble (band) American doom metal band

Trouble is an American doom metal band from Aurora, Illinois, formed in 1979 and considered one of the pioneers of the genre alongside Candlemass and Saint Vitus. The band created a distinct style taking influences of the British heavy metal bands Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, and psychedelic rock of the 1970s. A critically acclaimed group, their first two albums, Psalm 9 and The Skull, are cited as landmarks of doom metal. To date, Trouble has released eight studio albums. Although the band never officially broke up, Trouble was plagued by extended inactivity after their original singer Eric Wagner left in 1997. He eventually rejoined in 2000 before leaving again eight years later.

Flotsam and Jetsam (band) thrash metal group from Phoenix, Arizona

Flotsam and Jetsam is an American thrash metal and progressive metal band that formed in Phoenix, Arizona in 1981. The band currently consists of vocalist Eric "A.K" Knutson, guitarists Michael Gilbert and Steve Conley, bassist Michael Spencer, and drummer Ken Mary. Flotsam and Jetsam went through several lineup changes over the years, and Knutson has been the only constant member of the band. They are also notable for featuring bassist Jason Newsted, who left the band shortly after the release of their debut album to join Metallica as Cliff Burton's replacement.

Sacred Reich American band

Sacred Reich is an American thrash metal band based in Phoenix, Arizona, that was formed in 1985. Singer/songwriter Phil Rind's interest was in socially conscious and political speed metal. After several albums on Metal Blade Records, they signed to Hollywood Records for a short stint, but later returned to Metal Blade to continue their musical career. The band split in 2000, but reunited in 2006. Sacred Reich has been credited, along with Testament, Destruction, Death Angel and Dark Angel, for leading the second wave of thrash metal movement in the late 1980s.

With heavy metal's popularity exploding in the late 1980s, many Metal Blade artists began moving to major labels. After the expiration of their distribution deal with Enigma Records, Metal Blade entered a partnership with Warner Bros. Records, who would distribute and market some of the independent label's releases, but Warner was soon bought by Time, Inc, and incorporated into WEA. [1] At the same time, Body Count's "Cop Killer", also released on WEA, was causing controversy, and after public backlash, the band was dropped from WEA. Following Body Count's troubles, WEA introduced new policies regarding controversial lyrics, and attempted to censor GWAR's America Must Be Destroyed . Not wanting to compromise the artistic integrity of any Metal Blade acts, WEA and Slagel parted ways in 1992, with Metal Blade giving WEA the Goo Goo Dolls, and receiving a distribution deal with RED Distribution. [1]

Warner Bros. Records American record label

Warner Bros. Records Inc. is an American record label owned by Warner Music Group and headquartered in Burbank, California. It was founded in 1958 as the recorded music division of the American film studio Warner Bros., and was one of a group of labels owned and operated by larger parent corporations for much of its existence. The sequence of companies that controlled Warner Bros. and its allied labels evolved through a convoluted series of corporate mergers and acquisitions from the early 1960s to the early 2000s. Over this period, Warner Bros. Records grew from a struggling minor player in the music industry to one of the top record labels in the world.

Warner Music Group American global music conglomerate

Warner Music Group Inc. (WMG), also known as Warner Music or WEA International Inc., is an American multinational entertainment and record label conglomerate headquartered in New York City. It is one of the "big three" recording companies and the third largest in the global music industry, after Universal Music Group (UMG) and Sony Music Entertainment (SME). Formerly part of Time Warner, the company was publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange until May 2011, when it announced its privatization and sale to Access Industries, which was completed in July 2011. With a multibillion-dollar annual turnover, WMG employs more than 3,500 people and has operations in more than 50 countries throughout the world.

Body Count (band) American band

Body Count is an American metal band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1990. The group is fronted by Ice-T, who co-founded the group with lead guitarist Ernie C out of their interest in heavy metal music. Ice-T took on the role of vocalist and writing the lyrics for most of the group's songs. Lead guitarist Ernie C has been responsible for writing the group's music. Their controversial self-titled debut album was released on Sire Records in 1992.

Until 2010, Metal Blade was one of the top independent heavy metal record labels, with a roster of over 30 bands. Brian also appeared in the documentary film Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, concerning the album bans of Cannibal Corpse in multiple countries, as well as the thrash metal episode of Metal Evolution.

<i>Metal: A Headbangers Journey</i> 2005 film by Sam Dunn

Metal: A Headbanger's Journey is a 2005 documentary film directed by Sam Dunn with Scot McFadyen and Jessica Wise. The film follows 31-year-old Dunn, a Canadian anthropologist, who has been a heavy metal fan since the age of 12. Dunn sets out across the world to uncover the various opinions on heavy metal music, including its origins, culture, controversy, and the reasons it is loved by so many people. The film made its debut at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival, and was released as a two-disc special edition DVD in the US on September 19, 2006.

Cannibal Corpse American death metal band

Cannibal Corpse is a death metal band from Buffalo, New York, now based in Tampa, Florida. Formed in December 1988, the band has released fourteen studio albums, two box sets, four video albums, and two live albums. The band has had little radio or television exposure throughout its career, although a cult following began to build after the release of the 1991 album Butchered at Birth and 1992 album Tomb of the Mutilated. As of 2015, they achieved worldwide sales of two million units for combined sales of all their albums, making them the top-selling death metal band of all time.

Metal Evolution is a 2011 documentary series directed by anthropologist and film-maker Sam Dunn and director, producer and music supervisor Scot McFadyen about heavy metal subgenres, with new episodes airing every Friday at 10pm EST on MuchMore and Saturday at 10pm EST on VH1 Classic. Its origins come from Dunn's first documentary Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, which included the acclaimed "Heavy Metal Family Tree."

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 German, Eric. "Behind the Screams Part 2: Interview with Brian Slagel", at Metal Update.com; last accessed December 5, 2006.

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