brian slagel

Three & a Half Decades of Metal Dominance: Celebrating the Career of Brian Slagel, founder & CEO of Metal Blade Records


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In 1982, I was wearing diapers and Brian Slagel was just starting his empire from the inside of his Mom’s garage that is now Metal Blade Records, the home of Metallica, Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, and GWAR. His long list of successful bands comes from his dedication and love for metal, he started off as a music journalist and created the first heavy-metal fanzine in the USA. The Heavy Metal Revue, years later when Brian would create Metal Massacre compilation album which would forever change his life and the history of metal. Metal Massacre showcased both LA and OC heavy hitting bands like Ratt, Bitch, Metallica and Slayer, Brian was the first to bring attention to metal in America and he says in his book that “Orange County had a lot to do with it!” Fast forward to today, what better place to host the 35th Anniversary party than the home of the Metal Ambassador Jose Mangin at the Affliction Headquarters in Seal Beach, CA. It was the perfect setting for rockers, musicians, fans and media in attendance who were all there to pay homage to the man of the hour, Brian Slagel.

On August 25th there was music, games and an open bar.  Modelo and “Satan’s Jizz,” Jose Mangin’s personal concoction was being served freely and for those who felt brave enough to step into the “Triva Pit,” Jose Mangin put three teams of two against each other to answer Metal Blade trivia questions. Here are some fun questions that were asked:

Q: Which member of Cannibal Corpse is a World of War Craft enthusiast?

A: George Corpse Grinder Fisher.

Q:  Who filled in for Gary Holt when he had to sit out of the European tour in 2011?

A: Pat O’ Brien of Cannibal Corpse.

Q: Who played lead guitar in Metallica’s “Hit the Lights” demo?

A:  Lloyd Grant… and he is here tonight!

The song “Hit the Lights” started playing and Lloyd got on stage with Jose. The crowd was cheering and for a moment the crowd stopped their banter to realize what a special moment it was to have Lloyd present in the celebration. When Jose asked Lloyd, “If he wanted anything,” Lloyd answered, “Another beer.”

The time had finally come for some live heavy metal but before band Armored Saint could take the stage Jose took a moment to give Slagel the credit he deserves.  Jose said, “On behalf of the world, thank you dude for not selling out and selling your label and making a bunch of money and saying fuck you.” He added, “What I loved about Brian is he goes to shows all the fucking time and he wears the band’s uniform everywhere he goes. He travels, he remains humble, powerful and always supporting the metal.” That was the cue for Armored Saint to go straight into their set playing a cover song by Judas Priest “Never Satisfied.” (See set list below) A small stage did not stop Armored Saint from electrifying their fans with their energy and professionalism, they made the place feel like a house party and they rocked the roof off!  They played ‘For the Sake of Heaviness’ which was a highlight of the night since it is also the title of Slagel’s new book.
It was a historic night and I am honored that the RNR crew and myself were there to be a part of metal history.

Set List :
1. Never Satisfied (Judas Priest cover)
2. N.I.B. (Black Sabbath cover)
3. For the Sake of Heaviness
4.Reign Of Fire
5. Day of the Eagle (Robin Trower cover)
6. Win Hands Down
7. Riff Raff (AC/DC cover)

If you can’t get enough of Metal Blade, listen to Liquid Metal on SiriusXM all week  until Friday, September 1st @Midnight ET / 9pm PT), For The Sake Of Heaviness- Metal Blade Records 35th Anniversary Week, Brian Slagel will be introducing his favorite jams from his label.
On October 2nd at Book Soup on Sunset Blvd,  join Brian and a few of his metal elites: Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson, John Bush, Joey Vera, Lizzy Borden, Betsy Bitch in a discussion panel and signing For The Sake of Heaviness: The History of Metal Blade Records. I’ll be there with my copy of his book for everyone to sign!

By Raquel Figlo

Picture Credit Enrique Nunez and Jessica Johnson
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That Metal Show: On the road and in your Face!


That Metal Show!



That Metal Show (TMS) hit the West Coast on Friday, August 22 at Hollywood’s Whisky A GO GO with Don Jamieson, Jim Florentine and the “rain man of rock” himself, Eddie Trunk. DJ Will of KNAC.COM Radio who also worked on the show was there as well to join in the shenanigans.

“Since the production of the TV show moved back to the East Coast, The hosts doing these “tours” is a great way to keep the awareness out there of That Metal Show while it runs in repeats,” said DJ WILL. “In these instances there’s no filming, just comedy, music, stories and Q&A from Don, Eddie & Jim with the many fans that come out.”

The Whisky was filled with entertainment and lots of crowd interaction, as Eddie Trunk shared stories then Don and Jim each did their comedy routine. Jim and Don are hilarious; they have different styles and are funny in their own unique ways. Don is sponsored by both Cold Cock and Monster, he joked about Cold Cock whisky and Monster Energy together becoming “Monster Cock.” It was pretty funny. You can tell that Jim Florentine is a total East Coaster: a real man’s man. He made several jokes about how wrong it is when dudes text each other!

After the comedy sets, all three came back on stage to answer questions from the audience regarding TMS. Eddie made it very clear that there shouldn’t be any trivia questions yet until “Stump the Trunk” at the end. The audience didn’t get it at first and kept asking music trivia questions anyway. Eddie of course was annoyed.

Highlights of the evening were dUg Pinnick of King’s X and Brian Slagel CEO/founder of Metal Blade Records (he put Metallica on the map) being called up to the stage to help with “Stump the Trunk,” the game we were all waiting for! The crowd was cheering and yelling out who knows what.  Jim announced that DJ Will would play the part of Miss “Box of Junk,” when Eddie stopped and said, “Why would we have him do it, when there are plenty of hot chicks in the audience!” I screamed, “Pick me!” from the front of the stage. Eddie, who I interviewed last year, said, “How about Raquel come up and be our Miss Box of Junk?” It’s a pretty cool feeling when TMS and Brian Slagel wave to you from the stage and know you by name. The crowd however showed Eddie no mercy and asked questions that were all over the place, all of which couldn’t be fact checked as it is for the TV show. He answered a majority of them correctly, but he still got stumped several times. At times he would ask Brian Slagel and dUg Pinnick for an asisst answering some of the ultra obscure questions. After “Stump the Trunk,” Eddie thanked all his guests and introduced the bands which were coming up next.

The bands that played were The Hard Way, Resistance, Siren & Drop 8. Eric Jeffrey, lead singer of Hard Way said, “The crowd was loud & rowdy. Eddie Trunk and the boys put on a great show and when we hit the stage, everybody was ready to party! There is no better crowd than who we had that night. I also want everybody to know that WE SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC! If you want great music, you HAVE to support the players that write it, produce it, release it & perform it.”

I agree you have to support you local music scene. The people that came out to the show were true hard rock, metal fans and fans of the show. The LA metal scene is small, if you think about it. Everyone knows everyone, and somewhere each person has played a part in the history of the LA metal scene. DJ Will got his start at Metal Blade as did metal producer Bill Metoyer who was also in attendance.

I asked Bill what his history was with Metal Blade Records. Bill said, “I met Brian Slagel after he released Metal Massacre I (MM1). I had just produced my first band called Dietrich, who would appear on the follow-up (MM II). The label has certainly come a long way since the days being run from Brian’s mom’s garage. I am currently producing the new Resistance album. (who performed tonight) I had seen the band play live a couple of times and were impressed by them. They contacted me through Facebook and asked me if I would be interested in working with them on their new record and I jumped at the chance to do so.”

As the bands continued playing, Don and Jim were upstairs selling their comedy CD’s and taking photos with their fans. I bought Jim Florentine’s “Terrorizing Telemarketers” and Don Jamieson’s new release “Hell Bent for Laughter” on Metal Blade Records. Rumors has it that Season 13 will begin taping in February 2015. I hope so. I really love TMS and love how it does a great job at educating the main stream on metal and hard rock. There are tons of metal heads out there and TMS gives us a voice and helps make “metal” a household brand to Middle America as well as slowly being accepted (again) into pop culture.

Many fans who came out to support the three-night West Coast TMS Tour did so because they feel some kind of connection to the hosts. The LA metal scene has played a great role in metal music and those individuals who made a difference or were involved in the beginning are still contributing in some form and I hope TMS continues to do so and give its fans the opportunity to see another side of the cast and give them a chance to interact and meet. I have high hopes that VH1 will bring the show back in 2015 for another season. It’s that good!


– That Metal Show


– Eddie Trunk


– Don Jamieson


– Jim Florentine


– DJ Will


– Metal Blade Records


– King’s X


– The Hard Way


– Resistance


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