Brian Slagel from Metal Blade Records speaking to Harvester of Sofia about Metallica


The man, who gave the band it’s first break 29 years ago

As Metallica celebrates it’s 30th anniversary the Bulgarian chapter Harvester of Sofia decided to contact some of the most famous people, who followed the band from it’s early days till now.

It is a great honor for us to introduce our first guest Brian Slagel – the owner and founder of Metal Blade Records. Slagel is known for giving Metallica their first break in 1982, with an appearance on Metal Massacre, a compilation album on Metal Blade.

What was the first Metallica song you heard and when? What did you think?
It was Hit The Lights when they delivered it for the first Metal Massacre album. It was much better than what I thought they might do

Do you remember your first time when you saw the band live and hоw was concert?
Yes, they opened for Saxon at the Whisky in LA in 1982. It was their 2nd gig ever. James only sang and did not play guitar. They mostly played Diamond Head covers.

Have you ever thought in 82-84, that Metallica will become one of the most influential bands in the history of rock music?
None of us ever thought anything like this would ever happen.

Do you still keep in touch with the boys from the band?
Yes I see them quite often. I have always been good friends with all of them. Just hung out with them at the Big 4 in NYC. Great guys and good friends.

Do you keep anything valuable from those first concerts – flayer, poster, Lars’s sticks, underwear …?
Ha-ha, no sticks, but I do have some flyers and the original demo…

Do you think that rock and metal word would be so popular nowadays without the appearance of Metallica? They certainly have had a major influence on metal for sure. Would the heavy music ever become mainstream without them?
Hard to say, but I think they were the perfect band to blend heavy and mainstream. A major influence on metal for sure

What the band owes its huge success over the years. The talent of the musicians, the sense of music, Lars’s management or something else?
I think all of that has helped them

What is Metallica personally for you? Did Metallica change your life in some way?
Certainly being around in the early days and my connection to them has helped legitimize myself and Metal Blade. Also the great friendship with them as well.

Do you know something about Bulgaria? Would you say something special to the members of HOS?
I have never been there, but want to go someday. Thanks to everyone for supporting Metal and keep it up!!

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