“First of all, we don’t do 360 deals or anything like that, we never did. I don’t think that’s fair at all.
“And I think that the major labels are kind of getting desperate in trying to fix their problem the wrong way. I think we’re hearing less and less about those deals now with the streaming stuff going on now, which is good and that’s the way it should be.
“I think for new bands coming up… The big player these days in all of this is social media, because that goes hand in hand with everything that we’re doing.
“So you really do need to have a social media grasp there whether you want to or not. We tell the bands all the time, ‘If you’re active on this, if you build up stuff on social media it’s really gonna help you down the road and actually making you a career out of this.’
“And the other thing that’s important – I think a lot of bands don’t realize these days – you still gotta pay your dues.
“We find a lot of times… You’ll find a band, you sign a band that’s really good, they start to do pretty well, and then all of the sudden they’re all like, ‘Hey, how come we’re not as The Black Dahlia Murder or Cannibal Corpse or Amon Amarth? How come we’re not touring in a tour bus,’ or something. All those other bands started out with nothing.
“I think, ultimately, if you really, really love the music – whether you’re in a band or starting a label or doing anything – as long as you’re really doing it because you love the music you’ll find a way to be successful and make it work.”
Brian also shared his thoughts on streaming services, saying:
“It’s starting to work now. It’s hard and I understand where it’s coming from when they’re saying ‘We only make .001,’ or whatever. But there are a couple of different ways to look at that.
“Number one, we’ve seen our streaming income is growing by the day and now it’s getting to the point where the bands are starting to Heavysee real income from this, and we’re seeing real income from this.
“And we people are predicting down the road, not the people from the music industry but venture capital people and everybody else are predicting that within three or four years that whatever the income you’re making now from streaming it’s gonna be five or 10 times bigger in 2020-2021.
“If that is the case, which it certainly looks like it’s going in that direction, bands are gonna be making more money than they have in a long time. I just look at Metal Blade as a whole, if we’re making five times more in four years than we are making now on streaming, we might make more money in a year than we’ve ever made.
“Right now pop and hip hop are making insane amounts of money on this sort of stuff. Big ones for sure, but even the smaller ones are making crazy amount of money on this sort of stuff now.
“It hasn’t tripled down to our world yet because metal labels only got involved in streaming a couple of years ago because we were waiting to get the better deals. But I do firmly believe down the road and really soon this is gonna be a big game changer for everybody.”
Asked on how close he is to Metal Blade signings these days, Slagel replied:
“Everything that goes through Metal Blade still ultimately has to go through me. If somebody from the staff brings it in and they wanna sign it I’ve gotta say ‘Yeah, I’m into it.’
“And everywhere I go somebody’s always got a demo. [Laughs] But I’m still really active in that. I still love looking for new stuff, I love hearing things. I wish I could tell you I had all the time in the day to listen to all this stuff people send me.
“I usually forward it to someone else in the company to make sure that it’s halfway decent. But ultimately I guess the cliche is the box stops here and anything that comes out on Metal Blade I usually like. So if you don’t like it you can blame me.”