Founder/CEO of Metal Blade Records, Brian Slagel, was recently asked by Blasko to single out his greatest achievement throughout all these years, to which he replied (transcribed by UG):[metalwani_content_ad]
“That’s a tough one. Probably the theory that most people would say is giving birth to Metallica on the  ‘Metal Massacre’ [compilation] or signing Slayer and stuff.
“Look, all that stuff is amazing, but if I look at what we have done at Metal Blade… My greatest achievement is [1991’s] album by a band called Armored Saint called ‘Symbol of Salvation.’
“When that happened, all of the sudden we’re thrusting into the mainstream. Every article, they talked about Metal Blade, where they started. And that really was a massively important thing because nobody knew who we were.
“So we’ve been friends ever since then, really good friends when they went on a major label. They had a bit of success. At one point they and Metallica were touring together and they were actually headlining over Metallica.
“And, obviously, famous stories of them trying to get Joey Vera, the bass player, into Metallica and in the early days John Bush to sing.[metalwani_content_ad]
“The guitar player, Dave Prichard, was like one of the most amazing people ever. He passed away from leukemia [in 1990] after they put out three records on Chrysalis.
“And they’ve been dropped from Chrysalis – that was in the mid-late ’80s and the scene was kind of shifting around. They have made all these demo tapes while Dave was still alive, I think that’s some of the best music they’ve ever made.
“And they have pretty much broken up at that point. They were just disgusted by the business and all kind of gonna go their separate ways. I went to them and said, ‘This material is so good, we cannot let this die. We have to do something with it.’
“So I kind of was able to reform the band. And at that point, we had a partnership with Warner Brothers Record. I got [producer] Dave Jerden, who worked with Jane’s Addiction and Alice in Chains, to produce the record. We put it through Warner Brothers, we got Q-Prime, who managed Metallica, to manage the band.
“They kind of breathe new life into this band and put out one of my favorite albums of all time, ‘Symbol of Salvation.’
“Just being able to take my friends who were basically just gonna quit and not do anything, and get them to do this amazing music and actually breathe life back into the band… for me personally, that’s probably my favorite thing I’ve ever done and one of my favorite albums I’ve ever done at Metal Blade.”[metalwani_content_ad]
Living or dead, who are the members of your ultimate supergroup?
“I love this question. And it’s funny because my friends and I are playing this game all the time. And we argue about who should be in there.
“This one is fairly easy for me. Vocalist Ronnie James Dio, guitar duo would be Dimebag Darrell and Michael Schenker, the bass player is gonna be Steve Harris, and the drummer is gonna be Dave Lombardo.
“Now what all those guys would come up with, I have no idea, but it has to be pretty good because those are some of my favorite players of all time.”
Who would write the songs?
“Honestly, out of that group, I’d just probably pick Steve Harris to write. He’s written some of my favorite songs of all time, so I would pick him.”