For Gustafson, the years since leaving his flagship band Overkill had not been kind. Venomously snakebitten, and devoid of the royalties he was justly due, the flying-v toating guitarist nearly left the music business altogether.
Brian Slagel’s Metal Blade Records – nurturing home to great metal bands such as Metallica, Slayer, Armored Saint, Cannibal Corpse, Amon Amarth, and many more genre-defining bands – celebrates its 40th anniversary not only hosting three shows – two in Las Vegas and one in New York – but opening to the public the Metal Blade Museum, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
As fate would have it, on one December night in 1969, Bell would parlay his departure from The Dreams into co-founding one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most revered acts, Thin Lizzy, with singer Phil Lynott, drummer Brian Downey, and keyboardist Eric Wrixon at the Countdown Club in the Dublin.
Von Johnson’s ascent to prominence began in 2010 when he joined the storied Los Angeles hard rock act Faster Pussycat, playing alongside iconic and charismatic frontman Taime Downe for the next decade. Von Johnson subsequently joined L.A. Guns in 2018, where he continues to showcase his captivating stage presence and serve as the quintessential complement to revered six-stringer Tracii Guns.
Forty years on, Metal Blade is both a safe harbor for elder bands and a beta test for the unknown. As for Slagel, his vision is clear, with eyes always fixed on the horizon. Forty years in, the label’s figurehead has little time to look back, and his focus steadfastly remains forward-facing.
Recently, we caught up with veteran drummer, Karl Wilcox of Diamond Head. Among other things, we touch on what he’s been up to during the lockdown, his origins, Diamond Head’s resurgence, and influence, what’s next for the band, and a whole lot more.
Master Of Puppets is considered to have launched an era of Metal that included other classic albums such as Megadeth’s Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?, Slayer’s Reign In Blood, and Anthrax’s Among The Living. All of which came out the year after Master Of Puppets.
So, what are we to think about stealing music? Are the creators of Napster Robin Hood like anti-heroes, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor? Are they making the grave injustices of the Led Zeppelin’s and the Oasis’s of the world right?