Due to some scheduling difficulties the phoner never happened but Brian Slagel was kind enough to respond to an email with his answers (Thanks Nikki Law). With the recent release of his biography on Metal Blade Records, For The Sake Of Heaviness, I will continue to sing his praise. With something that I mentioned on Twitter, big props for never talking about making money or how much money was made. Brian’s belief is strictly focused on the music and belief in his bands. I applaud his career and without further mindless rambling from myself… are Brian’s replies!

1 – At what point did you realize, “music is my life, I need to pursue this full time?”
I guess around the end of year one of trying to do Metal Blade. 
2 – What’s the one thing about your upbringing that might surprise people?
That it was very conservative and [I] played sports. I never learned to play any instrument. 
3- I pre-ordered your book from Amazon and I look forward to the read, being 47 and a life long lover of heavy music, what pieces of this book do you think I might enjoy the most?
Hard to say, I hope you find the story interesting! {note, I did}
4 – When did you fall in love of the sport of ice skating in football uniforms (aka Ice Hockey)? (forgive the sarcasm)
Ha! I was a huge sports fan as a kid and liked all sports. I started going to a lot of LA Kings games in 1981 and really got into the sport then. 
5 – You liked a tweet [of mine] a few weeks back where I commented about your suggestion of learning Psychology to deal with the music business – can you elaborate on that for the masses and how it relates to the business?
One of the best things I did was read some psychology books. It really helped me in dealing with people on a business and personal level. 
6 – Who are your Top 5 Songwriters of all time? (note: wasn’t asking for band or albums)
Steve Harris
Malcolm Young
Adrian Smith
Tony Iommi
Kerry King
James Hetfield

Part 2 to this question, who are your Top 3 Storytellers with their lyrics?
Alice Cooper
Bruce Dickinson
Ronnie James Dio

7 – 35 years in the making with Metal Blade, you’ve seen the music model change.  What are your thoughts on its evolution and what do you see bring, ‘next?’
Certainly the way people consume music now is moving to the streaming model. I think this will be good for the business in the future. 
8 – Do you get more music sent to you now? back during the days of cd’s? or back during the days of tapes?
     Part 2 to this question, should a band have an Attorney or Manager solicit music to you or will you take it without the proverbial ‘middle man?’
We still get lots of music to us on all formats. Honestly the best thing a band can do is get known in your local scene. Most of the bands we sign, someone we know will turn us on to them. Rarely is it when someone gives us music cold. 
9 – Without a large staff, how do you manage to fully handle all of the artists you work with?
     Not a question – but mucho applause to Nikki for making this happen.
Our staff is amazing. We are all music fans first and do everything in our power to get them what they need. 
10 – What are some of your most proud accomplishments?
I think being around for 35 years is one of the top ones! Writing a book now is up there as well. And just working and being friends with so many amazing artists too.
11 – Not a question, but Thank You for working with KING’S X – amazing band that never crossed over.
Thanks, I love them!
12 – Can you share any information on bands that maybe you passed on who went on to be ‘successful’ in the industry?
Volbeat was one.  I like their first demo, but the staff was not into it. 
13 – no question here, it’s unlucky 13….
14 – What made you successful?
I think just learning from mistakes and being able to adapt to a changing industry. 
15 – Have the airlines you fly on made up for the late/cancelled flights? (note, you’ve liked some of my banter against my delayed Southwest flights haha)
Pretty rarely, but sometimes they have given me some free miles…ha
15 – Thank You for your responses, your contribution to my life in the past 35 years with the music you brought me, and please keep doing what you do!
16 – consider this the P.S. question – Please predict the Stanley Cup Teams for 2018…..
Tough one this year. 
Edmonton vs Toronto (probably wont happen but would be fun!!)

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