This weeks Metal Contraband Q&A is with publicist and radio
guru Vince Edwards from Metal Blade Records. Being at the
forefront of the metal genre, Metal Blade Record has left a
lasting mark on the format. Founded in 1981 in Los Angeles,
by Brian Slagel. Metal Blade has signed some of the biggest
names and developed careers for artists that have spanned
Spending 10 years with the label, Vince Edwards has handled
radio and press for Armored Saint, Cannibal Corpse, Shannon
Lucas of The Black Dahlia Murder, Canderia and countless
others that have graced your desk, airwaves and print/on-line
Vince is no new comer to the industry. He cut his teeth in radio
programming the metal show on WSUP FM in Platteville, WI.
It’s what you learn as a programmer and a metal fan in general
that makes you fit for the gig. Among some of the new records
that have hit radio’s desk that have reacted is the new Allegaeon
which we have seen reach the top 3 on the Metal Contraband
We welcome Vince Edwards to this weeks Metal Contraband Q&A:
Vince Edwards Of Metal Blade Records Speaks:
Metal Contraband Q&A With Vince Edwards Of Metal Blade Records:
Where did you get your first label gig?
I started at Metal Blade Records in June of 2007. They hired me after a few phone interviews while I was still enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. I was just a few weeks away from graduation; so to land a gig before graduating was absolutely huge. While at UWP I was the PD and MD at WSUP, which is still going strong, today. Though the communications department at the school has fallen completely apart and that has put the future of the station in doubt. For a long time, that station has cultivated on air and music industry talent for the region, so I hope they continue to fund the station. Most university decision makes are just entirely clueless to the value of a good radio station. Back then, I was also in a band and was starting to book and promote shows in the Milwaukee area. Apparently, that was enough of a resume builder for Metal Blade to take a shot on me, and here I stand, today!
So tell us about your career span with metal Blade Records. How long have you been with the company?
As of June 2017, I will have been at Metal Blade Records for an entire damn decade! Since becoming part of the time, my role has evolved. I began simply handling college radio loud rock promotions. Back then, facebook pages simply didn’t exist, so I started the first Metal Blade Records facebook group, ran the MySpace page, and laid the foundations for our social media presence, today, which is absolutely massive. We’re also always in need of lyric videos and music videos for bands that might not have huge budgets, if any at all, so I started animating lyric videos and shooting music videos. Today, I serve as the main contact for radio at the label, in addition to what can be described as a “content creation” role – music videos, web graphics, tour trailers, live videos – you name it. I spent a week on tour with Amon Amarth in Europe last March shooting footage for what would become the “Raise Your Horns” video that can be seen online right now. It’s been a pretty wild ride and I honestly feel like I’m just figuring it all out and it’ll only get better. I’m never 100% content or happy with anything I’ve done, and that always serves as my motivation for the next project. I’ve been at Metal Blade for 10 years.
What is it like working along side Nikki Law, Brian Slagel and Mike Faley?
We’ve got a really fun team of people that work well together. We commiserate about the same things and we brainstorm a lot of solutions, ideas, and generally just have fun. Mike Faley is our cheerleader and music industry wizard. The public knows Slagel, and everyone in the business knows Mike Faley. Few people in the music business have the knowledge, experience, and contacts as Faley and Slagel. There are no better human beings, in my opinion, to learn the ropes from. And our CFO Tracy Vera is an absolute bad ass. I can’t stress enough how much of a fun place this is to be.
Doing publicity for the label, who are some of you favorite artists to work with?
My favorite artists to work with at the moment are Allegaeon, Destrage, If These Trees Could Talk, and Between the Buried and Me. Each of those bands have the following qualities: they aren’t boring, they have clear artist visions, they have unique ideas, and they are heavily invested in their art. They come to us with ideas (and vice versa), and we’re able to create cool things because it’s a team effort. This might sound stupidly obvious, but bands with clear artist visions and that are actively working to build their bands will be the ones to have futures. The real secret is to care about what you’re doing, don’t break up, and write really good music. Not everyone writes really good music. I’ve listened to enough demos to know that to be true.
What do you have that current at radio and press?
Armored Saint’s “Carpe Noctum” live album, plus the new Six Feet Under record “Torment” are the currents for 2017. Still rocking from 2016: Candiria “While They Were Sleeping,” Charred Walls of the Damned “Creatures Watching Over the Dead,” Anaal Nathrakh “The Whole of the Law,” and Serpentine Dominion’s s/t debut. If you’re asking yourself what a Serpentine Dominion is, it’s the new band with Adam D from Killswitch Engage, George from Cannibal Corpse, and Shannon Lucas formerly of The Black Dahlia Murder. It’s really good, fucking obviously.
What records are coming down the road for Metal Blade?
We’ve got a new records coming from: Cut Up, Goatwhore, Byzantine, Bloodclot, plus the reformed God Dethroned. I’m pumped as hell to work with Henri from God Dethroned, again – so much has changed since their previous record and I feel like they are one of the best, most underrated death metal bands, ever. We’ve got a few other surprises and left-of-center signings that I can’t talk about, just yet. It’ll be a fun 2017-18.