In a brand new interview with Overdrive, FEAR FACTORY guitarist Dino Cazares was asked about Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival co-founder Kevin Lyman's recent comment that metal has gotten "gray, bald and fat," and that it had no worthy future headlining acts to take over from the classic bands like BLACK SABBATH, IRON MAIDEN and METALLICA.
"I think he has a point," Dino said. "I mean, who else is as big as MAIDEN? In the last 20 years, in that genre, who else is that big? The closest might be SLIPKNOT or RAMMSTEIN. It's not because those guys have got what artists like JUDAS PRIEST, MAIDEN, and all those guys have, but maybe those guys have gotten old and bald, but those guys are still doing it. Those guys are still playing massive arenas. But as far as new and up-and-coming bands not being as big as those old bands, I think he used the wrong metaphor. If you say there's not enough younger bands becoming as big as these big metal icons, he's right. There's not a lot of them. But that also has to do a lot with our generation — where music has been cheapened by everyone getting it for free."
JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford recently said that he believed that the rock scene was "thriving" but admitted that the changes in the music industry have made it difficult for new artists to launch their careers.
Asked if he thought any of the newer hard rock artists have a shot at becoming arena-sized acts once the current crop of dinosaur bands are no longer around, Halford told 1290 KOIL: "Well, there's incredible talent out there right now, with AVENGED SEVENFOLD, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, IN THIS MOMENT, ROYAL BLOOD… There's a ton of bands… RIVAL SONS… I can keep going and going."
He continued: "I'll tell you what's changed, and you're probably aware of this as well, guys. Since the invention of this thing called the Internet, everything has shifted… The way we absorb music now, the way we go to shows and everything, the way we connect… I just actually started Instagram for the first time, because I've been told that it's a really important social tool, @robhalfordlegacy. You can see what I get up to on the road, taking pictures of my friends and so on and so forth. So it's a different world.
"We were pondering about this the other day in the van driving back from a gig [during our South American tour]. You know, will there be another great, big rock-star giant like Ozzy Osbourne? Will there be another great, big rock-star giant like Axl Rose, for example. Does that really matter? I don't know. But it's shifted, it's changed. The good news is there's an extraordinary display of talent coming from all different quarters in all different genres of rock and roll. So the future looks bright."
Halford added: "My mate Gene Simmons [KISS] said 'rock and roll is dead' [a few months] ago, which caused a bit of a ruckus. I don't believe it's dead. I think it's thriving, I think it's great, and I think the future's bright. Not only the bands that are coming up now, but the bands that are starting where we started forty years ago, making noise in the garage or whatever. It's great."
METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich told BBC World Service's "The Inquiry" that the quality of modern music was a factor in why newer artists have not connected with audiences the way bands like METALLICA have been able to.
"I think one of the main reasons I connect less with new music in my life now is because there's less great new music to connect with," he said. "I mean, a lot of the stuff that's been played is just regurgitated… There's not people on the leading edge, like THE BEATLES or the Miles Davises or the Jimi Hendrixes taking us all by the hand into these completely unknown, uncharted musical territories."
Lars also lamented the fact that diminishing record sales have resulted in record companies investing less funds into breaking newer artists, making it more difficult for up-and-coming bands to survive.
"It's all cause and effect," he explained. "When there's less people buying music, there's less money generated back and record companies take less chances. Instead of promoting five hundred records a year, they promote fifty records a year, and there's less and less and less and less money being put into younger artists. And there's a danger of younger artists coming close to extinction."