Report: Metal Magnetism Attracts Fans And Major Labels

Bob Gendron of the Chicago Tribune reports:

Recent figures from the Recording Industry Association of America reveal that three of the all-time best-selling records belong to LED ZEPPELIN, AC/DC and GUNS N' ROSES. While those hard-rock artists are softies in comparison to SLAYER, the fact that the masses are buying heavy music — despite age-old stigmas surrounding its qualities and allegedly limited fan base — is indisputable. And for the first time in years, major labels want back in on the party, signing a recent wave of innovative metal-oriented acts that will impact what listeners will hear in the near future.

"We had exhausted all avenues and potential, everything that [indie label] Relapse had to offer," says MASTODON bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders, explaining the Atlanta quartet's decision to sign with Warner Bros. after two acclaimed LPs on Relapse. Sanders says the move was necessary to improve worldwide exposure and tour support, crucial given the band's desire to branch out, and feeling that it has more than "just the heavy metal dimension to us."

Craig Aaronson, a senior vice president at Warner, agrees. "I think that this group is completely unique, they sound like nobody else," he replies when asked about why he signed an act that, unlike most major-label talent, doesn't naturally lend itself to radio play. Aaronson doesn't believe that's a problem.

"I don't look at MASTODON as a metal band as much as I look at them as a hard-rock band that's extremely progressive and extremely creative. So I think we can reach people that are fans of a lot of different styles."

Read the rest of the article at the Chicago Tribune.

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