W.A.S.P. leader Blackie Lawless recently spoke to AskMen.com about the trouble with labels' lack of support his band has had over the years. Asked what advice he would give someone who wants to enter the heavy metal or rock world today, Lawless replied, "That's a tough question because the industry has really changed. The bands now are given a record to try to make something happen and if it doesn't happen, they're gone. Think about bands like AC/DC, who were given half a dozen records to find their audience, if that band would have done one record and would have never got out of Australia... It's really sad. Think of the music we're going to be deprived of because artists aren't given the chance to develop and find themselves. From a cyclical point of view, it's in a really bad place right now. Maybe there will be a lot of upstarts that will give new music a chance to flourish. Frank Sinatra broke away from Capitol in the mid-'60s then went to Warner Brothers and they gave him this little thing, which is basically a distribution deal and it was this little label called Reprise. If you're going to have a record company, you have to have a product to keep that thing working. So they started looking at obscure artists, some of it was pop, some of it was jazz, and they signed this one artist named Jimi Hendrix. So without that obscure label, rock wouldn't have changed the way it did. It's not the majors that are going to change the face of music — it's those upstarts, it's those young guys that believe in the music. You have to remember, when THE BEATLES came to America, Capitol didn't want them, EMI had to force them on America — it's almost like those guys can become successful in spite of themselves."
With regards to his current label, Sanctuary Records, Blackie said, "I am fortunate to be part of something that I helped create, which is Sanctuary Music. Our feeling was that we could do a better job. I am happy to say that Sanctuary is the fastest growing record company in the world. This has been 15 years in the making; this is not something we dreamed up a couple of years ago. . . Sanctuary is [full of] creative people. They come from a point of view of creativity — it's not just guys sitting in there crunching the numbers and counting the beans. The problem with the majors is that there's no creativity. In their arrogance, they think there is, but there are no music people in those places. Hopefully, Sanctuary's model will show people that it can be done."
Read Blackie's entire interview with Askmen.com at this location.