Billboard Touring Conference – Metal Roundtable: Slayer is “Heritage Metal”

Posted by on November 5, 2009

billboard_logoBillboard Magazine is holding their annual Touring Conference and Awards in New York. While We’ll be bringing you coverage from tonight’s awards ceremony, where Ozzy Osbourne and Mayhem Festival founder Kevin Lyman will be receiving awards, there was a “Metal” roundtable yesterday, and Metal Insider correspondent Emmy Burns was at the roundtable. Here’s her report:  

So far, the only people sitting around the Metal Roundtable at the 2009 Billboard Touring Conference were three students, your correspondent, and a friend. The five of us stretched out around the empty table while the rest of the room tried to claw their way into getting a seat at the very crowded Indie and Country tables. Hey, at least we weren’t at the Heritage Rock table, we joked as we glanced over behind us at one person sitting by himself.

The students were from Berklee School of Music and they were keen to get a chance to talk to “real industry peeps” about how to get into the business.  My friend and I on the other hand, were just interested to hear good metal stories from on the road. Our panelists were Andrew Goodfriend from TKO and Tim Borror from The Agency Group who kicked off the roundtable by asking if we had any questions. We gave way to the kids to ask their questions first. The main topic of the roundtable discussion: How did you get your start in the biz?

Andrew gave us a moving story on how he got his start by calling the company on his concert ticket stub to hound them for an internship and how he worked his way from being a receptionist that sometimes got the unfortunate task of taking calls from angry rock stars who yelled at him. No biggie he says, it only made him more resilient. Tim suggested learning from other genres to inspire new opportunities in Metal – if that includes watching the BET Hip Hop Awards then so be it!

The students were in awe at some of the bands that Andrew and Tim have worked with. Coal Chamber, Sevendust, Slipknot were just some of the metal bands the guys worked with in their early days and helped grow into what they are now. Someone mentioned Slayer as part of the impressive list of metal bands, but the students argued, “yeah, but that’s more ‘Heritage Metal’”

Tim closed the discussion by noting that Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons still stand as the people to discover the most innovative music genre, questioning if there will be another genre so cutting-edge ever again. He then reminded us that Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons were just college roommates when they formed Def Jam from their college dorm room –proof that there really is no official roadmap on how to get into the music business.  “You’ve got to be creative, create your own rules, just get out there, make your way in, any way you can, just like pirates!” he closed.

And with that in mind, we hope to be seeing you next year at the ‘Heritage Metal’ roundtable!


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