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We Wasted A Perfectly Good Memorial Post On Mayhem Fest for Nothing

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Last month, due to mounting financial issues and public drama the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Fest was officially deemed dunzo (it didn’t help that the festival co-founder publicly called metal an elderly garbage genre). I wrote up a piece displaying some level of reverence for the fest and its history, and I even made a little Photoshopped banner with a memorial candle and everything. See that? What a warm, caring send-off. Truly I am the Martha Stewart of metal blogging.

Except it was all for fucking naught, because Mayhem Fest co-founders Kevin Lyman and John Reese recently did an interview where, upon being asked about Mayhem’s possible return, said the following:

Lyman: Maybe. I don’t know. You never say never right?

Reese: Man, we’re just out of the firing line with this. We haven’t really had a debrief on anything as far as what we want to do, where we want to take it, if we want to take it… The biggest problem heavy music has right now is headliners, ultimately. You can’t play amphitheaters with this massive production without bands that are hard ticket sellers.

There was all this B.S. about it being a shitty lineup this year – but trust me, we beat the streets for a lineup. We didn’t leave a single stone unturned. We’re going to let dead dogs lie. [Laughs]. We’ll see what happens in the future. Who knows what the future holds?”

Man, everyone talked about how this year had a shitty line-up — including Kerry King! — but I’ll be honest, this was the first Mayhem Fest I wanted to attend in ages. Granted, I’m an older fuck who likes King Diamond and Slayer, so maybe I’m not the money-bleeding seat-filler that these guys are targeting.

Reese continues:

“Heavy rock bands aren’t overnight sensations. It takes a lot of time, a lot of touring, some big songs. The business from publishing and recorded music is just in the toilet. Bands don’t make any money, whereas a DJ can put a song out there and fly all over the world with a backpack. A pop artist can get on KISS FM or Hits 1 on SiriusXM. They can be in commercials and blow up quickly.

When you’re an aggressive rock band, there are fewer channels. It’s sad because Mayhem was a great avenue for the smaller bands. A lot of major labels are out of the rock business. They’d rather sign a DJ or a pop artist to a 360 deal, whore the song out all over the world and see a big return on their investment in a shorter period of time. The heavy rock space just doesn’t work that way.”

You can’t argue with that. Truly hard and heavy bands haven’t really been arena fillers in years, save a few choice names. That said, maybe it’s about looking at what is going on in metal outside of the typical big-name arena headliners. Maybe it’s about peering into the underground, returning to the roots of the genre, and seeing what you can make of that.

More so, what the fuck, guys? I hate when people, organizations, or bands do this — they make a point of doing a big sign-off, they say goodbye to the world… and then they get a bunch of interest because of that, shrug to each other, and publicly announce that they were just playing! It’s just a greater demonstration that Reese and Lyman don’t give much of a fuck about metal outside of its financial value. Which, I suppose, is their jobs.

But I say let Mayhem Fest stay dead. Fuck it, it’s over. Start a new concert tour, with a new name and a new ethos. Arenas too expensive? Look into clubs, theaters, and ballrooms. No big headliners in metal? Bring out the underground weirdos, give them a decent stage to rule upon. Hell, Metal Alliance just imploded — there’s a void there. But don’t reboot it like some bad film franchise. Everyone hated that fucking Entourage movie.

We’ll let you know the line-up of Mayhem 2018 once these guys get the money together.

[via The PRP]

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