Mayhem Fest Co-Founder Backpedals Furiously On His ‘Metal Is Selfish, Bald, Old’ Comments



In case you missed it, Rockstar Energy Mayhem Fest co-founder Kevin Lyman put his foot in his mouth Wednesday, saying that metal was “gray, bald, and fat” (actual quote), that this year’s line-up was the “best available for what [they] had to work with” (also an actual quote, yikes), and that metal is a selfish and money-grubbing scene while punk is a noble and forward-thinking one (eat me, Kev).

Apparently, Lyman was taken aback by the extent to which the metal media was not pleased by him insulting a genre that’s putting money in his pocket. He released the following statement yesterday. Let’s take a look:

There has been a lot of talk on the Internet about an interview that was done by me a few weeks ago — and I said some things to a reporter that I now regret.

Nice. Okay. That’s a good start.

In a nutshell, the problem is I was never talking about Mayhem — I was talking about metal scene as a whole.

Wait, nevermind. What exactly does this mean? Is Mayhem Fest the thing that’s “gray, bald, and fat”? Is Mayhem Fest worse than punk? You can talk shit about Mayhem Fest all you want, dude — hell, we do that here all the time! — but the problem was you treating metal like dog shit you stepped in while promoting a festival with Slayer and King Diamond as headliners.

Let me go on record saying that I support heavy metal and producing music events has been my whole career.

I do appreciate some of the comments because it presents sentiments, thoughts and ideas from the heart of the metal community and I’m happy to be reminded of the passion that fans have for heavy metal music.

Ugh. The metalhead’s emotional Achilles’ heel — our passion. In the art of music fandom, we are the great masters. Every musician wishes they had fans like metal bands have fans. It’s the most noble part of our culture. So of course it’s where this dude strikes first.

You guys are so passionate. I totally respect that. Really? I thought we got gray, bald, and fat.

For us, it is our duty to be receptive to your thoughts and opinions because it is our yearly mission to create the greatest festival for you to come out celebrate and herald heavy metal.

We do strive to work our hardest to keep this ‘Mayhem’ train rolling and it only works with the support of all of us and I’m apologizing for conveying my deepest concerns on the record.

“I’m sorry I said that publicly. That was a bad idea for sure.”

The article covers some behind-the-scenes genuine concerns regarding the presentation of an event at this magnitude. It costs lots of money and energy to drive the tour, plus it has been a challenge to work with larger acts who will sell the bulk of tickets to these-sized venues while we still have the responsibility to deliver performances by the up-and-comers, who are the headliners of tomorrow.

He should’ve just said this in the first place. No one can deny that running a thing like Mayhem Fest must be a thousand pains in the ass, especially when it comes to finances. This makes Lyman sympathetic — I certainly don’t want his job, but I’ll happily enjoy the fruits of his labor with a beer in my hand.

But, sorry: GRAY, BALD, FAT. Is it that you were so stressed that you couldn’t be bothered to respect the music you were promoting?

I pride myself that this is something that Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival has accomplished year after year, assisting in procuring the growth of artists careers such as Five Finger Death Punch, Battlecross, Butcher Babies and many many more … Our festival has also introduced legendary bands to a new generation of fans, such as Motörhead, Slayer, Anthrax and Rob Zombie.

Jesus, I’m old.

We also have the challenge of timing: which band is on a new album cycle? Or which band hasn’t already booked their touring? Or which bands haven’t played through the same markets too many times? etc. etc.

Bottom line, we need headliners to put on a production of this magnitude, but in order to fulfill our responsibility to bring fans the up-and-comers. We need the larger bands also so that we can fulfill our responsibility to not only bring you headliners and the up-and-comers (who are the future), but to also continue to maintain our status as the only touring heavy metal amphitheater festival of this size in North America.

Please accept my apology and thanks for all of your support.

I suppose Lyman apologizing at all means something, and his initial interview did come off as a chat with a dude who’d had a shitty day and maybe didn’t realize what he was saying. Maybe some metalhead cut him off in traffic right before the interview.

but come on, fuck that. This guy is covering his ass, and he’s probably doing it with a sneer on his face. The basic message here is, “Yo, sorry I called you a worthless piece of shit, but I’ve been under a lot of pressure at work lately. I’d love to put together a cool line-up, but fuck, man.”

Anyway, if you want to catch Slayer and all the other gray bald fat money grubbers on Mayhem Fest, here are the remaining dates. Tip your favorite band.

7/10 – Noblesville, IN (Indianapolis) @ Kilpsch Amphitheater
7/11 – Clarkston, MI (Detroit) @ DTE Energy Amphitheater
7/12 – Tinley Park, IL (Chicago) @ First Midwest Bank Amphitheater
7/15 – Toronto, ON @ Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
7/17 – Camden, NJ (Philadelphia) @ Susquehanna Bank Arts Center
7/18 – Burgettstown, PA (Pittsburgh) @ First Niagara Pavilion
7/19 – Hartford, CT @ Xfinity Theatre
7/21 – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
7/22 – Gilford, NH @ Meadowbrook (Bank of NH Pavilion)
7/24 – Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live
7/25 – Boston, MA @ Xfinity Center
7/26 – Wantagh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach
7/29 – Atlanta, GA @ Aaron’s Amphitheater at Lakewood
7/31 – San Antonio, TX @ Whitewater Amphitheater
8/1 – Houston, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
8/2 – Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Amphitheater


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