Sandy Slavin Interview
Elektra/Asylum Recording artists, "Riot", are definitely in the forefront of the so called, "new wave" of heavy metal rock 'n’ rollers. Their latest, "Fire Down Under", is creating quite a stir from coast to coast.
These guys have appeared with such rockers as AC/DC, Sammy Hagar, Judas Priest, and Rainbow.
We talked with "Riot" drummer, Sandy Slavin.
Q. In says in your record company bio you went from a club act to a concert attraction in just a couple years. What was the competition like in New York clubs?
A: At the time there was a lot of New Wave stuff and not much heavy metal competition at all. The competition was all the Ramones and stuff like that.
Q: Capitol Records passed on this latest album of yours, saying it was commercially unacceptable. Tell me about that.
A: They said they couldn't get any airplay or anything for the record. We finished the record, turned it into them and they didn't want it. They wanted us to redo it, re-mix vocals, and they said there was no hit or whatever. I don't know where the hell they were at.
Q: So, did you change anything for Elektra?
A: No, nothing. It's the same record Capitol passed on. They, (Capitol) weren't gonna release it. We had kids signing petitions in England and the Southwest asking Capitol to release the record, they wanted to hear it. And we finally got it out on Elektra.
Q: In the 10,000 signature petition you guys collected, the name of Ronnie Montrose appears. Why would Ronnie Montrose care if your record was ever released?
A: I would think the reason he would do something like that is 'cause he's up against the same kind of thing. No one wants people to have that control over your music, these guys who really don't know anything, they are businessmen, right? They don't know anything technically about music. They just know what they think is the latest trend. Who wants these guys deciding what people can hear? I mean that's like heavy censorship, you know.
Q: What have the critics been saying about the album?
A: We've gotten really good reviews on this record. We even had "Sounds" Magazine, in England review the record before it came out, and they were knocked out by it. We haven't gotten any negative comments at all about the record.
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