Here’s what you need to know: I have worked in the music business for the last 35 years as an A&R man. First for Roadrunner Records, starting in 1987 and running for 25 years, and then for Nuclear Blast Records, where I have been for the last decade. Some of my biggest signings include Slipknot, Sepultura, Type O Negative, Biohazard, Machine Head, Fear Factory, Obituary, Deicide, Stone Sour, Trivium, Gojira, and Thy Art Is Murder.
Naturally, I have tons of stories from my experiences over the years, and these stories always come in handy when I am meeting with the latest young metal hopefuls I am trying to sign. Being an industry veteran at this stage, they are always interested in hearing any juicy stories from my past; how I first discovered some of their favorite Roadrunner bands or how some of their classic albums were made. I have a hit parade of stories, and I am always happy to cart them out and dazzle the youngsters. One of my favorites: the time I insisted that Deftones change their name as a condition of signing to Roadrunner. Yes, you read that right.
In the summer of 1993, I was sent a Deftones demo from a guy named Dave Park. He was based in Sacramento, where the band was from, and had just picked them for management. I was instantly blown away; their music was like nothing I had ever heard before. While the band are commonly grouped in with Korn as the innovators of nu-metal, I never viewed their sound as similar to, like, Limp Bizkit, or any of the other bands that quickly put nu-metal on the map. Deftones had their own sound then, and still do today.