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Bill Metoyer

Bill Metoyer is a gifted producer and engineer. He was born in the early sixties, and after listening to The Beatles, Queen but above all Black Sabbath he wanted to do nothing else then earn a living in the record industry. He moved to Los Angeles where eventually he hooked up with Brian Slagel who just founded Metal Blade Records. Things really started happening for Bill then, and he became part of Metal Blade California. He produced the likes of Slayer, Fates Warning, Sacred Reich and Trouble (to name but a few), and thus grew out to one of the biggest names in metal. Last summer our colleague Heiko Klein Neerken from Radio Moonrock made a couple of shows about Bill Metoyer, and underneath you can read what the big man himself had to say in those shows. (Horst)

By: Heiko Kleine Neerken | Archive under various

band imageHow did you became involved in the music business and especially, how did you became a music producer?
I'm old. I was born in 1960 when there were no computers, no video games and only seven television stations. So like most of us old people, music was a huge source of entertainment. I grew up listening to Motown, the Beatles, and when I was eleven, I was introduced to a band called Black Sabbath. From then on, music became even a bigger part of my life. So much so, that my first real job was working in a record store. I remember buying Queen's 'A Night at the Opera', and I was so blown away by that record, it's the first time I looked at the credits, saw the term Producer and engineer and said to myself, I want to find out how to become a recording engineer. After graduating from high school and trying a couple of semesters of college and deciding it wasn't for me, I decided to find out how to become a recording engineer and hopefully be involved in an industry that I was truly passionate about. I did some research, found a recording engineering school in Hollywood California. I enrolled, graduated, and then got a job as an assistant engineer at a place called track record in Hollywood. From being an assistant it was a natural progression to becoming an engineer, and from there, a producer.

How did you get involved with Brian Slagel from Metal Blade? When did you start to work for Metal Blade?
While working at the music store I was employed at in high school, I met members of a rock band called Dietrich. When I graduated from engineering school and got my assistant job at Track Record recording studios, one of the benefits is I got to use the studio when it wasn't booked. Since I liked their music and they were friends, I would invite them into the studio and record them to get the experience behind the mixing board. After about a year of working with the band as an engineer and manager, the singer came to me with a copy of a fanzine he picked up at a local record store called "The New Heavy Metal Revue". He told me the guy who put the fanzine out, Brian Slagel, had just released an album of LA bands called 'Metal Massacre', and suggested I get in touch with this guy just in case he was interested in doing another compilation album in the near future. I tracked down Brian at the record store he was working at called OZ records and tapes, introduced myself, and gave him a copy of the newest Dietrich recordings we had done. He called me few weeks later and not only said he was interested in including Dietrich on his next 'Metal Massacre II' album, but also asked if I was interested in recording another band he wanted to be on the record called Armored Saint. I recorded the Armored Saint EP for him, then the Bitch 'Be my Slave' record for him also. By then I was only working at the studio at night and had my days free, so I told him if he needed help with his new record label, I would be available to do anything to help him in the daytime. I would go to his mom's home where he had a desk and a phone line set up in the garage and calls radio stations with metal shows and promote Metal Blade products.

You are one of the best/most known metal producers worldwide, can you discribe what you have what other producers in the scene don't have. Are you working different then a lot of other producers?
I have just been lucky enough to work with some great bands in the past. If it was not for bands like Slayer, Trouble, DRI, Corrosion of Conformity, Armored Saint, Flotsam and Jetsam, Sacred Reich, etcetera, no one would know who Bill Metoyer is.

How much albums did you produce, and can you name a few bands and their albums?
I don't think I could name every band I have worked with. I'm old and have no memory, so I suggest you take a look at the resume I have posted on my website, www.BillMetoyer.com.

What is your favorite band or album that you ever produced?
That is a loaded question. I hate that question. I refuse to answer that question. I will say that since I am a HUGH Black Sabbath fan, the band I produced that I still listen to constantly to this day is Trouble. I always enjoy working with Flotsam and Jetsam. I have to say that the Slayer guys put me on the map. Armored Saint members are among my best friends as well as the Fates Warning guys. I can also say that the Tourniquet albums I have worked on have always been such a challenge because of that bands uniqueness that I have to put them on the list also. Otherwise, I hate that question and will NOT answer it!

Can you tell us a funny story or something special that happened in the studio, something that you remember during the years?
Well, there was the first time Slayer came into the studio. They were young, excited and brought their water pistols. They were running around the place squirting water on all the very expensive recording equipment, but at the time, it WASN'T very funny! ANY recording session with El Duce and the Mentors would leave me and Mr. Slagel laying on the floor laughing our assess off. When everyone would leave me alone with a drunken El Duce and expect me to drive him home. He would be passed out on the studio floor and after about an hour of trying to wake him, I usually had to try and carry him to my car and then I would have to try and remember which freeway overpass he was sleeping under at the time. THAT again, was NOT very funny!

Are you still working for Metal Blade? Or are you perhaps doing other things?
I no longer work for Metal Blade Records in the business end of things, but still record and produce anything Brian asks me to work on. I have a production company called Skull Seven Productions, and a recording studio in Northridge California, Skull Seven Studios. I can be reached through my website at www.skullsevenproductions.com

Do you have any last word, for the listeners from Radio Moonrock and readers of Lords Of Metal (worldwide audience)?
Please, keep supporting Metal and lets show the world the Heavy Metal Will Never Die!

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