knows a thing or two about the organization and production of tours and festivals. He is, after all, the founder of punk institution, Warped Tour
, which attracts more than 700,000 people annually and is the longest-running festival tour in North America. Additionally, Lyman co-founded Mayhem Festival
, a touring metal festival launched in 2008. As such, Lyman is uniquely positioned to compare and contrast metal tours with punk tours. Unfortunately, he doesn't appear particularly hopeful when it comes to metal.
In a new interview with Detroit Free Press
, Lyman was brutally honest about this year's Mayhem Festival and its future, or lack thereof.
"It was the best available for what we had to work with," Lyman said about this year's bill, which includes Slayer
, King Diamond
, and The Devil Wears Prada
. "We had pressure to keep the package at a certain price and make that work, and we had pressure on headliner expenses."
"I mean, Mayhem, it's at risk of going away at any given moment," Lyman eventually admitted. Here's his explanation for Mayhem's potential woes and the tentative future of big metal tours:
"The bands at the top all demand a certain level of fee to be on tour. Unlike punk rock, metal never knows how to take a step back to move the whole scene forward. That's how punk rock was. That's how we nurtured punk rock. Bad Religion would take a little less than they could on their own to bring the whole scene forward, so we could make sure we had a good (touring) package around them. Metal doesn't seem to have that concern, never has, never has since I was working in the clubs in the '80s. It's always about a me, me, me thing... What happened was metal chased girls away because what happened was metal aged. Metal got gray, bald and fat. And metal was about danger. When you went to a metal show, it was dudes onstage; there was some danger in it."
Of course Lyman still thinks this year's Mayhem concerts will be a success. "We'll give the best possible show to kids that come out," he saiys. "And there will be a lot of people there. We'll probably do 8,000 or 9,000 people a show."
You can read the full piece here