Warped tour boss: Older metal bands must move scene forward

Vans Warped Tour and Mayhem Festival co-founder Kevin Lyman has called on metal’s heritage bands to help younger big-hitters keep the scene alive.

And he hopes long-established metal acts can learn a lesson from their punk counterparts.

It follows his comments last week about “grey, bald and fat” acts damaging the circuit’s long-term future – although he later apologised for the strength of his words.

Lyman tells Metal Hammer: “I was speaking out of frustration from an observation. The punk rock show I’m doing in LA, the It’s Not Dead festival, was very easy – I just called everyone and said, ‘It’s time; we need to do this.’

“Everyone was cool about it because they understand the bigger picture, that we have a moment to bring punk back to a lot of people.”

He continues: “It’s becoming tough. The scene should be lively, and it can be, but the elder statesmen need to help make that happen.

“Oli Sykes, Austin Carlile – they’re the new ‘metal gods’ but they’re not getting the chance to become that, because the core of that world has not embraced it. I wish someone in metal – and it’s going to take an artist – would step up and say, ‘I’m going to go out on tour with these bands.’”

Lyman insists the future of the genre rests in the hands of how the older bands react. “It takes the elder statesmen of every scene to take a step back to move everything forward,” he says. “I’ve always believed that keeping a scene strong is important, or it becomes classic rock. If metal is meant to become classic rock – that’s just weird.”

Full details will appear in a future edition of Metal Hammer. Vans Warped Tour 2015 is currently touring North America, with Black Veil Brides and Asking Alexandria headlining the UK version in London on October 18.

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.