Chris Santos, executive chef and managing partner of the New York City restaurants VANDAL, The Stanton Social and Beauty & Essex, together with Brian Slagel of Metal Blade Records, today announced the launch of Blacklight Media, a label focusing on hard rock and heavy metal. Blacklight Media’s debut band, Good Tiger, led by guitarists Derya Nagle and Joaquin Ardiles, will help launch the label as they head on tour this March.
In addition to his status as one of New York’s most well known chefs, Santos is a lifelong fan of hard rock and metal music. A longtime friend of Slagel’s, Santos has worked to launch bands with Metal Blade Records in the past, preparing him to break into the industry and create an entity of his own.
Blacklight Media, a name created to expose talent that has been concealed and deserve the recognition of a larger audience, will work with high energy bands with a progressive unique sound. Blacklight will release music that possesses an extensive amount of melody, mixed with heavy ebbs and flow to catch the attention of its listeners.
“Starting a label of my own is truly a dream come true,” said Santos. “Music has always spoken to me in a visceral, instinctive way, and I’m hoping to curate a blend of hard rock and heavy metal that is unique in every way. Similar to my cooking, I hope the music our artists create will be engaging, well rounded, and sometimes whimsical.”
Partnering with Santos in the project is metal industry heavyweight Brian Slagel, who founded Metal Blade Records in 1982. The label is currently the oldest metal label in the industry at 34 years old and one of the largest independent labels in the world. Notably, Metal Blade is credited for launching the careers of bands such as Metallica, Slayer, GWAR, Cannibal Corpse, Amon Amarth, among others. Slagel brings this invaluable experience to the launch of Blacklight, a culmination of his long friendship with Santos.
“Chris Santos has been a good friend of mine for quite some time and his taste in music, as in food, is tremendous. He has turned me onto four bands who eventually signed to Metal Blade – the whole Metal Blade family is so excited to be working with him on this new venture,”said Brian Slagel, CEO of Metal Blade Records.
The label’s first signing, Good Tiger, will release their debut, A Head Full of Moonlight, on CD and LP via Blacklight Media on April 22nd. Featuring former members of Tesseract, The Safety Fire, and Architects UK, Good Tiger previously released the album digitally, with the first single, “Where are the Birds”, being heard on BBC Radio 1; the music video (directed by Kim Taylor, produced by Compulsory) was seen on Kerrang TV, Scuzz TV, MTV Rocks and more throughout Europe. With a new label partner – and upcoming USA tour with Between the Buried and Me and August Burns Red in March/April – the band is poised to earn even more buzz in the music community worldwide. To view the “Where are the Birds” video and to pre-order A Head Full of Moonlight in various formats, please visit: metalblade.com/goodtiger
In regards to the signing, Good Tiger‘s Derya “Dez” Nagle comments: “It’s very exciting to be working with such a driven and forward-thinking group of people. Chris and the rest of the team behind Blacklight Media are simply amazing. To be involved with the label from the offset, and chosen as their first signing is humbling. As a band we set out to create energetic, fun and interesting music, and I think those same qualities are reflected in the team we are working with.”
To learn more about Blacklight Media, please visit www.blacklightmediarecords.com
About Blacklight Media
Blacklight Media is a hard rock and heavy metal label founded in February 2016 by Chris Santos, executive chef and managing partner of New York City restaurants VANDAL, The Stanton Social and Beauty & Essex, in partnership with Brian Slagel, founder of Metal Blade Records. They launched the label with breakout band Good Tiger, led by guitarists Derya Nagle and Joaquin Ardiles. Blacklight has a distinct focus on releasing music that possesses an extensive amount of melody, mixed with heavy ebbs and flow.
About Chef Chris Santos
Chef Chris Santos has over twenty years of experience as an executive chef in New York City’s hottest restaurants. In January 2016, Santos opened VANDAL alongside TAO Group at 199 Bowery, his biggest and most ambitious to date with a focus in street art and street fare from around the world. He is also currently the managing partner of The Stanton Social and Beauty & Essex in the Lower East Side, where he oversees the menu development and culinary operations of both properties. In addition to his presence at the restaurants, Santos is a resident judge on the Food Network’s most popular hit series Chopped. Later this year, he looks forward to debuting two additional restaurant projects, which will finally expand his unique brand to a West Coast audience in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Santos will debut his first cookbook with Grand Central Life & Style in February 2017.
About Metal Blade Records
Founded upon owner Brian Slagel’s enduring drive to find great bands and get their music out to as many people as possible, since 1982 Metal Blade Records has brought wave after wave of powerful, innovative, and often genre-defining music to the ever-hungry metal masses, including Cannibal Corpse, GWAR, Amon Amarth, and many more. It is this ethos that has seen Metal Blade build up a stunning and diverse catalogue, weather the various storms facing any independent label, and in an age of declining record sales boast the most successful years of its existence as it strides into its fourth decade. “How important is Metal Blade to our career? They’re only the reason we are enjoying the worldwide success we have today,” states Metallica‘s James Hetfield. For more information, visit www.metalblade.com
About Good Tiger
Good Tiger was formed in 2015 by guitarists Derya “Dez” Nagle and Joaquin “Jo” Ardiles. Dez enlisted some of the pair’s most talented friends to complete the lineup: vocalist Elliot Coleman, drummer Alex Rudinger, and bassist Morgan Sinclair. The group was intent on recording this album on their own, and announced the band to the world through a crowdfunding campaign. For a brand new band, this was a fairly risky move, but in less than 24 hours, they had raised over $18,000. By the end of their campaign this figure rose to a staggering $45,980. That sum served as a resounding endorsement from fans that, yes, they were just as excited for this new project as the band themselves. Since the digital release of the album, the debut single “Where are the Birds” has been heard on BBC Radio 1, featured on iTunes/Apple Music, and the music video (directed by Kim Taylor, produced by Compulsory) has been seen on Kerrang TV, Scuzz TV, MTV Rocks and more throughout Europe. An exclamation point on the band’s successful introduction to the world happened in early 2016, with the announcement of their first North American tour with Between the Buried and Me, and their signing with Blacklight Media, the brand new imprint from Metal Blade Records.