Over the weekend, we loaded up our all-day backpacks and headed to the Mountain View, California stop of the Mayhem Festival.  What has now become a regular summer ritual for U.S. metalheads is also a great spot to meet some hungry, rising stars in the hard rock/metal scene.

So, naturally, we decided to go and have a chat with them!

Up first were Born of Osiris, who told us about their years of touring and how a festival like Mayhem requires a slightly different approach than the usual cross-country van treks.

Next, we talked to frontman Jonny Davy from Job for a Cowboy, and he provided a pointed rebuke to metal scene critics of “illegal downloading.”

From there, we met with the infamous Frankie Palmeri of Emmure, who explained the process of progressing as a musician and surviving in an increasingly more populated and competitive music scene.

We also caught up with our old friends Huntress, and were lucky to get the first “post-game report” on their recently successful crowdfunding campaign that allowed them to tour as part of the Mayhem Fest.

Up-and-comers Thrown Into Exile told us how a new band can still land a high-profile slot such as Mayhem Fest by getting inventive and working some behind-the-scenes connections.

And lastly, we talked to Heidi and Chris of the Butcher Babies, who told us about how they were able to make so many fans in a relatively short amount of time by genuinely interacting with their fans online — you know, being social on social media!