Ever wonder how your favorite bands got their ‘big break’? We asked members of Sevendust, Clutch, Lamb of God, Mastodon and more about the moment they knew their bands had made it.

“In 1993, when major labels were signing any band that remotely resembled Nirvana… rule of thumb is they’ll sign dozens or hundreds of bands. 99 percent fail. We were always in that 99 percent,” Clutch vocalist Neil Fallon recalls signing to EastWest, a record label owned by Warner Music Group. “We started over again in 2007 / 2008 when we started putting out our own records on our own label, and that made all the difference in the world."

Mastodon experienced a similar swell of major label interest following the massive success of their sophomore album, Leviathan. “We kept seeing people on our guest list that were from major labels,” Mastodon drummer Brann Dailor explains. “We couldn’t understand why. ‘Hey, so-and-so from Sony is coming to the show tonight and they want to take you to dinner.’ We were like, ‘Why would a major label be interested in us? We don’t understand.’ We’re a little thick.”

Crown the Empire were actually discovered by a member of FaZe Clan — a popular esports team. He wanted to use some unlicensed music for YouTube compilations, which ended up getting hundreds of thousands of views and blew up Crown the Empire. Due to the popularity of the videos, Crown self-released an EP and actually hit No. 9 on the iTunes charts, leading them to a deal with Rise Records.

Check out how these bands got their big break in the video below.

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