czwartek, 15 października 2015

Interview with Doug Brown/ Slave To The Grind- A Film About Grindcore!


   Slave To The Grind- A Film About Grindcore is directed by Doug Brown - filmmaker, die-hard vinyl colector and grindcore fan! It's going to be the first documentary movie about grindcore ever. I’m really excited about this and I'm waiting impatiently for the premiere on the december 2017! I decided to contact Doug and to talk about his work, passion and grindcore of course.

   Hey Doug, let's cut to the chase. Your first documentary movie Never Enough was about collecting. I get the impression themovie was a bit about you, die-hard record collector. From the beginning of your film career you try to combine business with pleasure or is this also the desire to discover yourself?
   I am fortunate enough to have a full time job teaching filmmaking.  This has always allowed me to work on projects that mean a lot to me.  As a result – I never have to worry about making money, meeting the goals of a third party company.  So yes – I only mix business with pleasure. I would never make a film on something I was not passionate about. 

   I would like you to tell something about your work on Never Enough - I believe you've learnt many things about filmmaking but also about interviewing for sure. We can skip all the technical problems because as a film studies teacher you probably don't have any problems like that ahahhaah. How was it? Did you enjoy the whole process of filming and creating? Did you realize all your intended goals?
   Never Enough was the first feature I directed, which came with a slew of learning.  I really enjoy the interview.  Sitting down with a subject and finding a way to connect with them is the most important part of making a doucmentary.  This is another reason why I will only make films on my passions – It allows for that interview to be that much more meaningful.  It would be a tough process otherwise. I was really happy with the final product of Never Enough.  It was shot on no money – so we couldn’t expect too much for it – but this said, we have a TV sale in the works.   One note for any aspiring documentary filmmakers out there:  Transcribe every word that all of your subjects say into one massive word document.  It will allow you to search for key words (which are connected to timecode) later, which will significantly reduce the amount of time when writing your film into a story.   I did not do this with Never Enough – and we are certainly plugging through this process now for STTG.  

Making of with Dave Witte/ Discordance Axis


   Which record from your collection was the hardest to get? How many records do you have and which is your favorite one? Tell me, how do you get them usually - online, on shows supporting bands or maybe do have your favorite local store? My girlfriend is going to Toronto in few weeks, would you recomend us any good vinyl shop?

   I have a problem.  I have well over 8,000 pieces of music in my collection -  I buy at all shops in Toronto, have ads on Craigslist/Kijiji, have done news paper ads for collections, go to estate sales, and visit almost every major record fair in Toronto/surrounding area.  I buy from bands at shows, off of online mailorders, and even host trading fairs out of my house.   5 years ago I started the “Toronto Mid-Town Record Show” which has become a great place to buy and sell records in Toronto.   I would recommend: Vortex, Good Music, Rotate This, and Sonic Boom as good shops in Toronto.   As for a hardest to get – So many have been difficult.    I am going to say Blind Melon’s Soup – that was a tough one!  

  
Your second production is documentary movie about grindcore, the fastest, noisiest, ugliest music ever created. How the idea for the movie came up? I believe it was a severe winter, nights were long and after work and bottle of wine with your wife you just started playing the favorite records as usuall and it dawned on you: "I make a movie about grindcore" ahahhahah I know you only as a movie director and collector, do you have any other connection with grindcore underground?
   I should point out that I have my next 2 or 3 films planned out in my head.  I was still a year a way from completing Never Enough when I started talking with my editor about Slave To The Grind.  I’ve always been a music fanatic, and I planned on doing a music doc next.  I hit a point with Never Enough where I realised I wanted to explore something exceptionally specific and really tacle the parameters of ‘something’. Being a self-proclaimed musicologist, grind has always been the one genre I have immersed myself in.  I go to all of the local extreme metal shows, and for years have been known to my metal friends as ‘the guy who likes grind’.   Going back to your first question – I always combine business with pleasure.  I’m also a MASSIVE Grindcore collector, so it was a good next film. 


Doug Brown with Scott Carlson/ Repulsion
   It's the  first movie about grindcore ever, everybody is really excited, are you worried that it won't meet everybody's expectations? Let's face it, grindcore is independent, grindcore is a family, grindcore is a passion so what is the basicpremise of creating such a film? What is the objective you want to achieve?
   I won’t meet everyone’s expectations but that isn’t worrying me at all.   Firstly – this is not a concert film.  It will have grindcore, but it will be way more of an introspective look at why the genre exists.   This will upset people, and I am fine with that.  If they want a kick ass performance film – I recommend they check out one of David Hall’s totally bad ass MDF films.  If they want a documentary– this is why I’m making Slave To The Grind.

   I'm very curious how bands and people involved in grindcore scene in general reacted to the information that you're going to make the movie and want to interview them? Was it easy to get contact with bands and people from grindcore scene?
   It has been generally simple to get a hold of most musicians.  What I love about underground communities is that everyone is very approachable.  I remember talking with Barney when I was 15 years old when I first saw Napalm Death.  He was so approachable and honest.  From a very young age I was hooked on going to shows and meeting more musicians.   Most have been very appreciative that the film is being made. 

   Did you try to catch people only in Canada or States? Did you find any filmmakers in Asia, Australia and Europe who would prepare footage and interview the bands? How many people responded to your ad and send you application? This project has become bigger than you originally assumed, I got such an impression.
   We are still looking for some help in Japan(Help A brother out!).  Fortunately we have been able to to catch a lot of people when they tour, which makes this process simple.  A band like Warsore for example – two members have passed away, they haven’t released a thing in years – but in my opinion, they are the true epitome of the spirit of the underground.   This is where I reach out to Australian filmmakers to assist in this process.  I guess this article is where I hint at Warsore’s inclusion in this film.  (On a personal note – FUCK YA!  Warsore!)
Doug Brown with Shane Embury/ Napalm Death/ Lock Up
   I know you were on first edition of Obscene Extreme festival in Canada, to me it was the best OEF line up worldwide since few years, how was it? I can tell you that I know OEF since 2000, the beginning was raw as fuck but it was always about grindcore and fun. Are you going to put Trutnov battlefield in Czech Republic on your travel bucket list as well?
   We do not think we can afford the trip. Bucket list?  Oh yes.  But in reality, we know we can do a great bit on the spirit of obscene with what we have.   What do we have ?  - While, you will have to wait…

   Personally, I can't imagine movie about grindcore without bands like Discordance Axis, Assuck, Napalm Death, Terrorizer, Brutal Truth, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Warsore, The Kill, Carcass, Siege, Heresy, Repulsion, Nasum, Regurgitate, Sayyadina, Gadget, 324, Denak, Unholy Grave, Flesh Parade, Wadge, Dahmer, Mesrine, Agathocles, Anal Cunt, Pig Destroyer, Extreme Noise Terror, Rotten Sound, Phobia, Impetigo, Blood Duster, Righteous Pigs, The Locust, Birdflesh, Nausea, Macabre, Blockheads, My Minds Mine, CSSO, Retaliation, Dead Infection, General Surgery, Exhumed, Gore Beyond Necropsy, Godflesh, S.O.B., Insect Warfare, Exit 13... To me they are the must but of course there are much more great bands. Tell me that you incuded all bands I mentioned plus many many more, please.
   Anyone who loves grind knows that the band selection process would be endless.  I honestly keep myself awake at night worrying about how we can cram everyone of my favourite bands into this film.   I could make a film just on Spanish Goregrind if I wanted to.  It’s endless – so we need to make some hard decisions.  If the film is 90 minutes long – you just listed close to 50 bands!  A good film has breathing room – which means that some interviews willl not make the cut.  I bet if you were to show your list to someone else they would scoff and say ‘You forgot Antigama and Cretin’, where someone else would be pissed that you forgot Nasum and Fuck The Facts.   So people need to have faith in me that I am going to do what I can to tell a history (which obviously includes Repulsion, Napalm Death, Brutal Truth, Terrorizer, Agathocles…), but the rest of the film will be a mixed bag.   
Exclusive STTG beach ball for OEF Canada!


   This idea just came up now. Do you want to fit 35 years of "loudest" history in 1 movie seriously? Sounds like impossible plan.  
   See above
J

   Grindcore is not only bands, it's also labels and people who made it possible to listen. I believe many of your records wouldn't exist without Digby Pearson, 
Bill Yurkiewicz and Matthew F. Jacobson, people without whom also the idea for thisfilm couldn't come up. I know you spent few hours at A389 Records headquarter to talk about DIY, releasing and distributing grindcore records. I'll be honest, I expected much more from this movie, from you.
  
We have so many musicians commenting on Relapse and Earache that they will be speckled throughout the film. As much as this might piss off some Relapse and Earache fanatics – there is a shit load more to grindcore than major labels.  A389 AND several other independent promoters and labels are going to featured.  If it is a film about an underground genre, I need to show how people in the underground are still keeping it alive and relevant.  
  
I should point out that all three of the people you have mentioned from Earache/ Relapse have been putting me in contact with other people, supplying archive footage, and passing on general good vibes.  So their influence/presence in grindcore is not being ignored.   

   I was shocked when I read on your fanpage that 75% of grindcore musicians admitted Metallica changed their life, whattrick did you use to get such an information? How was your first touch with grindcore and when of course?
   A lot of my interviews have been focussed on each musicians path, so they all talk about their influences. Metallica paved the way for a lot of musicians to find heavier stuff, especially in the early 80’s.  So by saying 75%, I do have legitimate stats to back it up.  Hell, Barney even told me he liked the Black Album!  I know people find it odd that the director of STTG also is a huge metallica nut, but I can’t deny my thrash roots.   Master of Puppets is my all time favourite album.  It paved the way for me to find Sepultura, Obituary, and heavier and heavier stuff.  Eventually I found Napalm Death when I was a teenage in the late 90’s…

   Slave to the grind project is lunched on Kickstarter. Does it work? Does every grindcore maniac can support and donate? What he should do?
   The Kickstarter has since concluded, and we were very happy with the outcome.  This said, those funds are LONG gone, and we are now in the ‘we need a private investor/distributor/executive producer’ stage.  Anyone reading want to help? 
 
Doug Brown with Erik Burke/ Brutal Truth/ Nuclear Assault
   
   Dec 2017 is going to be important month for grindcore and for you. Do you have any concept of the official premiere and where is it going to take place? Where and how people can get the movie?
  
I am going to leave this surprize for the future.  It is a long way away, and many things can happen in the interim.

   Thank you very much for your time, interview and support of grindcore. I'm always trying to do something new with my projects and I totally support such a 
daring project! After Choosing Death by Albert Mudrian it's the right time to make a documentary movie, good luck with your work, and hope to meet you in the moshpit!
  
Thank you for Every Day Hate!  I’m so appreciative that there are so many zines, sites, and companies still dedicated to the underground.  This is the lifeblood of the scene!




SLAVE TO THE GRIND- Dave Witte of DISCORDANCE AXIS

 

SLAVE TO THE GRIND- Mark Greenway of NAPALM DEATH

SLAVE TO THE GRIND- Ben Falgoust of SOILENT GREEN


 

SLAVE TO THE GRIND- Mel Mongeon of FUCK THE FACTS


 

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