Helping The Cause: Metal Evolution - The Lost Episode: Extreme Metal

Written by: D.T. Metal
Published: 27.10.2012
To promote and get funding yeah I know, but stick with me for a minute for his latest project, Sam Dunn phoned me the other day, and we had a nice little chat.

And no, this article is NOT a sales pitch, but rather to promote the efforts of Sam Dunn and Banger Films, for their contribution to the metal community. If you are not familiar with their work, google their projects, watch their films on YouTube, and maybe you will discover or even re-discover a kick ass metal band of any genre.


Sam and Dio

After all, what matters the most, is our love for metal and music in general; and how could I not talk to a dude who has a picture with him and Ronnie James Dio posing with swords? Really? It doesn't get anymore METAAAAL than that.

So, everybody should have either watched or at least heard of the 2005 documentary, Metal: A Headbanger's Journey. Under the Banger Films moniker, produced and directed by Sam Dunn and Scot McFayden, the film followed Dunn on his epic journey to bring us the inside scoop on all things metal.

Other projects by Dunn include the award winning films: Iron Maiden: Flight 666, Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, and the made for VH1 Classic TV-series, Metal Evolution. Asking why the need for the TV series, Dunn replied during our interview:
Quote:
We were actually just responding to the fans who said that they really loved the "Family-Heavy-Metal-Tree" which we created [check it out HERE]. Headbanger's Journey was more of an exploration of the culture and controversy of heavy metal, and it wasn't really about the history of heavy metal. So there was a big piece of the story we had left out. And since we got a lot of feedback to the "Family-Tree", it spawned the idea to turn that into a TV series.

He added that it was sometimes difficult to add a band into a specific genre, [and wow, do I know that feeling] in part since metal fans are very opinionated. He also stated that BW&BK's senior editor and co-founder Martin Popoff contributed with his expertise on the matter.

Since Dunn also holds a degree in Anthropology, he further explained:
Quote:
People feel an identification with music, there is a certain attitude to the music; a certain way of dressing and it brings people together. But my academic background also can be a hindrance; we don't want to make metal out as a pure scholarly thing since at the end of the day, it's just entertainment and there for people's enjoyment.

We all can attest to that, or? Well anyways; the TV series was a big hit but it did leave out a vital part from the evolution of metal; extreme metal. After tons of requests, Dunn and Co decided to film the maybe final version: Metal Evolution: The Lost Episode, Extreme Metal.

According to Dunn, extreme metal in its form today, is actually what is pushing the genre forward. He added that for a lot of the young metal fans, extreme metal IS heavy metal and bands such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, as great as they are; for the younger generation they sound "old".

While the initial series aired on VH1 Classic I was wondering if he pitched the project to other networks as well, only to find out that our "Music Television" here in the States truly does suck.
Quote:
VH1 Classic aired all our other projects, so it was a no-brainer to pitch the Evolution Series to them first. They like metal; they have an audience for metal; and the series was a big success. Beyond VH1 Classic, there are not a whole lot of networks that would commit of doing a massive show on the history of heavy metal. But with that said, VH1 understood why we wanted to do an episode on extreme metal but felt that the music was too extreme and the bands were too obscure for their network.

I have to admit, I haven't watched neither MTV or VH1 Classic in a millions years, but did wonder why Dunn hadn't contacted MTV since Hatebreed's Jamey Jasta did host the Headbangers Ball show a couple years back.
Quote:
The reason you probably haven't watched MTV in a long time is because they don't show music anymore. Unfortunately MTV and a lot of other channels have become reality and teen life-style channels.

Amen to that, brother! So in short, MTV sucks and VH1 didn't feel comfortable to air a metal show with "obscure" bands, which left Dunn and Banger Films to go with Plan B: a digital online release. But Dunn made clear to add:
Quote:
If down the line some networks actually want to air this, then we will have those conversations. But given the fact that this is a fan funded episode, online seems the best place to air it.

Yes, you read correctly; fan funded. Indeed, a very unconventional way for a film company, who had most of their other projects paid for by major networks, to go this route. Banger Films has therefore teamed up with the fundraising site INDIEGOGO to acquire the necessary funding.



While the initial Metal Evolution series is picked up and broadcasted by a lot of networks around the world, according to Dunn the monetarily income, from a purely business prospective, is not enough to fund the Lost Epidode.

And hold on; I am way ahead of you I googled the whole thing and found out that some of their stuff is available on DVD; with millions of copies sold to date. What the hell; don't they get royalties from those sales? Dunn explained:
Quote:
Yes, we do get some royalties, but believe me, they are nowhere near what we need to finance the work. That's why, in the past, we did go to networks for the funding. Believe me, if us here at Bangor would be sitting on a pot of gold, we would already had made the episode.

Speaking of a pot of gold; the original goal was to raise $175.000, but if you check the site now, the goal was lowered to $135.000. Since I heard through the grapevine that an anonymous donor put a whopping 40 Grand in the pot, I tried to dig a little bit deeper, but Dunn was not buying into my "girlie charm"; thus, we might never find out who indeed was that generous.

The raised amount went up by almost $2000 in just two days time [the time it took me to get my ass in gear and type this article], so apparently this approach works well after all. But it also could have a lot to do with the fact that some high profile bands DO mention this campaign on their Facebook pages. One band in particular is Death, with their former/current manager Eric Greif being a huge supporter to the cause. Dunn told me:
Quote:
Eric Greif has been enormously supportive of our work. He is a hugely important figure in the extreme metal scene; obviously by managing Chuck Schuldiner's band Death. He is actually someone who has been really helpful in providing ideas and suggestions on how we can make this episode happen.






Cool beans, since an evolution of metal episode without the mentioning of Death would be just wrong to begin with. And this actually got me wondering if Dunn would concentrate more on the "old" metal bands, such as Bathory, Possessed, and Celtic Frost, or if he would include the more "teen friendly" stuff such as Suicide Silence or Dying Fetus.

The Lost Episode will steer more toward the deeper history of extreme metal. According to Dunn the plan is to tell the story how the Bay Area bands such as Possessed or Autopsy took what thrash metal did, and just went heavier. Also how the Florida bands nearly caused an explosion in the death metal world; and he will also be talking about the grind core scene with Carcass and Napalm Death.

Another topic will be the Norwegian black metal scene and how it went from a more primitive sound (Darkthrone, Mayhem) to a much more theatrical style (Dimmu Borgir, Satyricon). According to Dunn, the episode will be more about where the [extreme] music came from, and less on where it is today. But after asking if he is planning to do another episode on where extreme metal is today, he replied:
Quote:
Good question, but we are hoping that the final chapter of the extreme metal episode is going to touch on some of the bands that helped transform the genre to what it is today. A couple bands I have in mind are Gojira from France, Enslaved from Norway, and Opeth as well. We actually could turn the Opeth story into part of the discussion on why this impulse to move away from the extreme sounds, to be doing something more progressive, more folky. I am interested in talking with Mikael [Åkerfeldt] about that; maybe in his point of view there are limitations to extreme metal, I don't know.

After throwing out those band names, it made me wonder if Dunn already either had the bands for the episode in mind and if so, if he already made contact with them. According to him, he had not, since they first want to make sure they have all of the funds to make it happen. But he also made clear that some of the bands were already pegged by sheer virtue of interviewing them in the past.

We had a really good laugh when he mentioned that if Necrobutcher (Mayhem) wanted a re-match, then he would be up for it.

[Disclaimer: the below video is NSFW]




It clearly can't be an easy task to interview some of those extreme metal dudes in the business and I do hope this project does see the light of the day. And this actually made me wonder what would happen with the money already donated if Banger Films decided to pull out.
Quote:
We actually have a few ideas if we are not successful on this first campaign. We will launch a second one next year among other things, since the fans want this to happen and frankly we hate failing here at Banger Films.

There you have it; if you decide to donate, at least your hard earned money will not go to waste. And since life doesn't stand still over at Banger Films, Dunn told me about what they are working on in the meantime.
Quote:
We are working on two feature film documentaries right now. One is on the life story of Alice Cooper and we are really excited about this one and hope to release it at the Toronto Film Festival next year.

The other film is actually our first non-music one, and it's about the history of Satan. Looking at the culture influence of Satan in modern times, and why the idea of Satan continues to be a part of film, TV, literature, music and media. On why the Devil just doesn't go away even though we live in a time of great skepticism. We already interviewed Linda Blair [the possessed child in The Exorcist], the head exorcist at the Vatican , and Zeena Schreck - the daughter of Anton LaVey who was the founder of the Church Of Satan. We also already interviewed the occult film-maker Kenneth Anger and many, many others.

After asking Dunn if he only interviewed film people for this project or also got in touch with some musicians who are openly or otherwise familiar with the subject, he answered:
Quote:
We have obviously interviewed Bruce Dickinson, since in the Eighties, when the whole satanic panic was exploding, they were in the middle of it. [referencing to Iron Maiden's 1982 release of The Number Of The Beast, which led to their branding as Satanist by some Christian Groups].
We also interviewed Arthur Brown, since back in the Sixties and Seventies he was actually called the Devil by many people. Beyond that we are actually trying to steer away from focusing on metal because we have done so much on metal and we want to broaden our horizon and look on how the Devil is influential on other parts of life.

Wow, now that sounds like a really good film and I am actually looking forward to this one. And now in closing, below is a link for the TV series, but I have no clue if the VH1 Classic link allows viewing in other countries, or if it is depending on one's IP address.

Metal Evolution Series on VH1 Classic: http://www.vh1.com/shows/metal_evolution/series.jhtml


 



Written on 27.10.2012 by
D.T. Metal
Editor-in-Chief

Professional concertgoer ... dangerously armed with a camera!
More articles by D.T. Metal ››




Comments

‹‹ Back to the Articles
Comments: 17  
Users visited: 176  
Search this topic:  


wormdrink414 - 27.10.2012 at 02:28  
That Mayhem interview is priceless.
Mr. Doctor - 27.10.2012 at 02:39  
Written by wormdrink414 on 27.10.2012 at 02:28

That Mayhem interview is priceless.


Woah, that was a major "COME AT ME BRO" moment.

Beautiful.
Valentin B - 27.10.2012 at 03:05  
"yeah I have a comment: fuck you!"

but seriously, I'm more interested in the Satan documentary than the one about extreme metal, but that's because I feel like I don't have much more to learn about it.
D.T. Metal - 27.10.2012 at 04:33  
Written by Valentin B on 27.10.2012 at 03:05

but seriously, I'm more interested in the Satan documentary than the one about extreme metal, but that's because I feel like I don't have much more to learn about it.

I hear you, that actually caught my interest as well !!
BloodTears - 27.10.2012 at 12:37  
I really like his documentaries, at least the ones I've seen. I hope the funds eventually come in.

Oh, Mayhem, I guess their statement is pretty clear
Darkside Momo - 27.10.2012 at 18:38  
Great article! A fun read, and I'm certainly waiting to see the result!
D.T. Metal - 27.10.2012 at 18:43  
Written by Darkside Momo on 27.10.2012 at 18:38

Great article! A fun read, and I'm certainly waiting to see the result!

Thx. Even thought it was an interview afterall, I thought since it doesn't pertain to a band at all, I will take the article approach. Not to toot (sp) my own horn, but I think it actually came out pretty good with the paraphrasing and all.
Will def. do something like that again.
Cynic Metalhead - 27.10.2012 at 19:01  
Really good article.

Cheers
Darkside Momo - 27.10.2012 at 19:10  
Written by D.T. Metal on 27.10.2012 at 18:43

Written by Darkside Momo on 27.10.2012 at 18:38

Great article! A fun read, and I'm certainly waiting to see the result!

Thx. Even thought it was an interview afterall, I thought since it doesn't pertain to a band at all, I will take the article approach. Not to toot (sp) my own horn, but I think it actually came out pretty good with the paraphrasing and all.
Will def. do something like that again.

Well, even if it's not a band, the pure interview approach can be as good IMO. Anyway, as long as it's an interesting read (and it was), I don't really care
PowerThrash - 27.10.2012 at 21:04  
Great article
Mattybu - 29.10.2012 at 01:52  
I've seen a couple episodes of this show on Much Music. The power metal one was quite interesting.

I've seen Sam Dunn too. At an Iron Maiden concert he walked by me, I was like holy shit is that Sam Dunn and it was and there was cameras all around. lol
qlacs - 29.10.2012 at 18:29  
Mayhem LOL
Ozman - 29.10.2012 at 19:36  
Written by D.T. Metal on 27.10.2012 at 18:43


Thx. Even thought it was an interview afterall, I thought since it doesn't pertain to a band at all, I will take the article approach.


Well, you could have taken the normal interview approach, even though it wasn't with a band. Lucas and I took that approach in 2008 when we reviewed the organisers if Dutch Doom Days. And we posted it as an interview and not as an article


And to be honest it worked really well http://www.metalstorm.net/pub/interview.php?interview_id=481
D.T. Metal - 29.10.2012 at 22:15  
Written by Ozman on 29.10.2012 at 19:36

Well, you could have taken the normal interview approach, even though it wasn't with a band. Lucas and I took that approach in 2008 when we reviewed the organisers if Dutch Doom Days. And we posted it as an interview and not as an article
And to be honest it worked really well http://www.metalstorm.net/pub/interview.php?interview_id=481

Sweet, ... well I have another none band thing in the works, so I shall do this next time
Ritual_Suicide - 31.10.2012 at 03:48  
You can learn more about metal's history from wikipedia than anything this clown has ever made.
tea[m]ster - 04.11.2012 at 17:40  
Thanks for the read. I am a Sam Dunn fan, love what he has done. I am going to donate right now.
D.T. Metal - 06.11.2012 at 00:35  
^^^ thx

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Articles The Lost In Rock And Heavy Metal: City Boy 5.5 10.03.2012 by
Articles The Lost In Rock And Heavy Metal: Jeronimo 5.5 07.08.2014 by Hex_Omega
Articles The Lost In Rock And Heavy Metal: Captain Beyond 5.5 03.02.2012 by AndMetalForAll
Articles The Lost In Rock And Heavy Metal: Armageddon 5.5 09.12.2012 by AndMetalForAll
Articles The Lost In Rock And Heavy Metal: Boston 5.5 21.12.2012 by AndMetalForAll



Hits total: 4537 | This month: 102