“Although it's not all glamour and gleam, it's still my dream” - Ice-T
No doubt I'm stating the obvious when I say the music industry is a vicious machine that'll spit you out hard and fast without batting an eyelid. For every band like Metallica, Kiss, or Aerosmith, there's thousands upon thousands of acts that will never get out of their garage or bedroom let alone sign to a major label. This 95 minute documentary is a real life look at the stories of three working bands - Tub Ring, Bloodshoteye and 3 Mile Scream. But along the way, there's plenty of insight offered on the lifestyle and hardships that today's bands face from plenty of today's metal stars.
The key message of this DVD is that the myth of the rock star is a long time dead. Right from the outset, Canadian guitarist Frank Marino (Mahogany Rush) lays it out point blank. He explains how things have changed over the last couple of decades and how radio and video was the beginning of the end for the rock star. He also questions that once you subscribe to that ideal of radio and video hits, at what point is it more about the visuals and less about the music? The focus on Tub Ring, Bloodshoteye and 3 Mile Scream takes us through the trials and tribulations of being in a band - touring, chasing record deals, internal issues, the lengths that unsigned acts go to record an album and everything else associated with it. It's all a hard slog and done for the love and in particular, the sacrifices that the members of Bloodshoteye make are quite amazing. They might make money here and there from gigs and selling some merch, but never enough to quit their day jobs or sometimes cover unexpected expenses like $350 parking tickets!
There's no shortage of insightful and honest comments along the way from members of Lamb Of God, The Haunted, Kataklysm, Bleeding Through, Himsa, Bad Acid Trip, Finntroll, Gwar, Strapping Young Lad, Unearth and 40 Below Summer who share similar points of view and also describe that when you are signed, the grass isn't always greener as you've taken on board the debt of being on a label. So even when you think you've made that next step, the goal posts have moved significantly and you could even be worse off until you make it up that ladder.
If nothing else, it might spark some metal fans to take note of support acts. It's been known for a long time that they usually get the rough end of the stick doing what they do, and this doco backs that up at times. So maybe now, when you're at a gig you'll take the time to check out the support acts and maybe even pick up a CD or shirt of theirs to help them make their way just like the headliners did once upon a time.
(Cinema Epoch/Unstable Ground)