Loosely based on the book of the same name from Bazillion Points and a lyric inspired by Exodus, Murder In The Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Story will première next month on Saturday, April 20 at AMC Kabuki 8 in San Francisco, CA at 1pm. Directed by Adam Dubin (Beastie Boys ‘Fight For Your Right to Party’ & ‘No Sleep ‘til Brooklyn’), the film contains over fifty interviews with metal legends such as Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Exodus, Testament, and Death Angel, and animation and narration by comedian Brian Posehn. Watch/Share the trailer for Murder In The Front Row below.
“These are just good stories, and they are very human stories. All these bands were mainly from England, and they never really toured the West Coast. So these young people started creating their own music, starting their own fanzines, booking clubs and trading tapes. These were people who were adamant about music and the bands, but also each other.”
The documentary is loosely based on a 2012 photojournal of the same name by Harald Oimoen and Brian Lew. “What I loved about the book is that it wasn’t just about Metallica, says Dubin. ” “It was documenting a vibrant scene, where all the bands were equal and there was real camaraderie. The photos captured the sweat of the clubs, the ringing in your ears and the power of young people. Harald and Brian captured the humanity of it, and they understood that I was somebody who could bring that out in a film.”
“There’s a big four of metal that should really be a big five and include Exodus,” says Dubin. “I particularly think the movie will inspire viewers to re-evaluate the contributions of Kirk Hammett, who founded Exodus in the Bay Area three years before Metallica came to town. Kirk was the central mover who put the band together, guided the music and found frontman wild man Paul Baloff.”
A veteran music and comedy documentarian, Dubin is an ideal match for the film’s subject matter. The New York native and NYU graduate (where he roomed with mega-producer Rick Rubin) has directed a number of documentaries for Metallica over the years, including their multi-platinum A Year And A Half In The Life Of Metallica Parts 1 & 2, Hit the Lights: The Making of Metallica Through the Never and Freeze ’em All: Metallica in Antarctica, along with the band’s music video for ‘Nothing Else Matters.’
The film premiere will be followed by a performance from Metal Allegiance, the final stop on their five year anniversary tour. Metal Allegiance is Alex Skolnick (Testament), Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), Dave Ellefson (Megadeth) and Mark Menghi along with a multitude of metal legends, playing sets that mix in original songs with classic covers. The performance on Sat, April 20 at The Fillmore will also feature Gary Holt of Exodus/Slayer and other VERY special guests. Info and tickets for the tour available at this link.