Video: Anthrax – Monster At The End

Anthrax, photo credit Travis Shinn

Anthrax, photo credit Travis Shinn

 

Anthrax have released a new video for their new single, ‘Monster At The End’. The innovative clip was helmed by director Jack Bennett and can be seen at this link at Fangoria.com or below:

http://vevo.ly/ZYLbA1

 

 

 

Jack Bennet discusses his concept for the video: shot with four still photographers placed strategically on a Florida set while the five members of Anthrax performed the track live while he shot with the entire video with Super Sharp HD video still cameras. Each photographer would hold down his camera’s shutter button continuously for the near-four minute-long song, capturing a steady stream of hundreds of still images.

“Hey, it might have been a great idea, but holding down the shutter button on a still camera for that long a time? All we would have ended up with were four jammed cameras!”

“Video shutter speeds are faster and more reliable than anything we could have done manually, and we wanted as big a pool of still images to choose from as we could get.”

In post-production, Bennett went through the footage frame by frame and hand-picked the still images he wanted to animate – hundreds of them. Rather than print the video at 24 frames per second, he animated movement of the band members using the still images, creating a jagged, crude motion. “We didn’t want fluidity, we wanted the video to have more of a comic book feel to it, like flipbook animation.”

Bennett and his crew went one step further, taking a cue from the legendary Walt Disney animators of the 1920s and 1930s, who used the technique of rotoscoping, the art of painstakingly hand-painting individual cels to embellish a primary image.

Employing the fundamentals of rotoscope, Bennett has peppered the video with monsters, tattoos that come alive, explosions, popping eyeballs, speech bubbles, morphed images, and nods to the influence of ‘Creepshow.’ There’s even a frame or two of The Skull King, the evil character from Anthrax’s ‘Blood Eagle Wings’ music video that Bennett also directed. Actor Justin Michael Terry, who played The Skull King, is The Runner in ‘Monster At The End.’

“We used a lot of stop-motion effects as well as other special and visual effects in the same way as was done in the original Exorcist film. “We even added a little bit of grain, some dust and some scratches just to give it that analog feel.”

Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante commented:

‘The Monster at the End’ video takes us back to our love of comics and horror. We’ve always loved the ‘Creepshow’ movies and wanted something like that for this video. Jack is easy to work with, all we did was perform the song, he did the real work with the editing and achieving the look that we wanted. 

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Stray From The Plan- Reece from STEAK

Steak cover

We just want to have fun and play live to as many people as possible. Keeping it fun when things get a bit serious can be a challenge but I think you need to just focus on the original brief. Play music, get pissed and have a laugh. As long as that happens then we have a long future ahead.”

It’s a straightforward idea, but then again this is hardly the most complex of bands. The music industry may be a hard place to get by these days but stoner band STEAK seem to be stronger than ever. With a recent signing to Napalm records and a slot this year at Desertfest Belgium, the band are quickly establishing themselves as one of the biggest rising acts on the UK scene. Perhaps it’s this attitude that helps them survive where so many bands fail as guitarist Reece reveals.

They’re not just living the attitude when they play, it can really be heard pulsing throughout the music.

A thunderous bass line and fuzzy guitar is the core of our sound. Not over complicating things and letting the riff flow without trying to be too clever. It’s rock n roll, it needs to flow. Sammy joined the band on drums in 2012 just before the Corned Beef Colossus EP and he added a new dimension to the band and brought the whole thing to life and Kip’s vocals just seem to get better and better. Whether you like us or not the Steak sound is unmistakable I would say.”

It seems there’s very little about this band that wants to be taken seriously, and when your playing fuzzed out stoner rock music, that’s definitely not a bad thing. The name STEAK may seem unusual, but the meaning behind it couldn’t be simpler.

Because meats meat and girls have gotta eat”

This simple philosophy carries through to their attitude towards the band itself. Not straying too far from the usual story: friends get together and form a band, play a few shows and eventually things begin to flow. This band is however pioneering in one crucial area; practice makes perfect even with heavy amounts of alcohol involved!

steak

We have been close group of friends for years and Kip the singer is my (Reece) cousin. We talked about starting a band for a good while before we actually got our act together and done it. Kip and I went to a music store and picked up some really shitty drums, then called a friend and basically told him he’s our drummer! We were really terrible! In fact I still can’t work out how we stayed together through some disastrous gigs, but in fact it makes you a stronger unit and a little more tougher as a band. Man it was hard work back in the early days, we liked the beer more than playing tight. Some things don’t change but we are a much better band now when pissed!”

Whereas their releases in the past had all been EPs, latest album Slab City saw a departing from the usual shorter format into a full-length album. Commenting on the decision to stray from the original plan, Reece reveals it was getting signed that made the transition possible.“Mostly due to the support from Napalm after getting signed. We honestly wasn’t too fussed about being signed and had a plan to release 4 E.P’s all connected by the comic. At the end we was going to release a comic book that linked them all. After ‘Corned Beef Colossus’ e.p we was signed to Napalm and they wanted us to release a full length. It made total sense to do that if we had their support as we could spend time on the recording and have the back up to get it out to as many people as possible.”

 

The STEAK guys are just as passionate about music on the stage as off it, and the partying continues as Reece reveals his favorite concert memory.

For me personally it has to be seeing a reformed Unida, Lowrider and Dozer share a stage at Desertfest London in 2013. Man that was an awesome thing to witness and really never thought it would happen. It felt like it was like 1996 or something.”

Although they may not be letting their current success go to their heads, it seems there are exiting opportunities on the horizon for this band still. Just weeks away from a full European tour on the horizon it seems this band wont be buried in the UK underground for too much longer.

We are just about to be announced as support for John Garcia on a 5 week tour around Europe. That will be awesome as it means playing bigger venues and good crowds. Hopefully Garcia fans will dig what we do and we will sell lots of records! Hopefully he gets up and sings on the track ‘Pisser’ form the new album as he does on the record. Maybe it will happen!”

 

STEAK on Facebook

 CAITLIN SMITH

Artists, Not Rockstars- Steve “Skinny” Felton of Mushroomhead

therockstarenergydrink_mayhemfestival-2014

 

Mushroomhead spent this past summer taking part on the 2014 Rockstar Enerydrink Mayhem Festival, promoting their latest record titled The Righteous & The Butterfly, in front of rabid yet eager music fans that were getting their first tastes of the band.

 

They just completed the first day of the infamous festival tour and band drummer Steve “Skinny” Felton shared his thoughts. “Today’s day one – a couple little snafus and technical difficulties, like this microphone didn’t work or that microphone cut out. That’s all part of it. The main thing is we’re here, we want to push our new album, push our horizons, and expand anyone who is interested in Mushroomhead’s mind. I want to show people there’s more to it than the mask. It’s not a gimmick. We’re artists. We’re not rockstars. If you like art you’ll probably dig it.”

 

Since their previous album, 2010’s Beautiful Stories For Ugly Children, the band had a shuffling of members, and still managed to continue to tour behind their record. But once they found new members to come in and infuse some new energy into the band, they gradually found their way into crafting songs that eventually landed onto the new album.

mushroomhead album cover

 

We had some new members with Tommy Church (ex-Autumn Offering) on guitar, Ryan “Dr.F” Farrell on bass, and bringing back J Mann on vocals. So there were lots of fresh ideas,” said Felton.

 

It’s a fresh twist on a new idea, if you will. There’s a lot of excitement. Everyone was anxious and excited to work together. We have our own studio and have multiple rooms. You can literally work on one idea with a couple of guys and work on another idea with a couple of other guys, and coming in the next day and say ‘did you hear what he did to this tune?’ It was fresh again and it was exciting. Everyone wanted to work.”

 

Much like any relationship, the band members found itself within a dilemma where creativity and animosity amongst band members became an issue. But with new members coming into the fold, they found a way to work through it.

 

After six or seven albums and a lot of animosity between band members, anybody who has tried to keep a band together understands what I’m saying. It could be your best friends in life…but is the art coming across right? Are you expressing yourself in the right way? Does it sound contrived? Does it sound boring? We didn’t have that on this record. This album damn near wrote itself. It told us what to do. Like if it was a shitty idea and nobody cared, we knew to move on. So we focused on the good and the unknown. I like not knowing where the song is going. I like to go ‘wow I would have never thought of that Jeff [Nothing]. And Jeff is the one to put a twist on some of his vocals. He’s an odd ball and he’s brilliant at the same time. It’s so cool. The whole album was pretty much that way. I think it’s my favorite one to this day.”

 

Mushroomhead-band-2014

Mushroomhead has been a band for 21 years, a milestone for a band coming out of Cleveland, OH and a solid fan base that has kept them afloat over the years. Felton spoke about their secret to their success.

I think there’s an honesty to the music itself. Fans that we have, they’re smart enough to know ‘that’s contrived, that’s put together, that’s not written by them. You know the difference. That’s a filler song.’ Our new record has zero filler songs. The Righteous & The Butterfly

 

One area that the band has yet to venture into is creating into print media. While Mushroomhead’s imagery is tailor made for animation and comic books, Felton has not quite felt the urge to jump into that world.

 

We dabbled with the comic book a while ago. Again technology came in and print media is not what it used to be. The guy we talked to wanted to do it online comic. ‘That’s not the same! I want a comic book dammit!’ So we stopped right there. A lot of our videos are very theatrical and film-esque. We try to tell a story than guys playing drums and (does a death metal growl). I have mad respect for all the bad ass players out there. But Mushroomhead…we’re a little different. We write our own book.”

 

Felton concluded with recent comments stirring around the music press about Slipknot’s alleged interest in doing a tour with Mudvayne and Mushroomhead in the near future. While there are no proposed plans of such a tour happening anytime soon, he sounded very interested in such an idea if it were to come to life.

 

My thoughts are, absolutely, 100% if there’s any reality to it – of course we would be down. It would be a dream come true – love Slipknot. Whether it’s media fueled or fan based…whatever…doesn’t matter. There’s a lot of similarities to those guys that goes way beyond the masks and the costumes. The music is totally different. But what we’ve been through as people, I think we share more in common than anyone would ever know. With the loss of people…shit with donning the masks at 3 in the afternoon and putting them on at 100 degrees – they know what that is, we know what that is. So I have nothing but love and respect for them.”

 

Corey man, absolutely. If you ever want to do anything I would love to. And goddamn that Stone Sour record – the last one…I love it! I’m a huge fan. The last album turned me. Kudos Corey!”

 

Mushroomhead on Facebook

 

 

REI NISHIMOTO