What is your background in the L.A. music scene?
I originally moved to LA from D.C. with my cohort, Badsville co-producer, guitar player and best friend, Rick Ballard, in ’91. We put together a punk-rockabilly outfit, played the scene for a while, got some major label nibbles, then self destructed like all great young rock bands should.
For the next couple of years we splintered off and each played in different bands, some big some not so big, (I made an appearance as bass player for Billy Idol in the video for the movie “Speed”) then we got back together, with the addition of the lovely & talented Jaqui Lynn, and formed our current band Dragbeat.

Have you done much filmmaking prior to this?
I’d always done a fair amount of writing and actually ventured into the world of acting for brief time. I would always be poking my nose behind the camera on set getting a feel for the technical side and after a while, in typical me fashion, I started thinking “You know what, I could probably do this better than these guys”. Then one fateful night at a particularly pompous “industry” event I was informed by a particularly pompous group of people that there was no way you could make a decent music video for less than five grand. Well, with that dare stuck in my craw, I was off and running in my filmmaking career. Shortly thereafter I made a video for my band Dragbeat (for about $2000) and have since made several others as well as a pair of short films.

What inspired you to make this documentary?
Basically, the absolute shit state of affairs in the “music biz” as of the past few years is what inspired me. I was just getting sooooo sick of hearing all these completely shitty corporate cock-sucking bands dominating the air waves and MTV (we’ll use the M loosely) and all the corporate cock-sucking mags (like Rolling Stone et all) actually start validating all these horrendous bands, meanwhile I’m out every other night in LA seeing all these brilliant bands (most of whom are long time friends) and going “how can I help these guys find all the real rock fans that I know are out there and starving to hear them?”. The radio & MTV are so bought and sold nowadays (those of you that think payola doesn’t still exist and bigger than ever probably still leave cookies out for Santa and wonder what’s taking the friggin’ tooth fairy so long to trade your impacted wisdom tooth for a five spot). Then it dawned on me, “I’ve got a decent camera & friend with a video distribution company, hell, I’ll make a fucking movie!”…I have had better…well, at least easier, ideas.

How did you go about choosing the bands you wanted for the project?
Well, for me it was pretty obvious. I’m out seeing bands all the time & I love nothing more than to see a killer rock band tear it up (I like to think I have pretty good taste as well) but, I also have a pretty strong love it or hate it-o-meter. A lot of bands wanted to be in “Badsville” but they just bored me to tears (I respect them enough not to mention their names) but conversely, there are several bands that weren’t included in this one that I wish could’ve been (The Bellrays, Betty Blowtorch, Flash Express etc.) that, for one reason or another, I couldn’t get on this one but hopefully there’ll be another.

What sort of obstacles did you encounter in getting the movie made?
There isn’t enough room in all of cyber-space to even begin to travel down this road.

What was the most surprising stuff that you learned about these bands?
I’ve been in bands doing this shit for so long now that very little actually “surprised” me.

Get the rest of the interview in part three of DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK>>>

Posted on May 13, 2003 in Interviews by

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