Tuesday, December 7, 2010
The year started off slow not unlike 2011. I knew documentary film making was a slow process but this was ridiculous (this was nothing compared to the endgame of clearances, distribution and still pending release). We started putting together preliminary budgets, as we needed to go to the UK at least once, Throughout January, February and March I'd really plowed away at emails. Friends and friends of friends were the way. Getting to Jim Reid was a very difficult priority and I was told several times that William was going to be impossible. I'd been emailing several people regarding Jim with the hopes of some reply. There was a long list I was working from that included all the major bands of this "scene" and there was another list of people who could comment positively I reached some and was rejected by others.
I tracked down Ian Masters on the web, he's been living in Japan for years and by sheer luck I had a good friend who just moved to Japan who agreed to shoot the interview for me. We had traded a few emails, Ian and I. He was an interesting guy and when we finally spoke on the phone he was even more fascinating. A real music lover, a pleasure to chat with, it would have been great to be there when the interview happened. It is the only interview in the Doc that I wasn't present for. A true unique and under appreciated artist whose great musical contributions from the first 2 Pale Saints LP's to his work with Warren Defevrer to his experimental work that he has been doing in Japan for some years now. Many thanks to my good friend Rodney Jao for shooting it for me.
There were more attempts to get members of MBV, I'd been speaking to Vinita more and I also had a lead on Colm O'Ciosoig who I'd discovered lived in San Francisco. I'd traded more emails with prospective interviews. I woke up one morning and saw an email from Jim Reid, I read and reread it several times. He told me that he’d been forwarded several emails -- I was glad my efforts were working but he seemed hesitant. I laid it out how important JAMC has been to me. I could go into immense detail of how this amazing life-changing band had affected me. I will elaborate more when I tell the story of the interview. It’s funny that my true favorite album of theirs isn’t the noisiest one. I’d discovered them backwards and worked my way through the catalog. Their second album Darklands is such a great album, so much heart, great memorable songs that had their signature feedback sound buried deeper in the mix. It should be more seminal than it is and it’s the record of theirs I listen to most. I would keep up with Jim until he agreed to meet up but he was a tough one to convince. He isn’t bullshitting when he says he is a private man, not a celebrity, not into the showbiz aspect of it. Ideally if they were they would be a more famous band in the US.
I was doing more tracking: Bilinda Butcher, Liz Fraser, Ivo Watts-Russell, Douglas Hart and Bobby Gillespie were all on my list then. The only one I had a lead on was Bobby but that was going slow, eventually Bobby would lead to Douglas who is an amazing guy. My friend Matt O Toole helped me acquire a camera in the UK so that when I went there I would have a camera waiting.
April of that year was rather traumatic on a personal level and rather than getting derailed I’d plotted out the first of 2 trips to the UK to get the bulk of my interviews. May 2006, it was a whirlwind of depression, no sleep, constant travel, bad food, meeting great people and a whole lot of talking. I will recount that in my next post, which will be up sooner than a year.