Not too long ago I interviewed Katherine Katz of grindcore outfit Agoraphobic Nosebleed, when she mentioned an upcoming documentary called Slave to the Grind – A Film About Grindcore. The film is going to tell the history of the grindcore genre and will be released on December 1st, 2017. Not long after, I conducted an email interview with Doug Brown, director of the film, who discussed how you could be a part of the project.
Tell us about your film: what made you decide to do a documentary on grindcore?
Making this film has been on my mind for quite some time. I started taking the idea seriously close to two years ago as I was finishing my last film, Never Enough. It was a full year of making contact with musicians, assembling a competent crew (who was willing to get roughed up in a pit with film equipment) and thinking critically about what I thought should be in a film on grind before we picked up camera. I’m a music history buff, and the origins/directions of music trends is fascinating to me. I know that metalheads and punks devour information on music they dig, and since there was nothing comprehensive on grind, I am taking a chance.
Will it be a straight forward documentary or done in a more experimental style like Montage of Heck?
We are still getting footage, so the style of the final cut is unknown. All I know is that it will be pretty intense.
Which bands are you going to cover? Are all of them confirmed or are you still searching for more?
We will be interviewing everyone we can, but this does not guarantee them a place in the film. There are too many important musicians in the genre, not to mention the importance of the underground/DIY aspect…which I would argue is as important as the big names. At the end of the day it will be about: fit, flow, history, and story-telling. Yes – most people will expect Napalm Death, Terorrizer, Brutal Truth, Discordance Axis… but this film will have many wide cards that some of the hardcore fans will be pleased to see.
And yes – we are still searching for more. In a band? Get in touch!
Are you willing to show case younger unknown bands?
Yes. Young bands are the lifeblood of the scene, and nothing is more DIY than playing a basement for a handful of friends. Grindcore is about the music, and nothing is more about the music than an unsigned band.
With all these grindcore bands playing big festivals, Napalm Death having their biggest year this year, and the hype that all these bands have been recently getting, do you feel grindcore is more popular now then it ever was?
If Grindcore is popular, it likely has to do with a few technological factors. Firstly, the internet has made it easier to reach an audience half way around the globe. The online presence of music can also present a scene that is non-existent. You’d be shocked how many bands with a huge following/digital presence still playing in front of the same number of people I saw them play in front of a decade ago. Grindcore is never going to massive, but it will always be strong.
I’ve also heard terms like ‘hipster grind’ thrown around – even describing bands like Insect Warfare and Grindlink. If that is Hip… then I guess I’m a hipster. But at the end of the day, this shit is all online. I don’t hear these conversations at shows/festivals. If all anyone understands about grindcore is what it ‘seems to be’ online, they need to get out to a show. Shows haven’t changed too much and that is the real community. Support your scene!