Metalbanger, the Art of Violence is a transmedia and interactive documentary designed both for a web platform and for television broadcasting. It is an interactive documentary where 4 different topics can be explored as you wish and at your leisure.
Teaser with english subtitles.
Metal, derived from Hard-Rock and Heavy-Metal is a music labelled as violent. It is also a genre of music listened to worldwide. Several documentaries have focussed on the fans of Metal, but the musicians have only rarely been described. None of the films have explored the reasons that push artists to express their emotions through this controversial music genre, regrettably viewed in clichés and as an amalgam.
Hellfest 2012, day 1.
Metal is usually criticised for endorsing machismo and violent behaviour, for pushing people to suicide, or murder to towards alternative cultures. And the clichés on Metal amateurs are easy shortcuts: “they are stupid and are bad musicians”.
I wish to tackle these clichés differently in this documentary by exploring 4 different topics as follows.
Artistic expression: why do some musicians feel compelled to express themselves in such a violent manner?
The morbid imagery: why does Metal make so many references to death? Is Metal the only form of art that does that? Why is it taboo to mention death in our society?
Life in parallel to Metal: even though I have focussed on some of the best French groups (and one Swiss group), most musicians do not make their living out of their music. Some even have very respectable jobs, in total contradiction with typical representations.
Work and technical expertise: does one have to be a good musician to make Metal music? Is it hard work? Should musicians only listen to Metal or should they open up to other styles of music?
To answer all these questions, I selected 12 musicians, 2 sociologists and one manager of cultural events. Their views will be enlightening and will provide a different perspective on Metal and help reposition the genre in the field of the arts.
Virginie Goncalvès. Annecy, april 2012.
Gorod. St Etienne, may 2012.
Candice Clot, Marseille. January 2012.
Through the approach and the topics treated, the documentary is first and foremost for unconditional Metal amateurs but it is also for novices, describing how Metal treats serious subjects like death or transmits values associated with tolerance, eclecticism and work ethics.
Mario Duplantier surrounded by his paintings. Bayonne, December 2011.
The documentary will be entirely calibrated in black and white. The logo, designed by an artist of the Metal scene, complies with the morbid imagery associated with Metal.
The result recreates the paradox between the image of Metal, which is dark and violent, and its essence, definitely turned towards positive values. Many musicians confided to me that they turned to Metal for its authenticity.
Julien Truchan. Benighted. St Etienne, may 2012.
Blaise Brechbühl. Kruger, Lausanne, january 2012.
Which artists have been selected to take part in the documentary?
Eryn Non Dae (the whole group during the recording of Meliora). Toulouse.
Virginie Goncalves: singer of Kells. Lyon.
Staif: guitarist of Eths. Marseille.
Candice Clot: ex-singer of Eths. Marseille.
Blaise Brechbühl: bass player of Kruger. Lausane (Switzerland).
Marc Petit and Jéjé: guitarist and singer of Recueil Morbide. Montbeliard.
Pierre Jean Toti: guitarist of Lokurah. Paris.
Julien Truchan: singer of Benighted. St Etienne.
Mario Duplantier: drummer of Gojira. Bayonne.
Adrien Grousset: guitarist of Hacride. Poitiers.
Nicolas Chastel: guitarist of Simplixity. Bordeaux.
Mickaël Desmarie: bass player of Minushuman. Périgueux.
Julien Deyres: singer of Gorod. Toulouse.
Fabien Hein: sociologist (University of Metz). Author (amongst others) of "Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Metal...Histoire, Cultures et pratiquants (Metal.... History, Cultures and Practices)".
Nicolas Walzer: sociologist. Author (amongst others) of "Anthropologie du Metal extreme (Anthropology of Extreme Metal)” and "Du Paganisme à Nietzsche, se construire dans le Metal (From Paganism to Nietzsche, shaping one’s personality in Metal)”. Paris.
Vincent Guidault: Cultural Manager of the Demeure de Ronsard. Tours.