Foo Fighters Release New Single & Video “Run”

SURPRISE ! HOLY F@#$KING SH&T! NEW FOO FIGHTERS
SINGLE & VIDEO RELEASED TODAY!
“RUN” AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD, STREAM & WATCH NOW
GROHL-DIRECTED EPIC VIDEO LIVE NOW AT FOOFIGHTERS.COM

Hearts and minds-and, it goes without saying, eardrums–were blown this morning as the world’s biggest exporter of undiluted American stadium rock, Foo Fighters, surprise-released “Run,” a monolithic song of the summer shoo-in as melodic as it is monstrously heavy.

An ageless melodic hard rock anthem that showcases everything that’s made Foo Fighters an unstoppable road and radio conquering machine, “Run” is the first new Foo Fighters music since the band gifted fans with the free Saint Cecilia EP in late 2015.

“Run” is accompanied by a time-traveling mind-warp of a video directed by the band’s own Dave Grohl, in which the song’s dive-bombing verses and soaring choruses are matched by an insane performance from the band as you’ve never seen them before, playing for an audience you’d never imagine. All told, the “Run” video is as much a must-see as the song is an instant FF classic, both boldly looking into the band’s future while building on the rock solid Foo Fighters foundation.

Foo Fighters are Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear and Rami Jaffee.

iTunes – http://smarturl.it/FFRUNi
Apple Music – http://smarturl.it/FFRUNa
Spotify – http://smarturl.it/FFRUNsp
Amazon – http://smarturl.it/FFRUNaz
Google – http://smarturl.it/FFRUNg
Deezer – http://smarturl.it/FFRUNdz

Photo: Brantley Gutierrez

Singer Amy Lee of Evanescence talks about her new single “Speak to Me”

Amy Lee is the co-founder/lead singer for the Grammy Award winning rock group Evanescence. Lee has also participated in numerous other musical projects and has performed as a solo artist. Amy’s latest release is for the film “Voice From the Stone” starring Emilia Clarke and Marton Csokas. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Amy recently about the film, her experience at Skywalker Ranch and what’s in-store for Evanescence this year.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about your new single “Speak to Me”?

Amy Lee: This was quite different for me. Writing a song comes from a lot of different places. This one has a really cool and unique story. It was written for the film “Voice From the Stone” which I got to actually see before writing the song. I really loved the film as it made feel so many different things. Being a new mother I was really able to connect with the film main theme as it centers on the bond between mother and son. For me to watch that and relate it to the new huge inspiration in my life I instantly knew it was something I wanted to do. I spoke on the phone with the film’s director Eric Howell and Michael Wandmacher the films composer and we had a great talk about the directional idea and once we were off the phone I went straight to the piano and came up with the initial idea. That doesn’t always happen with me. Sometimes I can go months waiting for an idea to come that I feel is good enough to move forward with. Working on this track was a very inspiring experience.

AL: Were you basing your idea on a portion of the films score or
was it something completely separate from that?

Amy: When I saw the film the score was there but it wasn’t completely finished. They weren’t looking for me to do anything related to the score. They wanted me to write the one and only song in the film which has lyrics. It was helpful to see the visuals and hear some of what was going on as it helped me envision the finished product.

AL: Was this your first time writing for a film?

Amy: I have actually written quite a few things for movies however, most of the time it hasn’t made it through all of the different doors you have to go through to get to the final product. (Laughs) There have been several things that have made it though. In 2014 I did my first score which was a much bigger undertaking as opposed to doing just one song when I worked with David Eggar on the movie “War Story”. There’s another film titled “Blind” coming out later this year that I worked on the score for as well. My experience working on this latest film was very unique as I was able to travel to Italy and visit the filming locations and I was also invited out to Skywalker Ranch in California while they were mastering parts of the film. That was just a dream come true!

AL: Do you ever find differences between writing solo/Evanescence material and music for films?

Amy: Definitely. When I am writing for Evanescence or for my solo stuff and I am writing something that is supposed to represent me. I have these expectations I set for myself to ensure that whatever I do represents who I am. From the lyrics to the music I want it to showcase me. Luckily there are lots of sides of who we are so I get the chance to go down a lot of roads. When you are writing for something like a movie where you are trying to represent the emotions of a character you have to put yourself in that place and try to speak artistically from that view point. Even though it’s someone else’s emotions you are their voice and vehicle. This is different but it’s a nice change as you are allowed to make other choices

AL: What was it like being able to work at Skywalker Ranch?

Amy: After showing my idea to everyone a couple days after our initial talk and them really liking it I was invited to the Ranch to record. I had never been away from my son at the time as he was only thirteen months old. I had to really think about things as it was such a great opportunity but living in New York I would have to fly across the country to California and leave my baby for the first time ever. We hadn’t even had just a single overnight away from one another at this point. After deciding to do it things really couldn’t have been more perfect. Being away put me emotionally in the right place to write the song as I was dealing with separation which was something the song needed. It was just perfect. The ranch is such a great place for creation. There recording studio is the most immaculate place I have ever seen. I actually stayed there and when you are a guest you get stay in your own private cottage with a bike you can ride from place to place on. The one night I was there I had this idea in the middle of the night so I rode my bike down to the studio and just started working. It was the perfect free space to work. Any chance I get to work there again I will certainly take it.

AL: Can you give us an update on your solo work and what is going on with Evanescence?

Amy: About a month ago I released a new solo song called “What Exists”. Looking at my solo releases I feel like I have released more than I actually have. (Laughs) I certainly feel like I have done a lot. I have done a lot of covers. Doing covers is something you can put your own style to without the pressure of having to write a song. I did some of those covers for Disney a few years back. Evanescence has started touring again and we are gearing up to start next month. We will be in South America for a few weeks then we go to Europe. We are working on a bigger project right now which I can’t talk about just yet but we will be releasing something this year. I am very excited!

AL: Any other projects you would like to mention that you have been working on?

Amy: I worked on the score for an independent film titled “Blind”. The film stars Alec Baldwin and Demi Moore. I am not sure of the exact release date for it but I believe it should be coming out this summer, possibly fall. It was a different type of project for me. I didn’t do the soundtrack but as there was a need for music David Eggar would call me. It’s a very different film than “War Story”. For me it’s really fun to be able to work on different things as I get to learn about different genres of music or how to play a different way. There are different feelings which come along with all of that. It’s great to be able to find new collaborators and projects as you are giving yourself the space and a reason to try new things which I think can only be good for you.

Win a Blu-ray of “Tyler Perry’s Single Moms Club” [ENDED]

To celebrate the Blu-ray release of “Tyler Perry’s Single Moms Club”, Media Mikes is excited to giveaway one (1) copy of the Blu-ray to our readers. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of this prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite Tyler Perry movie. This giveaway will remain open until August 8th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Writer, director and producer Tyler Perry is at it again with the heartwarming comedy, Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club arriving on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD UltraViolet™), DVD (plus Digital UltraViolet), Digital HD, Video On Demand and Pay-Per-View July 22 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

Starring Nia Long (The Best Man Holiday), Amy Smart (Showtime’s “Shameless,” Crank), Cocoa Brown (TV’s “For Better or Worse”), Terry Crews (The Expendables franchise, TV’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”), William Levy (TV’s “The Tempest”), Wendi McLendon-Covey (TV’s “The Goldbergs,” Bridesmaids), Ryan Eggold (TV’s “The Blacklist”), Zulay Henao (TV’s “Love Thy Neighbor”), Eddie Cibrian (The Best Man Holiday, TV’s “The Playboy Club”) and Tyler Perry, the uplifting comedy follows the power of friendship among an unlikely group of women.

When five struggling single moms put aside their differences to form a support group, they find inspiration and laughter in their new sisterhood, and help each other overcome the obstacles that stand in their way.

“A Single Shot” Premieres at Tribeca

Based on Matthew Jones’s 1996 novel of the same name, A Single Shot stars Sam Rockwell as a down and out hunter who accidentally kills a young woman. Having found money in her camp, he decides to hide what he’s done and use it to try and put his life back together leading to an escalating cat-and-mouse game with the owners of the money. Having made its debut at the Berlin International Festival, the film held it’s US premiere at Tribeca on Friday April 26th.

Actress Heather Lind plays Mincy in the film whom she describes as a “free spirit, impulsive woman that tries to befriend Sam’s character and bring him out of his funk”. Lind is a familiar New York face coming from Boardwalk Empire as well as a long list of Broadway credits, I asked her what it meant to have the Film Fest in the city:

Heather Lind: “It’s a great question, I’ve been in New York for about twelve years, I grew up up in Albany but I’ve been in the city for twelve years. I just love this city, I think anything that happens, that appears in the city is a good thing. Working on this film was kind of surreal enough and then getting to come to the premiere here in New York was, you know great.”

The atmospheric film, though set in West Virginia, was shot in Vancouver, Canada. Director David M Rosenthal discussed this choice:

David M Rosenthal: “I was looking for a place to shoot that had, you know this kind of gray weather and that provided this fog layer and this mist layer. And there’s not that many places where you can find that and Vancouver has it in spades and also has great crews and great secondary actors. It seemed to make a lot of sense.

Rosenthal went on to praise his ensemble cast: “It was so wonderful for me to get all of these people together because you know, there’s so many actors in this movie that I got to work with who I absolutely revere. I’m not even talking shit, I really revere these actors like Sam Rockwell and Jeffrey Wright and Bill Macy and Jason Isaacs and Kelly Reilly. Really I just walk around feeling just blessed about the fact that I got to work with them.”

The director was particularly excited to see Sam Rockwell take on the part of John Moon: “Sam Rockwell is one of the most versatile actors in America. He’s maybe one of the very best actors of his generation. I don’t think many people could argue with that. So the list gets short when you’re thinking of someone of a specific age, it’s like ‘okay, maybe we could get x, maybe we could even get this guy, maybe we can get this guy, maybe we can get Sam Rockwell. Let’s get Sam Rockwell.’ ‘Sam Rockwell read it, he likes the script.’ ‘Really?’ Fantastic!”

British actress Kelly Reilly plays Rockwell’s wife in the film and added to Rosenthal’s enthusiasm for their lead: “I had probably six days on this movie, all-in-all and I just remember working, just having a blast with Sam. He’s such a fun down-to-Earth man. So I really enjoyed working with him.”

Considering the film begins with John Moon carrying out a murder, I asked writer Matthew F. Jones if he could see John Moon in a sympathetic light:

Matthew F Jones: “I always look to John as a very noble, upright guy in a very tough situation and part of the, I think part of the interesting of this movie…was that anyone of us could put ourselves in John situation. The life he was living and then what happens to him in a single shot and the decisions that he had to make and so…I don’t look at him as a shady character, I look at him as a noble guy in a tough situation.”

Sam Rockwell was in agreement with Jones regarding his character: “I do sympathize with him, but you know, that’s–I hope that everybody does. I think he’s really isolated and a lonely guy, he’s trying to reconnect with his family and stuff.”

Lauren Damon: Are you drawn to isolated characters like John?

Rockwell: Well, I don’t know, maybe. I’m drawn to those guys for some reason but I like them all.

LD: A lot of this movie is physically grueling, how was that?

Rockwell: Yeah, a lot of cramps! Waking up in the middle of the night with a lot of cramps and stuff.

Rockwell was also on the red carpet at TFF this year supporting other films he was in, Trust Me and A Case of You.

LD: Was it by accident you wound up with three films premiering at Tribeca?

Rockwell: Well, that was a fluke. That was a fluke.

 

You can read our review of A Single Shot here!

Tribeca Film Festival Review “A Single Shot”

Director: David M. Rosenthal
Starring: Sam Rockwell, Jeffrey Wright, Kelly Reilly, Jason Isaacs, Joe Anderson
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 116 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 Stars

 A Single Shot begins with West Virginian hunter John Moon (Sam Rockwell) accidentally shooting a woman dead while hunting deer. As if this weren’t enough cause for alarm, John discovers both a hand gun and a suspicious stash of cash in her makeshift camp. Moon hides the body and takes the money. Never the best plan. What follows is a tense backwoods cat and mouse game held together by a strong lead in a terrifying setting.

Moon, it turns out, has already been in trouble with the law as a poacher and sees the money as a means to get back his estranged wife (Kelly Reilly) and son. It doesn’t forgive Moon for his actions but reveals him as a desperate fool for thinking his plan has any chance of succeeding. He’s not unfamiliar with breaking the law, but not on the scale of the men whose threats start with phone calls and escalate. Rockwell does an amazing job at taking John through all the levels of fear. Whether he’s trying to remain calm as his phone rings in the presence of an old friend (Jeffrey Wright) or outright challenging unseen attackers in the woods, you can really feel the panic of a man realizing he’s in way over his head. The forrest surroundings John was so familiar with at the start of the film suddenly turn on him and it seems as though violence can, and in fact does, break out anywhere around him. Often shockingly so. The woods are beautifully shot in all their ominous foggy glory by Eduard Grau, and manage to seem expansive and claustrophobic at the same time.

The strong ensemble cast is perhaps too large to be sustained by a film whose focus must remain solidly on Moon’s dilemma. For example, as Waylon, the thug behind the money, Jason Isaacs isn’t given as much screen time as you would like considering he’s supposed to be the big bad of the movie. Consequently he is out-menaced early on by lackey Obadiah (a magnetic, psycho Joe Anderson) and Moon’s divorce lawyer played by William H. Macy (wearing a crime against toupees). Similarly, Moon and his wife’s relationship could have been strengthened to get at the heart of Moon more than the flirtations we wind up seeing with his neighbor’s daughter. Ultimately though this is Rockwell’s movie and there’s no doubt he’s an expert at isolation. His Moon is reason enough to wander into these woods.

 

Jon Secada talks about his passion for music and new single "I'm Never Too Far Away"

Jon Secada is a three-time Grammy Award winner with one hell of an amazing career over the last 20 years, selling over 20 million records worldwide, touring the world and releasing 18 studio albums including both English and Spanish language versions. He recently released his latest single, “I’m Never Too Far Away”, which is a must-listen for fans. Jon took out some time to talk to Media Mikes about the single, his passion for music and education and also plans for his next album.

Jennifer Kish: With a career spanning over two decades, two Grammy Awards, 20 million albums sold, tell us about this new single “I’m Never Too Far Away” and it’s story/inspiration?
Jon Secada: This marks the first time that I am releasing and promoting a song that I didn’t write myself. The song is written by my dear friend and producer Rudy Perez. I have known him for a long time and the minute he played that song I fell in love with it. I told him I wanted to use it and promote it as a single. For me as a singer/songwriter, I love that when you hear a great song that is all that matters. It really feels like it fits me. That is what it is all about especially after all these years to connect with a song that hopefully people will like.

JK: You’ve had so many amazing accomplishments throughout your career – from starting out performing with Gloria Estefan, becoming a tremendous success as a solo performer, penning songs for other artists such as Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez, performing a duet with Frank Sinatra – even starring on Broadway! – Are there any unique projects that you’re currently working on that will surprise and amaze fans – and if not currently is there something you’d like to eventually do?
JS: At this point I am enjoying this cycle of things that I have developed over the last 20 years. I’ve got my songwriting career; I’ve done some theater and the fact that in the last five years I have also done some television, especially being a judge from in a reality based talent show for the Spanish market. At this point if I can keep doing what I am doing I will just keep the cycle going for all things that I enjoy. I have had some great opportunities and I just want to keep doing shows, concerts and singing my songs.

JK: You’re obviously in fantastic physical shape! How do you manage to fit an exercise regimen into your busy schedule of touring and other things?
JS: I have decided about five or six years ago to make it a part of my life. I want to see if that by the time I was 50 that I could be in the best shape of my life. And I feel that I am right now. It is a commitment all around and I just make time for it. I find time to be able to go to the gym and to eat well and all those things to stay in shape. I will just continue to keep doing that.

JK: I know you’ve been very involved with music education in public schools. Tell us about this passion?
JS: Education always has been and always will be a very big part of my career. It is the reason I have a career and it started with me going to college. I will always be connected especially if I am asked by the institutions to lend a hand in terms of supporting education. Thanks to education, I have been successful with my career, with singing, with music and everything that I have been able to do over the last 20+ years and I want to keep doing that. Through television, on “Latin American Idol”, for me it is the connection and a privilege to recognize and discover new talent and to encourage them to always keep educating themselves and never stop learning. I do not think I have ever stopped learning since I started getting into music. So I am always willing to help anything that helps supports the arts. I also love teaching and doing seminars and talking with these kids. Teaching for me was a big part of my career early on. So I will always be a big supporter and do what I can to help others.

JK: I know you have a personal connection with the organization “Tune in to Hep C”, can you tell us about that?
JS: That started for me with the American Liver Foundation, the company that I worked with to create an awareness campaign for Hepatitis C. My father passed away from complications from Hepatitis C about a year and a half ago. So I learned a lot about what Hepatitis C means and what it represents. There are over 4 million people infected in the US alone. Being involved with the American Liver Foundation, I was honored to be a part of the campaign and I continue to be a supporter and a spokesperson for them.

JK: So you’ve given us a taste of some new music with your hit single, when can we expect the new album?
JS: I am working with Rudy Perez right now with what would be a bilingual record. Of course starting with the song “I’m Never Too Far Away”. There is also a Spanish version of that song as well. We are in the process of completing the rest of the project that I have in mind in both English and Spanish. I grew up bilingual living in Miami and South Florida. Everything that I have done has been in both languages, so I love that fact that I can do that with Rudy. I would say it should be completed in the next three or fours months.

(C) Gio Alma

JK: What really drives you to keep performing and touring after all these years?
JS: I think I just really love what I do. I am still very passionate about it. Every time I get to the shows, I just love it even more. I love that I still have the energy to entertain. I am very lucky and I hope I can just keep doing it.

JK: Lastly, tell us your upcoming tour schedule?
JS: I am doing some stuff right now in Latin America. Right now I am getting ready to leave for Argentina and Chile for some shows and promotions since I just put out a CD there. So very soon after that I will be putting something together to do some more shows in the US. So stay tuned!

JK: Any plans to return to Walt Disney World’s Epcot during the Food and Wine Festival?
JS: We love doing that! I did the Food and Wine Festival for many years and I would love to come back. So maybe this year we will!

Orgy’s Jay Gordon talks about new single “Grime of the Century”

Jay Gordon is the lead singer of the band Orgy. The group recently released a new single titled “Grime of the Century” and is set to embark on a western U.S. tour.  Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Jay recently about the band and its new release.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the bands new single “Grime of the Century”?
Jay Gordon: I chose this song because it was the one the band pulled together the quickest. Everything for the song just came right together. There is so much going on in our other songs that we felt this one was the simplest of the group. Releasing this song seemed like less of a gamble. I wanted to mainly get people familiar with the bands new line up through this song.

AL: Are there any plans to shoot a video for the song?
JG: Yes! We actually just finished it. I don’t know when it will exactly be released but it will be coming out soon. The video is going to be very interesting and cool. I think it is different for an Orgy video.

AL: Are there plans for a full-length release? and how does working on an album now compare to when the band first hit it big?
JG: Yes, a full length album is in the works. There is a lot less money now to make records with than when we started. Bands aren’t getting record deals like they did back in the 90’s however the process in which we work is the still the same.

AL: Are you doing any production on the new Orgy material? And has being involved with producing changed your approach to songwriting in any way?
JG: We are all capable of doing that type of work. Everyone in the band has their hands in the production aspect of things. As far as writing goes these days I think I am much faster at it now. I am however very picky. I don’t like to just jump on the first thing that comes to mind. I may be at first but when I take a second to slow down and look at everything sometimes my opinion changes.

AL: How do you go about balancing your work as a producer and as a singer?
JG: You just have to find/make time to do both. I wish there was a more glamorous answer but that’s the most direct. I wear a lot of hats.

AL: Can you tell us about the bands current lineup?
JG: I have known this group of guys for a long time. Carlton Bost and Ashburn Miller come from the band Deadsy. Jamie Miller came from the band Snot. Those guys are all really talented and were people I had wanted to play with for a long time. Nic Speck was a guy I met along the way and just ended up asking him to come down one day and he did.

AL: Can you tell us about the bands upcoming tour?
JG: We will be doing a quick tour of the west side of the United States during the fall and possibly after the New Year we will be heading over to Europe for some shows there as well. We are thinking about a lot of different things and are open to suggestion. I just want to get out there and do it again.

AL: Besides your work with Orgy what other projects are you working on right now?
JG: I am currently working on some songs for the band Escape the Fate. I did some really cool dub step tracks and programming for a few of there songs. I also am producing a song with the band and another guy named Future.

Joey La Rocca talks about new single with The Briggs

Joey La Rocca is a solo artist as well as the lead singer for the punk rock band The Briggs. After a 2 year hiatus The Briggs have released a new single titled “Panic!”. Media Mikes recently spoke with Joey about the song and the bands plans for the future.

Adam Lawton: What can you tell us about the bands newest song “Panic!”?
Joey LaRocca: I feel right now I am inspired by music that has urgency to it. Lately I like the feeling of uneasiness in music. That I guess might be the way I feel a lot of the time. This was sort of the inspiration behind the song.  The animosity and un-comfortableness is sort of what makes me feel alive and shows me that I am alive. I embrace that feeling of anguish and pain at times.

AL: Can you tell us about the video plans for the song?
JB: The video was really fun. Our buddy Beau Coulon who directed the video is brilliant. He had a concept for the video that has somewhat of a narrative that follows the story line of the song but at the same time it has a lot of energetic shots of the band. We spent a day on a sound stage just banging out the song 20,000 times. I think those shot are probably some of my favorite parts. I feel they really embrace the energy of the song and give it its fury. The narrative is fun also because it gives people something else to look at other than the band. (Laughs)

AL: Now that the band is back after a couple year hiatus what has been the biggest change in the industry you have noticed since your return?
JB: As a band we hadn’t been doing much however a few of us have still been involved in theindustry. I have been working on a solo project under the name Joey Briggs and have also done some touring. I have seen a lot of interesting changes. When we were first got out of doing the Briggs for awhile I was very bitter about how things were. I don’t necessarily feel that way anymore though. I see that there is an amazing breed of bands and fans that are creating a real scene again. It maybe sounds cliché but I have seen all these bands that are doing house and basement shows. In some degree that never went away but there just weren’t the people to support it. I feel now there is a good amount of people embracing the whole world of DIY. There are a lot of cool bands and houses involved in this movement. We haven’t done something like this in a long time. The scene has come back around and people have decided not to pay the high prices a lot of venues charge. There are other options to get people out and interested in what you are doing.

AL: Has there been any talks of a full-length Briggs release?

JB: I think the plan is to definitely do a full-length release. It’s something that sort of has to happen. We weren’t really 100% sure what was happening at the time we started. We were honestly just flying by the seat of our pants. We created a song and then put it out but now there is that expectation. People are going to hear the song and want to know where the rest of the album is. Its cool people want that so we will have to fill our obligations. It’s really fun to write a song but it not as fulfilling as a musician as when you have an entire album. I want 12 songs with 12 different stories and emotions. One song isn’t quite enough.

AL: What are your spring/summer tour plans?
JB: As far as summer goes I am completely booked doing Joey Briggs stuff. I will be doing a few dates on Warped Tour this summer. They are going to be doing an acoustic stage this year and I am really stoked to be a part of that. I then have a month long tour of Europe. When I come back from that I will be back on Warped Tour for a few more shows. The Briggs will be doing a return show at the House of Blues in Anaheim at the end of May to kind of say were back. Before the Briggs get fully back out there I would like to have a new album out. I don’t want to get the cart before the horse so to speak.

Rodney Atkins Achieves Sixth Career No. 1 Single

RODNEY ATKINS ACHIEVES SIXTH CAREER NO. 1 SINGLE
MUSIC VIDEO DIRECTED BY ANDY TENNANT, “TAKE A BACK ROAD,” OFFICIALLY IMPACTS TODAY
Nashville, Tenn. (Monday, September 19, 2011) – Weeks away from releasing his third studio album on Curb Records on October 4, Rodney Atkins is celebrating his sixth career No. 1 with “Take A Back Road,” and coincidentally, the video for the tune debuts across all country music video outlets today, September 19.
With Atkins’ solid history in the music business, he attracted the attention of Hollywood director Andy Tennant (Fool’s GoldHitchSweet Home AlabamaFools Rush In), who has now brought his vision to Atkins’ “Take A Back Road” for his first ever music video.   Watch the video.
“Rodney Atkins is everything I never knew I always wanted in a country music star; ridiculously talented, soft-spoken and decent, and wonderfully humble,” shares Tennant.
The video was shot in Tennessee with locations in Nashville, Carthage, and White Bluff. Tennant describes the treatment: “Think of Rodney as the angel from Wender’s ‘Wings of Desire,’ but instead of Brandenberg gate, he’s perched high on an old water tower.  [He’s] beckoning people, like the call to prayer, back to the country Mecca of small town America…White Bluff.”
Atkins wanted to bring a new feel to this video and bringing in the creativity of Tennant seemed like just the move to make.  “Andy was so great to work with,” says Atkins.  “And the stunt man was incredible!” he says jokingly in reference to his shots from the water tower and top of the Cordell Hull Bridge.
New album, Take A Back Road, will be available worldwide October 4, 2011.  For more information, please visit www.rodneyatkins.com.

Interview with Gary Daniels

When you think of actions movies, you should be thinking about Gary Daniels.  He recently co-starred along side Sylvester Stallone in “The Expendables” and Wesley Snipes in “Game of Death”.  Gary took a few minutes to chat with Movie Mikes about working on his films and what he has planned upcoming.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how it working with Sylvester Stallone both acting and directing in “The Expendables”?
Gary Daniels: As you can imagine I was kinda excited at the prospect of working with the writer/creator of “Rocky” and the star of “Rambo” and I have to say working with Stallone didn’t disappoint . The man has an incredible energy, whether working out in the gym with him or working on set…the man is full of energy. He is constantly in motion but is very focused.  He knows what he wants, has a clear vision and knows how to get it. As an actor it instills confidence in you when your director is clear about what h e wants and how to go about achieving that result. He is a very intense director but I found him to be very open minded when I had any kind of suggestions about the blocking or the character. I found him to be very inspirational.

MG: What was the most difficult task of working on “The Expendables”?
GD: There wasn’t too much that was difficult about working on “The Expendables”, I have done quite a few action movies now. For me, as someone that has done leads and is used to having a lot of say in the choreography and direction of my fights, I would say the most difficult thing was not having any input in those areas.

MG: Tell us about working on the film “Game of Death”, does Wesley Snipes still have game?
GD: I was hired on “Game of Death” kinda last minute and the script was being re-written as we were shooting…which presented its own challenges. I wasn’t about to turn down the opportunity to work with Wesley Snipes, but I didn’t get to play the character of Zander the way I would have liked to.  But part of being an actor is being mailable and being able to accept direction, so I always give 100% regardless. It’s always fun playing the bad guy, especially one as ruthless as Zander. Plus its always educational when you have a chance to work with such experienced actors as Robert Davi and Wesley Snipes. Wesley was obviously going through turmoil in his life at the time we were shooting, so whether he bought his A game to the film or not I will let the viewers judge for themselves. He is obviously a talented individual or he wouldn’t have reached such heights in his career.

MG: You reunited with “Expendables” cast Eric Roberts and Steve Austin, in “Hunt to Kill”, tell us about working working on that film and with them again?
GD: Most of my scenes in “The Expendables” were with Steve and Eric, so we spent a lot of time together.  They are both very down to earth and funny guys, so we had a blast together. It was Steve that called me and asked me to work on “Hunt to Kill”, so it was an easy choice to say “Yes”. I didn’t have any scenes with Eric in “Hunt to Kill” but was with Steve most of the time. For a bloke that looks so big and intimidating he is one of the nicest guys you can hope to work with on and off the set. On this film I got to choreograph and shoot a fight between us. It is always a challenge to choreograph for the different kinds of athletes, actors, martial artists that you work with in films and this was no different trying to highlight both of our strengths as we are obviously from very different backgrounds.

MG: How was it working with Steven Seagal in “Submerged”, any cool set stories?
GD: ‘Submerged’ was not one of my favourite experiences, my character was originally very pivotal , but Mr Seagal had other ideas and in the end.  They might as well of hired a stuntman to play the role as all the dialogue and relationship between his and my character was cut. Well every actor has their own vision for their films and being the star of the film you will usually get your way so for me I just get on with it and do the best I can under the given circumstances. Actually most of the cast and crew were from England,  so we all had a blast on and off the set. Nuff said!

MG: Tell us about playing Kenshirô in “Fist of the North Star” and working with Tony Randel?
GD: I was a fan of the anime before I was asked to do the film. So I knew it was gonna be very difficult to translate the anime to live action, especially back in 94 before CGI had been so developed. But I loved the character that I wasn’t about to turn it down. The first challenge for me was the physical one, Kenshiro (like most anime characters) has an awsome, huge physique. So I began a regime of training lifting heavier weights than I had worked with before and went from 180 to 192 lbs. Trouble is we were working such long hours during the summer in a sweltering sound stage with no air conditioning, that as the shoot progressed I slowly lost all that weight as I couldnt get in the gym to maintain. I think Tony had a good vision for the film but he certainly wasn’t into martial arts and didn’t like to shoot the fights. He felt the heart of the story was the love triangle between Kenshiro, Shin and Julia and that by focusing on that it would elevate the film above being a mere ‘martial arts’ film. Personally I think the fans wanted to see Kenshiro kicking ass. Again different visions, but overall I like the film and the way it turned out. The trouble when making an adaptation of an anime or video game is that you have to try to make a film that appeases the hardcore fans but also makes sense to viewers that have no idea about the original source material…not easy.

MG: What has been the most difficult film that you have work on to date?
GD: Every film presents its own challenges. Coming from a martial arts background my hardest challenge is trying to convince producers/directors to take me seriously as an actor so sometimes I end up trying too hard. Then when I choreograph action its tough getting the powers that be to let me control how it is shot and edited. When I do the lead in smaller films, I  wish I could work on bigger films that get more exposure. When you get on bigger films but playing smaller roles,  I miss being involved in the film making process.  The grass is always greener on the other side. Some films you get along with everybody but some there is a clash with other cast members, as I say every film presents their own challenges.

MG: Tell us about some of your upcoming projects?
GD: I just spent three months in Thailand working on the 1st two parts of a trilogy , “The Mark – Light 777” and “The Mark – Bangkok Rising” with Craig Scheffer and Eric Roberts…yes Eric again. The 3rd part will be shot in Europe this summer. Next up will be the lead in a MMA project called “Forced to Fight”. I am also waiting to hear on a bigger project that goes this summer but its not locked so I don’t wanna say too much right now. I am training hard and reading scripts ,so as always in this business the future is never easy to plan.

Interview with James Wan & Leigh Whannell

James Wan & Leigh Whannell are the director and the writer of “Insidious” (respectively).  The started their career by creating the “Saw” franchise.  Since then the guys have worked together on various other projects including “Death Sentence” and “Dead Silence”.  James and Leigh took aside some time during their very busy press day for “Insidious” to chat with Movie Mikes about the new film and working together again on this project.

Mike Gencarelli: James, Tell us about how you became attached to “Insidious”?
James Wan: This is a project that happened when I met with one of the producers of “Paranormal Activity”, we hit it off.   I met with the rest of the gang and introduced them to my partner in crime Leigh Whannell.  We said “Guys we want to do a project together”. We all got along so well, we decided to go out there and work on a film together.  That marriage became “Insidious”.

MG: Leigh, Tell us about coming up with this idea for the script?
Leigh Whannell: This idea, like all, James and I came up with it together, even before we came up with “Saw”.  We were trying to find something that we could shot in a really low budget way.  We had a goal for a $5,000 budget for a film and we were trying to come up with idea that would suit that budget.  The core idea at the heart of “Insidious” is what we came up with.  I don’t want to give anything away to the readers but the end is what we essentially came up with.  We thought it was pretty good and almost went with it.  But one day James called me and said he had the idea of two guys chained up in a public toilet.  I thought that was a better idea and I am glad we went with that.  So we filed the idea for “Insidious” in the file cabinet in the back of your brain. When James had the meeting with Steven Schneider, one of the producers of “Paranormal” that he was just talking about… we came to the belief that we would be pretty foolish by not making this film.

MG: You guys have worked together on every project now, would you consider this project to be you’re most difficult?
JW: I think this actually has been the most fun project that Leigh and I have working together on.
LW: I agree, but not easiest in terms of coming up with the idea, writing the film and directing it.  That stuff is hard…and it is definitely hard to do those things on a small budget. But the ease came from great people.  The cast and crew were just so easy to get along with.  The producers were so great and stayed true to there word by letting us make a film we wanted to make, while also giving us great ideas and thoughts.  They were true collaborators. Everything was just so great.  I definitely have had the most fun working on this, the same as James.

MG: Since the film was low budget, did you feel still feel you were able to achieve everything you wanted?
JW: Oddly, this film actually cost less to make than “Saw” and “Saw” was very low budget.  Yet the ironic thing is I managed to pretty much make the movie I wanted to make.  I think this is the reason why, “Saw” was my first film and  I didn’t have a filmmaking infrastructure around me.  I didn’t have the support or a crew that I knew.  Fast forward to four films later… “Insidious” is my fourth movie, even though it is less money, I have brought in a really great team of people and crew.  I got a cinematographer that I love…an AD that is brilliant…costume and production design…hair and makeup…everyone came to work on this film because they wanted to work with me again. I managed to get an A quality film for basically a no-budget movie.

MG: James, Why did you take on the task of editing as well as directing?
JW: Purely because I love editing [laughs].  It is a simple as that.  I love editing just as much as directing.  I have always edited my own stuff back in film school.  When you get to Hollywood people do not want you to wear yourself too thin.  So usually you have to give up the editing aspect of it.  Due to this being such a small movie and in some way real garage filmmaking for me, it was very experimental.  I got to shoot digital for the first time, which I loved.  It allowed me to do a lot of things that I couldn’t do with film.  I cut it myself in my bedroom on my little Macintosh Apple computer.  It was very liberating.  I thought only I would be able to crop the scare sequences because I shot it knowing how I planned to edit it.  That is the only way I would be able to get around shooting a film in only 22 days. I had a very strong specific way on how I was going to cut.  For me, I felt the scare scenes needed to be very effective and that all comes from how the film is edited and how the sound interacts with that footage.  If you are one second off, then your whole scare sequence is thrown off the curve.

MG: This film looks quite scary especially for PG-13, tell about working within that rating?
JW: Particularly, I know for Leigh he was just setup to write the script and it just so happened to fall into the PG-13 world.  For me it was definitely more conscious.  I didn’t want swearing, I didn’t want blood and guts.  I honestly believe that a lot of it has gotten lost in the last few years.  I think in a big part thanks to the franchise that Leigh and I have created.  People have forgotten that you can make a very scary movie without blood and guts.  You can make a very suspenseful with out throwing buckets of blood at the screen and you can do it this creepy atmosphere that gets into your head.

MG: How was it working with horror genre favorite, Lin Shayne?
JW: I have known Lin Shayne for a while now and there was only one person I wanted to cast for the role.  Most people know here for some of the over the top stuff that she has done but for me I know her and she is more than capable of doing the drama.  She is really great at it.  I really I wanted to give her the chance to do that on this film. Since she comes from a comedic background there is a great quirkiness to the role, which I think is fantastic.

MG: Leigh, did you right the part with Lin in mind?
LW: James told me very early on that he wanted that character set for Lin Shayne to play.  I have worked with her and I was able to write the character for her, which is awesome.  It is always easier to write a character for somebody you know.  You can take years of life experiences, quirks and habits and put it into the character.  That is actually how I build from the ground up. I always like to base characters on people I know because it is the easiest access point.  It was great writing the character having her in mind.  I also wrote the ghost hunters characters for myself and Angus Sampson.  With Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson’s characters, I didn’t know them so I based the characters on people I know in my life.

MG: Leigh, you not only started the “Saw” franchise but also starred in it, were you always planned to take on both roles?
LW: Yeah, that was our plan! As I said before we were trying to make a film for $5,000 dollars. That was our post film school plan. James wanted to direct something and I wanted to act in something. We were frustrated, so we came up with the idea and went out and did it.  I love acting.  I just enjoy it as much as I do writing.  I am not afraid to say that if I write a film I love to put myself in it, that way I can still be involved in the filmmaking process after the writing is done. The writing is where it all starts.  These are the plans for the house and you can’t build anything without the blueprints. Once I start I want to be there on the building site.  I want to be hammering some nails and helping out.  So the best way to do that is to be acting.

MG: What do you guys have planned next together?
JW: We have separate things we have been working on that we always check with each other about.
LW: Together as the team the Wan/Whannell brand…we are talking about doing a Sci-Fi.  We have come up with an idea and we really like it.  We ran the idea past some investors and they really liked it.  So that is definitely upcoming.

MG: Do you feel nervous going up against this weeks new films?
LW: Yeah for sure! We are always nervous about going against big films.
JW: Our film is a small little film and it is hard to compete with big studio films, “Hop” and “The Source Code”.  Those are big studio films, with huge marketing behind them.  We are here to nip at the hills.