Ralph Bakshi talks about his sketchbook, Lord of the Rings & working with Brad Pitt on Cool World

Ralph Bakshi is the man responsible for films like Fritz the Cat, Coonskin, American Pop, Heavy Traffic, The Lord of the Rings (’78), Wizards, and Cool World.

Media Mikes had a chance to chat about drawing with Ralph as well as how he got the rights to make the animated Lord of the Rings movie in 1978 to working with a young Brad Pitt on Cool World.

CD Review: Brad Paisley “Wheelhouse”

Brad Paisley
Release Date: April 9, 2013
Label: Sony Nashville/Arista
Tracks: 17
Running Time: 63 minutes

Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars

I can’t believe I am about to say this but I really hated this album. I was a huge fan of “This is Country Music”. I mean there was hit after hit, ranging from the title track “This Is Country Music” to “Old Alabama” to “Remind Me” and “Camouflage”…only to name a few. Those are some amazing songs. I really had a hard time even finishing this album one time through. I feel Brad Paisley completely changed his sound and I have no idea why he would want to do that. After winning three GRAMMYs®, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards and 14 Country Music Association Awards including Entertainer of the Year, I understand taking a risk but this is too much for me. There is not one track on the album that I remotely enjoyed.

“Wheelhouse” is also the first time that Brad produced once of his own albums. The first single “Southern Comfort Zone” is a hit on the charts but I have to tell you I almost found myself skipping it. Don’t think that I am not a country fan because I love me some country in fact, I can’t stop listening to Blake Shelton’s new album. That right there is an album that is hit after hit after hit. Every song is gold. One thing this album does have is a shit load of guest stars including Dierks Bentley and Roger Miller with Hunter Hayes on guitar on “Outstanding In Our Field”.Charlie Daniels on “Karate”, Eric Idle on “Death of a Married Man” and LL Cool J on Accidental Racist, which is the worst track on the whole record. Sadly all that talent cannot assist Paisley is scoring a hit album.

Track Listing:
1. Bon Voyage
2. Southern Comfort Zone
3. Beat This Summer
4. Outstanding In Our Field (Featuring. Dierks Bentley and Roger Miller)
5. Pressing On A Bruise (Featuring Mat Kearney)
6. I Can’t Change The World
7. Onryo
8. Karate (Featuring Charlie Daniels)
9. Death of a Married Man (Featuring Eric Idle)
10. Harvey Bodine
11. Tin Can On A String
12. Death Of A Single Man
13. The Mona Lisa
14. Accidental Racist (Featuring LL Cool J)
15. Runaway Train
16. Those Crazy Christians
17. Officially Alive

3 Doors Down’s Brad Arnold talks about new “Greatest Hits” album

Brad Arnold is the lead singer of the multi-platinum selling rock group 3 Doors Down. The group is set to release a greatest hits album in November and will also be hitting the road in support of that album. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Brad about the album and the bands new line up.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the greatest hits album and the 3 new songs which will be featured on it?
Brad Arnold: This album is really a look back through our first 10 or 12 years of being a band. We took the biggest songs from each album and combined them on to one. The songs feature a little bit different take as we used some of the new technology that is available and did some modernizing. The songs still all sound the same only more modern. As far as the 3 new songs being on a greatest hits record we felt we needed to put some songs on there we thought could be greatest hits of their own. I am proud of these new songs and they stand up. All 3 of them have a really good mix.

AL: How was it working with on new material with the bands new line up?
BA: We still kind of wrote everything the same way. We actually co-wrote two of the new songs with Marty Frederickson and the other song was one that didn’t make it on to our last record. It was great having Chet Roberts in the studio as he is a great musician and very creative. Chet is a real good dude.

AL: What are the bands current thoughts towards a new full length album?
BA: We really want to get on that pretty quick. I think we have left a little too much space between our records. That is something that is easy to do because you spend so much time writing and recording the songs then you spend more time on the road promoting and touring. Before you know it 2 years have gone by. We don’t want to do that this time. While we are out on tour with Daughtry we are going to be focusing on writing new material.

AL: Is writing on the road something the band does often?
BA: In the past we have set specific time aside to write when we are not on the road. We also are the guys who will often procrastinate. (Laughs) We really don’t want to do that anymore as we want to have some new material to play.

AL: How did the band get involved with playing the Republican National Convention?
BA: It was really cool to be invited down to play that. Our management had been approached to see if we had any interest in doing it and we said sure. We are not a political band but we felt it was a good place to debut the song “One Light”. The song is not a political but it’s about taking the world and making it a better place. I think if everyone did that we would live in a pretty good world.

AL: Can you tell us about the upcoming tour?
BA: This is going to be a great tour. We are heading out for 19 shows initially. There have been recent talks to take it to Mexico. It’s crazy as the tour hasn’t even started yet and we are already talking about extending it. We are also looking at taking the show over to Europe as well. I think people will really enjoy the show. Chris Daughtry is a good friend of mine and we know the P.O.D. guys pretty well also so I think this tour is going to be greater than its parts. We are bringing a show that families can come to and not worry about hearing the F bomb all the time. I like looking out and seeing parents and kids jamming along to the music together. That makes you feel really good.

AL: What other projects to you have going on in the coming months?
BA: We have The Better Life Foundation event kicking off the tour on November 17th in Mississippi. Along with that we do a big motorcycle ride which will have around 500 or more riders participating. That’s going to be a good positive note to start the tour off on. Again we will be out on the road doing shows and writing new material.


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Brad Loree talks about playing Michael Myers and doing stunt work

Brad Loree is known best for playing Michael Myers in “Halloween: Resurrection”.  He is also has performed stunt work on numerous TV and film projects including  “TRON: Legacy” and “Watchmen”.  He is the star of the recently released “Mr. Hush” directed by Dave Madison.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Brad about his film and stunt work.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved playing the role of Holland Price in “Mr. Hush”?
Brad Loree: Well Mike, I meet writer/directors at the con’s all the time who claim they want to work with me, but Dave Madison actually sent me a script and then kept his word by using me as Holland!

MG: Can you reflect on playing such an iconic character such as Michael Myers in “Halloween: Resurrection”?
BL: When i got offered the part of Michael Myers, I was already on another show. But when they explained that I wasn’t going to be just the stunt-double, but actually play The Shape, I quickly left my previous gig and jumped into the role! It was a great honor!

MG: What do you like most about working in the horror genre?
BL: My favorite thing about the horror genre is doing conventions and meeting the fans. Great people!

MG: You’ve worked stunts in two of my favorite films, “TRON: Legacy” and “Watchmen”, can you tell us about those experiences?
BL: Well, on “Tron” I got to meet ‘The Dude’, Jeff Bridges. Awesome guy! Did a little gag where he gets kicked by his younger self and slides several feet backwards on this platform. “Watchmen” was fun because I got to be a motorcycle cop, an arresting officer and also the lead character’s fist punching thru a wall! And Zach (Synder), the director, is my fav of any I’ve worked with!

MG: What has been your most challenging role stunt performing?
BL: My most challenging stunt was on a TV show called “Mantis”. I had to jump thru an 8ft by 8ft window from the 3rd story and, across a 14ft abutment below! If i’d fallen short, well….

MG: Tell us about your upcoming projects?
BL: My next project is to be determined. I’ve been laid up for a few years now due to a motorcycle wreck. But i am hoping to do more acting in the future and may try my hand at writing/producing. Wish me luck!

Brad Parker talks about directing “Chernobyl Diaries”

Brad Parker is making his directorial debut with the new film “Chernobyl Diaries”. The film is co-wrote and produced by Oren Peli, known for the “Paranormal Activity” series. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Bradley about working on the film and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: Can you tell us why you chose “Chernobyl Diaries” for your directorial debut?
Brad Parker: There were two things really. The idea of working with Oren Peli who is a great guy and sort of a master of suspense was very exciting. The other thing was the city itself. It was a place I had been aware of and had collected photos of the location thinking that someday I would shoot a film there. When we first met we hit it off and were instantly able to start talking about the city as a character. We got right into the nuts and bolts of production. The place and the man were the two main elements.

MG: So you had knowledge of the area prior to starting?
BP: Yes I did. I had sort of learned from my friend Mark Romanic that as I came across fascinating photos I should save them on my computer. I created an archive for when I needed a specific look for something. I was able to pull from the knowledge of the place through a photographic sense.

MG: What do you think was this projects biggest challenge?
BP: The biggest challenge I think was the amount of time we had to do the film. I met theproducers of the film about a year ago. I had a rough treatment of the film at that time and we were set to start shooting not too long after that meeting. We really got into production very quickly. We shot the film in about 20 days so that was probably the biggest challenge. It was a lot of fun but very hard at the same time. Some of the locations were challenging and there were a number of things going on in a few of the scenes.

MG: Your background is in visual effects. Did you get involved with any of that for this film?
BP: I did. I got involved by deciding where not to use visual effects. I have being doing visual effects work for so long that I have become aware of where effects work and where they do not. I had a limited budget so I had to figure out how to use that appropriately. I worked with my friend and former co-worker Mark Forker on the visual stuff. It was great to be out there with a friend and an ally. We are very like minded and I trust him. He and I see eye to eye when it comes to visual aesthetics.

MG: What do you think you were able to take from this shoot that you will be able to use in future projects?
BP: The experience of working with this group of actors. It’s kind of semi-improvisational which I really liked. I found it very liberating and it was a great way to work. Working on long takes was another thing I loved. That was a great way to shoot and get natural performances. I think I will be taking that with me for future shoots.

MG: Are you at all nervous about the film opening up against “Men in Black III”?
BP: It’s hard to say. I don’t know what to expect being this is my first film. I am a big fan of the “Men in Black” series. I hope people respond well to the film. I don’t know how we will do but I hope people like it.

MG: Do you know what your next project will be?
BP: I am in development right now with Bad Robot. My friend Matt Reeves is producing the film and it is being released by Paramount. I can’t really say too much about it just yet.

Interview with Brad Neely & Daniel Weidenfeld

Brad Neely & Daniel Weidenfeld are the guys behind Adult Swim’s new show “China, IL”. Brad is the writer, producer and star of the show and Daniel is the executive producer. The show just started airing on Adult Swim every Sunday, be sure to check it out. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with the guys about the new show and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about the journey for “China, IL” starting as web series to airing on Adult Swim?
Daniel Weidenfeld: I had worked with Brad on the shows at Super Deluxe. We had been talking about doing a four part episode. We wanted to do a television show however Super Deluxe wanted it to be a web series. We had this super complex story where we had a  four part show but in each part there were three acts. It was a very confusing. About a year and a half later, Adult Swim came to Brad about doing the show. I came on a short time after. Together we did a pilot titled “Professor Brothers”. The show ended up being picked up for series and Adult Swim wanted to develop it further. We made the show more about the world and added pupils to the characters which gave them a little more life. We also changed the name to “China, IL” and that’s where we are today.

MG: Brad, you not only write and produce the show but also voice the main character, How do you juggle those roles?
Brad Neely: It’s fun! You have to just put on different hats. Of course it’s not all just me either. While I am in doing voicing, Daniel is on the other side of the glass directing me. We have a lot of people working on the show that have editorial input.
DW: The crew here adds a lot to each frame of the show. It’s really great and we are very lucky.

MG: How did you get involved with Titmouse and Tommy Blanca who voiced the Mayor?
DW: Shannon and Chris (Prynoski) have been friends for a long time. They have done a lot of work with Adult Swim. There was a time when it looked like the show was going to be picked up just based on the written scripts. They were the first people we called.
BN: They were actually the first people I ever met with. I couldn’t imagine doing the show elsewhere. They presented a studio that had a booth in house. They were also able to do revisions and pickups on the fly. We were able to make everything run like a well oiled machine.
DW: With Tommy for the episode “Dean vs. Mayor” we had initially wanted to get Macho Man Randy Savage to go head to head with Hulk Hogan. However we couldn’t find him at the time and that was prior to him passing away. The next person we called was Tommy who used to be the head writer for the WWE. We knew he could bring that spirit to the episode. The voice he brought killed it! You’re going to be seeing a little bit more of the Mayor in the future.

MG: Tell us how Hulk Hogan came aboard to voice The Dean?
DW: It was tricky but we got him. We had to appeal to him in a way where it wasn’t about the money. He cares about doing awesome stuff! We sent him the script and he told us it was the weirdest thing he had ever seen in his life and  he wanted to be a part of it. It took some massaging and to this day we are still massaging.
BN: He has a comedy personality in him. He doesn’t just come in and do his lines. Hulk is a funny performer.

MG: Any other guest voices to keep an eye out for this season?
DW: Oh yeah!
BN: One of our favorite things about the show is the voice talent. We have Jason Alexander doing a voice in episode four.  We have Jeffery Tambor playing Baby Cakes’ dad.
DW: We also have Natasha Leggero and Chelsea Peretti doing voices. We are trying to stack the deck as much as we can. It’s been awesome!

MG: How long does each episode take from script to screen?
BN: It’s different with each as the writing process is unique for each episode.
DW: We started production in October of 2010.
BN: Right now we are finishing the tenth episode. While everyone is working on the first episodes we are writing the second half.

Interview with GWAR’s Brad Roberts & Casey Orr

One of the more under rated rhythm sections in Heavy Metal is that of Jizmak Da Gusha and Beefcake the Mighty also know as Brad Roberts & Casey Orr from the legendary Gore-Rock band GWAR.  Movie Mikes recently had a chance to speak with the duo in character about their recent tour of Australia and GWAR’s new album “Bloody Pit of Horror.”

Click here to purchase GWAR’s music and new CD “Bloody Pit of Horror”

Adam Lawton: How did you each join the band?
Jizmak: Well the first drummer Nippleus Erectus over dosed on a huge Red Bull type energy drink. He actually created the very first energy drink which was made entirely of liquid crack. Nippleus drank one of those and went completely crazy and eventually over dosed. They called me because I am Balzac, the Jaws of Death’s cousin. I got the gig based on the whole family principle. I have now been with the band for around 22 million years.
Beefcake: I joined the band by being fucking Bad Ass!  I also walked in with a quarter pound of weed and knew the songs. That was it. I was in. Siding with the Scum Dogs after an immense intergalactic battle didn’t hurt either! They needed muscle! I have been with the group on a few different occasions and I am Beefcake 2, 4, 6 and 8.

AL: What did you think about having to wear the costumes?
Beefcake: I thought it was pretty kick ass! The reason I started playing bass was because I loved Gene Simmons costume. I get to do the next best thing. I had been a fan before I joined so I knew what to expect.

AL: How was it touring Australia for the first time?
Jizmak: I really expected a whole lot of Kangaroo fucking and I was totally disappointed. I did however really enjoy the cuisine. They have these fried koala assholes that are excellent! (Laughs)
Beefcake: It was very expensive! We fucked a wallaby as a bonding experience.

AL: Any crazy moments from this tour?
Jizmak: There was one. We were in Ft. Lauderdale one night and after getting drunk and hanging out with the natives. We started walking along the beach and all of a sudden a dead guy washed up in the surf! So we pulled him out and started beating on him because we figured he was already dead and we shouldn’t save him. Somehow the guy lived! I thought he was dead if I had known he was alive I would have stuck him with something and killed him. The next day I wanted to do a press release stating that GWAR finds a washed up body. Man lives but GWAR feels horrible about it!
Beefcake: We wrestled a shark that turned out to be really cool so we went drinking with him afterwards. It was really cool getting to go to new places and play with a whole bunch of rock stars like NOFX and Megadeth.

AL: What is each of yours favorite track off the new album?
Jizmak: I think it’s the opening track “Bloody Pit of Horror” all four parts.
Beefcake: “Beat You to Death” of course! It’s the best song on there. I also like Tick-Tits which I wrote the music to. The whole record is great.

AL: What was it like being on the Jimmy Fallon show?
Jizmak: Jimmy Fallon was a scared little pussy! He didn’t even come out to visit us.

AL: Any plans for more TV appearances?
Jizmak: I think that’s probably our first and last national TV appearance (Laughs).  Somebody must have gotten fired for putting us on the air. It’s like us getting nominated for a Grammy. Somebody lost their job.

AL: Any plans once the tour is over?
Jizmak: I want to conquer the little people of Japan! I think they are deathly afraid of us. I can’t wait for GWAR to go there and spew bile onto their entire germ-o-phobic nation! Gor-Gor will eat them all alive.
Beefcake: I am going to record a new Hellions record. I also am going to for the first time in 20 years record some new Rigor Mortis songs and start shopping those around. I am going to try and stay real busy.

Click here to purchase GWAR’s music and new CD “Bloody Pit of Horror”