Michael Derks aka “Balsac the Jaws of Death” guitarist for the rock group Gwar has a new project coming out titled “Blood Vomits” which is a puppet based adventure series that was fully funded through the internet donation site Kickstarter.com. Mediamikes.com had a chance to catch up with Michael to talk about the project and how he came about using Kickstarter.com
Adam Lawton: How did you first become involved with the “Blood Vomits”?
Michael Derks: I didn’t really know too much about it at first and I don’t really know why. I knew about the idea as Davis Bradley who basically came up with the idea and built the puppets used to tour with Gwar and was one of our Gwar slaves. After he left the band he was working on some other weird little projects and one of them was these puppets. A friend of Davis’s by the name of John Brennan had written a script about three Mexican banditos with one being a priest and the other two being completely evil. Davis took that script and adapted it to the puppets he was building and then had Dave Brockie and Todd Evans do the voices. I hadn’t really heard about it until I found it on YouTube. This was a couple years later as nothing had really been done with it except for the skit being put up on YouTube. I went to Davis and asked him what he was doing with the puppets and Davis told me nothing really become of the project so I asked why not? As I thought it was really awesome. I asked him if he had a problem with me using the puppets and writing some more stuff. The only problem was Davis didn’t have any money for the project and couldn’t really afford to do the project just for fun. A short time later I saw Chris Gethard from “Upright Citizens Brigade” on his comedy tour and I got a chance to talk with him and he told me about how he had funded the tour he was on through a website called kickstarter.com. I thought that sounded perfect for what I wanted to do so I asked Davis and he said sure and we just ran with it from there. We had a budget of $5,000 which is nothing but we were able to save a lot of money due to all the in house talent we had with the band.
AL: Other than writing you also did some of the voice work as well correct?
MD: I added some writing and a few additional voices but not a whole lot. I decided that since Todd Evans wasn’t around anymore we had to recast other than Dave Brockie’s character. I thought it would be a cool idea to get a super group of Richmond, VA metal bands together and have them do something other than play music. I was able to get Randy Blythe from Lamb of God as well as Tony Foresta from Municipal Waste. It’s kind of become a collaboration between the three of us.
AL: What were your first thoughts when you reached your budget goal on kickstarter?
MD: We put it up there as kind of a test. The original idea was to do more episodes so us reaching the goal kind of gave us hope that once we have the first episode done there will be interest to do more and keep funding those episodes.
AL: What are the release plans for the project?
MD: It’s almost edited. Davis had thought it would take around a month to have everything edited but unfortunately it has taken closer to 3 months. It’s almost done we just have to get together and do the final tweaks on everything and make sure everyone is happy. I’m guessing within a few weeks we will have it out.
AL: This being just the first film/episode what are the future plans for the project?
MD: We are hoping to do a full 12 episode television season. We want to release it on YouTube for people to watch for free and just see how it goes. We want to get the funding before we make the next episode so if people like it and want more they have to help us. (Laughs) As we go along we want to get more celebrities involved doing different voices and such. When we are on the road with Gwar we run into a lot of our rock star friends so the idea is to give them the lines and record them right on the bus.
AL: Do you have any other projects your working on right now?
MD: I have a couple things that I am sort of working on. I am thinking about another puppet based series but that’s still in the development stages.
For more info on “Blood Vomits” you can go to www.gwar.net for all the latest info.