Lightnin Malcolm talks about new solo album “Rough Out There”

Lightnin Malcolm is a Mississippi based blues musician who has performed with everyone from Big Jack Johnson, T Model Ford and Sam Carr to name just a few. Lightnin’s newest solo album “Rough Out There” which features the grandson of T Model Ford on drums was released recently and has been garnering a lot of attention from the blues world.  Media Mikes spoke with Lightnin recently about his writing style and what he likes most about the new album.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some info on your latest album “Rough Out There”?
Lightnin Malcolm: The album features 14 new songs and is a little over an hour’s worth of music. The record  is primarily duo music with guitar and drums. It’s what we like to call stompin’ music and it’s for people who want to just get up and have a good time. The words are kind of serious so the music is a combination of things. There are parts that will make you think and parts that will take your mind off things and let you just enjoy and have a good time.

AL: How does this album differ from your previous work?
LM: I love all of my albums as they are like children to me so it’s hard to compare them or pick one over the other. I think this latest one has shown my growth as a musician especially my work as a song writer. I have T Model Ford’s grandson Stud playing drums on this album and he is just dynamite. There are horns on a few of the tracks as well as slide guitar which were done by Luther Dickinson. Luther is probably one of the best slide guitar players in the world. Even though we are normally just a two piece we have been adding a lot of things lately. The cores of our songs are based on the rhythm of the guitar and the drums. I think with each album I am getting better at getting my message across through my songs.

AL: What type of writing process do you use?
LM: It all really depends as I have written a lot of songs. A lot of times is just comes out of nowhere. There have been times where I have been out somewhere and had to ask to barrow some ones phone so that I could call my phone just to sing a line or hum a melody in to my voice mail. I don’t want to forget it because I may come up with 3 songs that I think are the best thing I have ever written. Then I come with 3 more songs. I am always out on the road as I get to live a unique life and see a lot of things. I think that plays a big part in how and what I write songs about.

AL: Were all the songs on the new album ones that were recently written or are they older songs that have been around for some time?
LM: Some of them are brand new and some of them have been kicking around for 10 or 15 years in my head. It’s real easy for me to write songs but when it comes down to picking what will be on the album is when it becomes difficult. There are just so many directions in which you can go. I have a new group of songs I have been working on recently that are very serious but I am not sure I want to put all of those on the same album because I don’t want it to be a downer or anything. I want every record to be a party record. No matter how serious a record might be I want the end result to be uplifting.

AL: How did you go about connecting with the players you have on the album?
LM: I have known these guys for a long time now. I play with The North Mississippi All-Stars and have met and become friends with guys through that. Stud our drummer I have known since he’s was 1 when I used to drum for his grandfather T model Ford. He was practically sitting in my lap while I was up there playing by the time he was 3 or 4. He knows what kind of sound I like and the drive I am looking for. Along with what I like he has created his own sound which is really great. Most of the people on this album are guys I go way back with and we are like family.

AL: Are there any songs off the new record that you really enjoy playing live?
LM: Man I like them all! “Reality Check” is a nice two piece song that is challenging to do live as it is just guitar and drums. There is nothing else going on in that song. That really shows off our two piece style. Over the years I have played some big shows just as a two piece so I learned how to pull off songs as a two piece even though they weren’t written that way and never thought they would be performed that way. Now I am not afraid to try anything as I have continued to develop my sound. “Reality Check” is a challenging one that people love and “My Life’s a Wreck” is one of my favorites as well. I love playing all of my material.

AL: Can you tell us about your current tour?
LM: We are currently in the middle of a 40 date tour. We have been down through Texas up to Colorado and over to Arkansas. Stud and I are always out on the road. When these dates wrap up I will be back out on the road doing double duty with the North Memphis All Stars. I will be opening those shows along with performing with the All-Stars. After that I have a few days off and then head overseas for about 4 weeks of shows there. I am constantly on tour through November.

“The Employer” starring Malcolm McDowell, Billy Zane and David Dastmalchian gets June 7th release date!

“The Employer” starring Malcolm McDowell (“A Clockwork Orange,” “The Mentalist,” “Entourage,” “Franklin & Bash”); Paige Howard (“Adventureland”); Billy Zane (“Titanic,” “Back to the Future,” “Dead Calm”); and David Dastmalchian (“The Dark Knight,” “Saving Lincoln,” “Prisoners”) gets a release date starting June 7th!

Director / Writer / Producer Frank Merle (“Carnage, Chaos & Creeps,” “Gnaw” ) and his new psychological thriller “The Employer” show just how-far five applicants are willing to go for a job at the mysterious Carcharias Corporation. Anticipating their final interview, they find themselves trapped in a room where The Employer (Malcolm McDowell) leaves them with only one choice: survive. It’s kill or be killed in this Darwinian game of wits and the one who makes it out alive… lands the job. The plot is complete with twists and turns leaving the audience asking themselves, “How far would I go?”

Release Dates
• May 19th: Special Screening at SoCal Horro-Fi Film Festival, Big Bear, CA
• June 7th: “On Demand” available from Comcast, Cox, TimeWarner Cable, Brighthouse, AT&T
U-verse, Verizon FiOs, Charter Cable, and more. Computer and device users gain access via
Amazon Instant Video, Apple iTunes, Xbox Live, and PlayStation Network
• July 2nd: Blu-Ray and DVD available at Wal-Mart and

Special Recognition
• Official Selection: Shriekfest Film Festival
• Winner, Best Thriller: Illinois International Film Festival
• Official Selection: LA Independent Film Festival
• Winner, Jury Award: Geneva Film Festival
• Special Invitation: Big Bear Horro-Fi Film Festival (May 19th, 2013)

Learn More About The Film At:

Malcolm McDowell talks about his role in “Silent Night”

Malcolm McDowell started his acting career in the early 60’s and has appeared in over 100 productions. Malcolm is probably best known for his role as Alex in Stanley Kubrick’s cult classic “A Clockwork Orange”. More recently he appeared in the remake of the 80’s holiday horror classic “Silent Night”. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Malcolm recently about his role in the film and some of his other recent work.

Adam Lawton: How did you become attached to the remake of “Silent Night”?
Malcolm McDowell: They came to me with that role. I was actually in the same city they were shooting the film in at the same time as I was there working on another project. I was already there so I figured why not. I had never seen the original but I looked at the script and thought it would be fun to play a sheriff. I had never actually played a sheriff before. I think the director did a fantastic job with the film. Everything he brought to the production was really great. I think he is going to have a great future. It’s always good to see a young director blossoming and getting hold of things. Even though the film could be considered a B Horror movie there is still some fantastic work that can be done. It’s a great showcase for him and I am really proud.

AL: Can you give us a little more background on your character?
MM: He is a noble man but not really the brightest guy on the planet. The town he works in is a quiet one where the biggest problem he might have to deal with is public drunkenness. Now he is hit with a rash of serial killings which wipes out a majority of the town. He thinks he can handle it and that’s what I thought was so amusing about the role. Our job in this film is to scare people and also make them laugh. It’s entertainment. It’s not to be taken seriously as there are not people dressed as Santa going around flame throwing people. It’s just a fun ride. It’s like a video game.

AL: Did the director keep you confined to script or were you allowed to experiment some?
MM: I was allowed to move around a bit. That’s something I always like to do. It’s much more fun to add in a few bits here and there. I can’t really remember what I added but I know there were a few parts that made it in.

AL: Can you tell us what it was like working on “Home Alone: The Holiday Heist”?
MM: That was really fun. I have 3 young boys and I knew they would love that. When they told me what it was I was a bit unsure however I had worked with the director before and I liked working with him. Now that I have children of my own I look at these types of roles a little more differently these days. Anything I can do that is fun for them I like to do. It was great working with the cast as they are some wonderful actors.

AL: Before you had your children were you a fan of the holiday film genre?
MM: They aren’t film’s I would go and see personally. I like films that are for a mature audience and ones that make you think. Those seem to be getting fewer and fewer so I don’t go to the cinema much anymore. There are some good movies out there right now. “The Master” is an amazing film! Those are the types of things I like.

AL: What do you like most about working on series like “Franklin and Bash”?
MM: It’s like working in theater. You know everybody and you are a family. You get to know everyone very well. It’s a nurturing environment. It is a fantastic privilege to be able to do this. I have a very nice role and I love the character. I hope they continue writing me great stuff.

AL: Do you prefer working on a series at this stage of character as opposed to feature films?
MM: It fits perfectly in to my schedule. With these kids of mine I don’t want to be going away. I want to be around to see them grow up. It works very well for me these days. We shoot in Los Angeles so I can drive there which is perfect. I am not in every minute of things or carry the show as I don’t think is something I would want to do.

AL: Can you tell us about some of your upcoming projects?
MM: I have a couple of films that I am waiting to start on. I think there are 3 or 4 of them. I should be starting those in December and January. I also will be starting work on the new season of “Franklin and Bash”. We will be shooting that until about May. I am really excited to start back on that.


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Malcolm Mcdowell to Be Honored with Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame


WHO: Malcolm McDowell
Emcee: Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, President/CEO Leron Gubler
Guests will include Gary Oldman and Rob Zombie, plus Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Reed Diamond and Garcelle Beauvais from TNT’s “Franklin & Bash” along with Mike Kaplan (director, Never Apologize)
WHAT: 2,465th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the Category of Motion Pictures
WHERE: 6714 Hollywood Boulevard , in front of The Pig n’ Whistle British Pub
WHEN: Friday, March 16, 2012 at 11:30 a.m.

COMMENTS: The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce will honor actor Malcolm McDowell appropriately in front of the Pig n’ Whistle British Pub at 6714 Hollywood Boulevard . He joins fellow British luminaries Emma Thompson and Colin Firth on the coveted Walk of Fame.

McDowell will shortly star in “The Monster Butler” to be produced by Dark House Films which will be released theatrically and then distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Additionally, on the evening of the star unveiling, and in honor of McDowell receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, The American Cinematheque is hosting an in-person tribute at the Egyptian Theatre showing his most iconic film, Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (a beautifully restored presentation!), as well as Nicholas Meyer’s blend of sci-fi, literary history and modern pop culture, Time After Time, in which McDowell stars as Victorian author H.G. Wells. There will be a Q&A between films with McDowell and Mary Steenburgen.  The tribute continues through March 19 at the Aero Theater.  For tickets and more info:

A Clockwork Orange 40th Anniversary Edition, O Lucky Man!, Time After Time and McDowell’s Never Apologize are available on Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Home Video. For further info:


Malcolm McDowell is arguably among the most dynamic and inventive of world-class actors, yet also capable of immense charm, humor and poignancy. McDowell has created a gallery of iconic characters since catapulting to the screen as Mick Travis, the rebellious upperclassman in Lindsay Anderson’s prize-winning sensation, If

His place in movie history was subsequently secured when Stanley Kubrick cast the actor to play the gleefully amoral Alex in A Clockwork Orange; when McDowell himself conceived the idea for Mick Travis’ further adventures in Anderson’s Candide-like masterpiece, O Lucky Man!; and when he wooed Mary Steenburgen and defeated Jack the Ripper as the romantically-inquisitive H.G. Wells in Time After Time.

Those legendary roles have endured with legions of filmgoers while new fans have been won over by his tyrannical Soran (the destroyer of Capt. Kirk) in Star Trek: Generations; his Machiavellian Mr. Roarke in “Fantasy Island” and his comically-pompous professor Steve Pynchon in the critically-hailed CBS television series, “Pearl,” starring opposite Rhea Perlman.

Other of McDowell’s distinctive motion picture characterizations include Richard Lester’s Royal Flash, Paul Schrader’s Cat People, Rachel Talalay’s Tank Girl, Joseph Losey’s Figures in a Landscape, Bryan Forbes’ The Raging Moon and the Chaplinesque studio boss in Blake Edwards’ Sunset.

On television, McDowell had recurring appearances as Terence on the HBO hit series, “Entourage,” as Linderman on NBC’s “Heroes,” Darren Vogel on “CSI: Miami,” and Bret Stiles on the hit show, “The Mentalist.” Malcolm currently stars in TNT’s newest series, “Franklin & Bash”.

Interview with Malcolm McDowell

Malcolm McDowell is a legend in the film business and has starred in everything from movies like “A Clockwork Orange” and “Rob Zombie’s Halloween” to TV series’ like Adult Swim’s “Metalocalypse” and TNT’s “Franklin & Bash”. Malcolm currently has a new film premiering on Showtime on October 8th, 2011 called “Pound of Flesh”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Malcolm about his new movie and also what else he currently has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you become involved with the film “Pound of Flesh”?
Malcolm McDowell: I was drawn to it because it was written and directed by a friend of mine. The part was sort of written for me and it’s a very fascinating subject. I thought it would be really fun to do.  It was shot on a rather modest budget and very fast, as I think I only worked two weeks on the entire film. It was a very nice charismatic role for me to do. I play a family man that is extremely naive in what he is doing. The film is actually based on a true story. As an actor I don’t set myself up on moral judgment of my characters. If I did I would never work as I have played some pretty nasty people. This man I think was undone by his innate naivety. It’s sad that the teaching profession lost a good man. I wanted to make him the kind of teacher you would never forget. We all have had one or two of those in our lives. I really wanted to make him one of those. The fact that he was teaching English literature and practicing Shakespeare also made the role really fun to do.

MG: What do you think was the most challenging aspect of working on the film?
MM: I enjoyed the whole process. Everyone was very nice and I enjoyed working with them. I think the film is very well worth the while. Sadly it’s the type of film I don’t think a studio would touch with a barge pole. You have to make adult films for and older crowd that makes them go “Wow!” I have been very lucky in my career to find a few of those and this is one of those films. I like sort of nailing hypocrisy of our standards which is what I think this film does.

MG: How did you know the director/writer of the film?
MM: This was our second film together. The first one was titled “Red Roses and Petrol”. I love how Tammy just gets up there and does things any way she can. In this day and age to get a film made like “Pound of Flesh” is worth applauding. It’s difficult enough getting any independent movie made.

MG: What do you look for when you approach a role?
MM: I generally will read a script and decide either to do it or not. I don’t really know what it is? It’s probably just intuitive. Whether it’s going to be shot in a nice place or if it’s close to home. Do you like the cast and the director? It’s all those things really.

MG: Being the 40th anniversary of “A Clockwork Orange” can you reflect on the films cult status over the years?
MM: I am delighted of course! If you are lucky you only ever get one of these types of films. It’s an amazing movie and it’s a testament to Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Burgess and I. Anthony’s novel was brilliant…Kubrick is a brilliant visionary and I managed to nail it! The film still looks good. I don’t think it’s really dated much however that’s not really for me to say.

MG: How did you get involved with “Metalocalypse” and any more episodes planned?
MM: The guys asked me to be in it and I said “Absolutely!” The show is a lot of fun and the guys are great. I actually just completed voicing another 5 episodes.

MG: When do you start work on season two of TNT’s “Franklin and Bash”?
MM: I start next month on the second season. I am very excited as I love the character and script. The chemistry is really great. Everyone on the team works great together. I hear they are going to be bringing me into the court room more this year. I actually just finished reading a script at its fabulous.

MG: What can you tell us about your upcoming film “Death Method”?
MM: That film takes the corporate structure and pushes it to its total limits. I play the recruiter that gets these 4 or 5 people to come in and basically end up being brain washed. I enjoyed that part quite a bit. He is an evil son of a bitch!

MG:  Can you tell us about your role in “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D”
MM: It’s a wonderful scene! I have been trapped in a dungeon for quite a long time and as a result my character has gone blind. The scene is scary as hell. I hear the film is going to be in 3D. I don’t have that much to do in the film but the part I did is going to be great.

MG: Any other upcoming projects you would like to talk about?
MM: Next spring I am going to Scotland to shoot a film titled “Monster Butler”. The film is based on a true story about one of the world’s greatest con-men that in his mid 50’s turns into a serial killer. It’s a fantastic script that I am very excited about. It’s terrifying yet funny!