CD Review: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas & Mark Stone “The Runaway Bunny, The Story of Babar and Goodnight Moon”

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas & Mark Stone
“The Runaway Bunny, The Story of Babar and Goodnight Moon”
Label: GPR Records
Release Date: November 13, 2012

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Who doesn’t know about the classic books “The Runaway Bunny” and “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown and “The Story of Babar” by Francis Poulenc. These are not new stories in fact they are all from the 1940’s. “Goodnight Moon” is from 1947. “The Runaway Bunny” is  from 1942. And “The Story of Babar” or aka “L’Histoire de Babar” dates back to 1945. These stories are still very timeless and a must read for any child before bed or anytime, in fact. In case you are wondering, this is not a your typical straight forward audio book. These books are read alongside new classical music interpretations of the these stories. If you are a fan of classic music and timeless stories, this would make a wonderful addition to your collection. I can see this CD being a must-listen with my daughter as she grows up.

So what makes this CD special is that Oscar winners Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas are reading two of these three books along with the wonderful musical compositions besides them. Catherine Zeta-Jones narrates “The Runaway Bunny” along with music by Glen Roven and performed by the Piano Trio Version with Trio 21. Michael Douglas lends his voice to the beloved story of “The History of Babar”, which is backed with a score by Francis Poulenc and Jason Worth on the piano. These performances are very well acted and gives the stories great delivery. Lastly but not least is “Goodnight Moon”, which is a story I have become very familiar with as a new parent.  It is sung by English Baritone Mark Stone along with the GPR Festival Choir. This release is very well done and entertaining.  It is also a great way to not only make these stories more interesting but also introduce your children to the world of very fine classical music.

Mark Consuelos talks about role in “American Horror Story: Asylum”

Mark Consuelos guest starred this season on the hit FX series “American Horror Story: Asylum”, where he plays the role of ‘Spivey,’ an inmate at Briarcliff who we first seen during a rough encounter with another character. Mark’s character recently reappeared during the episode titled “The Origins of Monstrosity”. Media Mikes had the chance to talk recently with Mark about his appearance on the show.

Adam Lawton:  Can you tell us how you got involved in this part?
Mark Consuelos: Yes. I am friends with Ryan Murphy and he wanted to talk about this particular project. We had dinner one night and he explained the role and how ‘Spivey’ was going to look. We really got into the physical characteristics of ‘Spivey’ and he did warn me that he’s going to be a super dark kind of character, extremely demented, and for me I said, you understand that’s exactly why I would want to play ‘Spivey.’

AL: Were you allowed to give your own input in developing the character yourself, or did they have a certain agenda for you to work the character?
MC: I think that with most good scripts and good shows they expect the actor to bring some of their ideas and some of the things, the back story of the character, or just certain aspects, they expect the actor to do some of that stuff, and I think it’s always a good collaboration between the actor, the writer and the director to try stuff out during the process. I think what was really great is that people were open to certain things and they would let you know if that was something they wanted you to do more, cut that in half, do more of that, we need you to do this, but I feel like on any really good show everybody comes with their own stuff and you want to try as much as you can. I would say that the character was really clear in some of the things that he’d been doing and some of these actions, so it makes it easier for the actor. With this character there wasn’t really a lot of gray area here. They wrote him very specifically, which I really appreciated.  But just because they are very specific about those things, it doesn’t mean that it limits you. Actually, it makes those possibilities and some of your choices even greater.

AL: Would you say that you’re more of a fan of that type of direction, or do you like to sometimes havea little bit more defining in a role?
MC: No, I love the collaboration. I think every actor would probably say that it’s always a collaboration and if you ask directors they expect the actors to bring something. They don’t want to be thinking for everybody.  I think I enjoy this kind of – again, I think it was a hybrid of both.  There was a lot of collaboration but it was also very, very specific with an extremely specific views, especially from Ryan, on certain things that I thought were really good.  You have to have a specific view and you have to be pretty precise about that.  I think as an actor it’s always great to have a little bit of both

AL: What was the make-up process like for this role?
MC: It took anywhere from two and a half to three and a half hours, depending on what’s going on.  Whenever they say it’s going to take that long I’m like, yes, right, there’s no way, what’s so
hard about that.  But these guys are definitely artists.  They’re amazing at what they do. Just
getting it on and then once they get the stuff on the prosthetics, the way they go about touching
them up and painting them and adjusting them, like I said they’re really artists.

AL: With the show being so dark how do you protect yourself from taking that character and the tension of the storytelling home with you every night?
MC: As dark as you think the stuff that you’re doing as an actor on that show is, once you watch it you’re like, oh, man, it could have been a lot darker, having seen some of the other things that people were doing.  And so I don’t know, I saw it as such a great opportunity that I literally had so much fun doing it and there was excitement about doing it, and I didn’t have that much trouble separating myself from what was going on, on set.

AL: It was just announced that the show is being picked up for a third season. Would you be interested in being on the show again for next season?
MC: Absolutely! It’s been so fun just to be part of it, the whole buzz around the show is exciting, and then when it actually starts airing people absolutely love it. I got extreme street credibility from my high school aged son, he’s like, “Dad, the fact that you’re in “American Horror Story” is absolutely cool.” I was like, “I’m not sure if it’s appropriate for you.” And he was like, “Dad, come on, I’m a New York City kid in high school”.

Mark Walsh talks about directing Pixar’s Toy Story Toons “Partysaurus Rex”

Mark Walsh has been animating with Pixar going back to “A Bug’s Life”. He took on the role of Directing Animator for Dorey on “Finding Nemo”. Most recently he has gone behind the camera and directed the newest Toy Story Toons called “Partysaurus Rex”. Personally, I think it is brilliant and my personal favorite of any Pixar short. Media Mikes had a chance to really dive in about the short with Mark and find out some really cool facts about the film.

Mike Gencarelli: You’ve been with Pixar almost since the beginning, how was it stepping away from the animating desk and behind the camera directing the Toy Story Toons short “Partysaurus Rex”?
Mark Walsh: I love it. I have been reading articles about different actors who are turning directors. Largely what an animator is an actor. So to move to directing has been a similar experience. I think it is really fun and I enjoy the collaboration of it, even more than animating. I think animating is trying to create an emotion or feeling and directing is the same thing but on a larger scale. Yes, there are many more things to worry about. Yes, the buck stop with you…but the feeling of creation and collaboration, especially when something works is unparallel. I love it.

MG: Where you nervous at playing with the “Toy Story” brand?
MW: Not really. I am familiar with the characters. I worked with them before on the TV commercials for “Toy Story 3”. Working with the creator of the series, John Lasseter, there isn’t anything that he would let through that isn’t right. John will really be interested in how each director is going to push things. I think that is why “Toy Story 3” feels like a “Toy Story” film but also feels like a Lee Unkrich film. That is because John invites the input of the new director and he still makes sure it stays within the world. So with that support on hand, I felt invigorated to try new things. “Partysaurus Rex” is pretty different than the usual. But it I was happy knowing that the guardians of the franchise, here at Pixar, were there to make sure that I didn’t step out of bounds.

MG: I like that Rex gets a chance to shine. He is a funny character!
MW: Isn’t he great!? Rex is just such a sweet character. What I like most about Dorey from “Finding Nemo” is that she is a comedy relief character. But she is rare comedy relief character that gets a spotlight to see what it is like to be the comedy relief character. In her case, it is kind of sad. Rex is similar in a way. He is so nervous and nerdy that he funny. However what is it like to actually be that guy? I had that experience in school when I was a kid. So I just tapped into that for the movie.

MG: How long did this short take to make from idea to completion?
MW: A long time actually. It took about two years from start to finish, which seems long for six and half minutes. But there are two things that were going on. First, we had to wait for “Small Fry” to get finished. They were both produced by our sister studio at Pixar Canada. They are a really small studio, smaller than Pixar was when I came on during “A Bug’s Life”. They have a really great culture there but they can’t handle five or six shorts at the same time. Both Angus MacLane and I started on our shorts at the same time but I had to wait until they finished. Also it took two years since the itself process is just very long and arduous. There isn’t any stage of the production where the questions aren’t asked “Can we make this better?”, “How can we approve this?”, or “Can we add any more entertainment value here?”. That takes time. I was really pleased though because the shorts at Pixar gets treated the same way that the features do.

MG: Tell us about collaborating with BT for the music?
MW: BT is amazing. You listen to electronic dance music and some people think “How hard could it be?”. You have a drum beat and maybe some synthesizers. BT is not one of those people. He is an artist. What I liked about BT’s work is that it has the most emotion to me compared to other artists and DJs. When you are working in film, especially a short like “Partysaurus Rex”, emotion is what you are after. I wanted music that would be like a second character. I am very glad he found the time for us and that we were able to collaborate. The music gets louder, more intense and a bit crazier as the film goes on along with the party. So it kind of represents the party in a way. The music had to start small and get crazy, so the biggest challenge was reining it in. BT was able to do that so well. He just brought idea after idea and that was the best part of working with him.

MG: How does it feel to be the first Pixar short to not only have a MP3 single but also get a level in video game “Tap Tap Revenge”?
MW: I love it. Usually shorts don’t get this short of reaction. Especially a franchise related short. I was just trying to create this story with fun music that matched it. I wasn’t even sure if people would like it, but the response has just been amazing. It has been positive for all ages, especially young people. There is so much music that BT made, but the film just wasn’t long enough. We kept getting request after request for music from the film. On the single, BT had used “Partysaurus” as the inspiration even including dialogue and created this track, which plays so well on the dance floor. I listen to it every day and I feel that it even works better than the version in the film.

MG: How many hidden Pixar nods are there in this short, like the Sulley toilet cover?
MW: [laughs] Yeah, there is a lot in there actually. There is quite a few “Finding Nemo” references, since I worked on “Nemo” as the directing animator for Dorey. When we cut to the underwater guys and the “What Up Fishes” scene, Mr. Ray from “Finding Nemo is down there as well as one of the dolphins from that film. There is T-Bone from “Small Fry”, who floats by. There are a lot of “Toy Story 3” characters. But I am not going to tell you all of them; I want people to find them out for themselves.

MG: You also voice the new character Drips the Whale, tell us about that?
MW: When you are trying to get the story worked out, you are looking for something that is funny and gets it done. I liked the idea of a faucet cover, so kids won’t hit there heads, and I’ve seen them for sale. I thought it would be funny to have it coming out of his mouth, so he was permanently talking like this [mumbling in Drips’ voice]. We always record our voices as temporary voices when we are developing the story. It helps us find out if the movie is working before you bring in Tom Hanks or Tim Allen, which is great. Drips and also Puffy, aka “What Up Fishes” are my voices. Due to time, the fact that it was already funny and we didn’t have a name star attached to play them, John said “Why not!”. So I felt very lucky it is rare that a temporary voice gets to stay in the film.

MG: Do you have plans to take sight on features next to direct?
MW: I hope so. In Hollywood, everyone always says “I am doing this now, but what I really want to do is direct”. Everyone thinks that it is better, but it is really hard work. This was actually the hardest job that I have ever had but it is also the most gratifying. I am happy to just keep, as they say “doing the reps”, lifting weights to get my skills up. What has always been important to me at Pixar is that my craft is good. So I hope that I still have opportunities moving forward to keep improving on that craft. Until then, I am just building up my biceps [laughs].

Mark Hamill reflects on his role of Crow in “Sushi Girl”

Mark Hamill may be known best for playing Luke Skywalker in the original “Star Wars” trilogy. He is also the voice of The Joker for the last 20 years, starting with “Batman: The Animated Series”. Mark is taking on his most challenging and unique role yet, as Crow, in his new film “Sushi Girl”. I highly recommend this film, as it is one of my favorite films of the year.  It is being released on VOD on November 27, 2012, in advance of it’s theatrical release on January 4, 2013. Media Mikes had the real pleasure of chatting with Mark about this amazing performance and how he put himself into that role. We also got to chat a little bit about his voice work and what he has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: Take us through the how you ended up working on “Sushi Girl”?
Mark Hamill: They sent me the script; I read it and liked it a lot. But initially I couldn’t see myself doing it. I couldn’t imagine it. I was trying to get other things off the ground and sort of forgot about it. Then it came down to “Yes or no…Are you in or out?” I was thinking maybe it was a little too extreme. It seems crazy now that I did this but I turned it down. That was the easy way to deal with the troubling aspects of the screenplay. After a week or so I reconsidered, I am lucky they didn’t go to anyone else in that time. What happened was, I turned it down but didn’t feel good about it. So I asked my kids for help. Nathan was busy but I had my son Griffin and my daughter Chelsea read it, just to get their reactions. I need the reactions from twenty-somethings since I don’t have access to those demographics. Griffin didn’t think it was that violent like torture porn or gratuitously violent. The violence is part of the movie like in “Reservoir Dogs”. We are showing the underbelly of the ugly unsavory low-life kind of crime. So I agreed with him. But the one that really got to me was my daughters comment. She said “I heard you over the years saying that you had to go to Broadway to get character parts or the only really good character parts you got in film/TV are in animation like the Joker…if you turn this down then don’t complain anymore, you should be flattered they wanted you for the part to begin with”. It took a certain amount of imagination for them to even think of me for Crow at all. Ironically, when I asked them why they wanted me they said “Well if you can play a psycho like the Joker in animation, why not do it in live-action.” I decided to read it again but this time in character as Crow and not as Mark Hamill and that made a world of difference. So I told them I had to do it and luckily I got in under the wire. I really believe in this movie and I really want it to get the recognition it deserves.

MG: Where did you get your inspiration for the twisted yet perverted Crow?
MH: Obviously, most everything is in the screenplay but in terms of who I was using and how I got into the part and got inside the characters head, I used a few people that I used to work with in New York. I don’t want to use their names since they are not psychopath killers [laughs], but more in terms of their dark sardonic humor. There was a guy that was my understudy in a musical I did on Broadway and it was that sort of cynical snarky humor that Crow has, I took from him…and also various other people in my life. I loved the fact that we came up with a visually arresting look for the guy. I thought he should just show up and people should think that “There is something wrong with this guy”. The hair was one of those things that evolved overtime. At first I thought if I should be bald with a little Van Dyke beard and an earring or I thought maybe ponytail, since that is always creepy to me on a guy. Eventually, we went from bald to 180 degrees from that, since Tony (Todd) was bald. That hairdue might work for someone that is in a grunge band in Seattle or a surfer in his 20’s but it is just age inappropriate on a man like this. Then he has the three piece suit, which looks sort-of normal in the middle and then those tennis suits, which are more appropriate for a little boy. Visually there is just something that is so disturbingly wrong.

MG: For people that know you as Luke Skywalker and the voice of the Joker; what is this film going to do to your image for them?
MH: That is something that I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember. When I was a little boy and all the classic Universal Monster films came on. I admired all those actors like (Boris) Karloff and Lou Chaney Jr. & Sr. I loved the idea of hiding behind a completely different visual persona. It gives you great strength. You look in the mirror and it is not you. So you have to let go of your ego. In the film, I look awful. I look like five miles of bad road. Again, to look in the mirror and see a different character liberates you to make different choices that you wouldn’t originally make if you were Mark Hamill trying to look as good as you can. I love that about it. One of the greatest compliments I got about the role was when the producers showed it to some prospective buyers and when the movie was over, they asked “Where was Mark Hamill?” [laughs]. I mean that is the greatest compliment that I can get.

MG: Tell us about working with this phenomenal cast?
MH: You never can be sure what is going to happen. Not only did every cast member get along perfectly, there were no feuds or fights or egos involved. Everyone worked as a team and that included the crew. We were treating this like the little movie that could. It is idiosyncratic. It’s atypical. It’s quirky. But it is something special. It was just a joy to go to set every morning and you honestly cannot say that about every movie or TV show you work on. This is a cast that has gotten together for BBQ’s, birthday parties etc since filming. You get this real family feeling about it and that is not common at all in this business.

MG: The torture scenes in the film are quite a challenge to watch; were you ever concerned about it going to far?
MH: Yeah of course, from when I first read it. Let me tell you I have been married to a dental hygienist for more than 30 years and when I saw the extreme dental violence in this film, I thought there was no way I could do it. My wife is the woman that says “May The Floss Be With You” [laughs]. I couldn’t also see how I can film it without upsetting myself. I am quite squeamish about certain things and things dealing with teeth is one of them. During filming it, I am in character and Crow is really getting off on it. So I had to stay in character but Noah (Hathaway) was so realistic with these blood-curdling screams. That and the chopstick scene were definitely the hardest to shoot for me.

MG: After your likeness was used in the Mark Millar series, tell us about your recent casting in film adaption of “The Secret Service”?
MH: Mark contacted me via email and wanted to know if he could use my likeness in a comic book and beyond that to kill me in it. Well I thought that it was a very interesting idea. I am a huge fan of his and Dave Gibbons from “Watchmen”. I have a great friendship with him now. He asked me if I wanted to be in the movie and I said “Sure”. I don’t know what the details are yet. But it sounds like a lot of fun. The last time I played myself was in “The Simpsons”, back in 1998. It is very unnerving to play yourself because you have to analyze “Well who am I?”. I really don’t think about myself except in the roles I play. When I was getting ready to do “The Simpsons”, I was walking around the house asking “Do I sound like this” or “Do I sound like this” (both in different voices). I became very self-conscious but once I saw the advance concepts for the comic book from Mark, I thought it was such a brilliant concept combining the fantasy world of James Bond and contrast that with the drab lower-class English background that this guy comes from. It is such a wonderful paradox combination of elements in and of itself. It is not a major role but I never look at things like they need to be about me. I think about if it is good and if it is good I want to be a part of it. As far as I know, it is all a-go, we haven’t signed contracts or talked about a deal but I am sure it is going to happen.

MG: After stealing the show in “Sushi Girl” and no retired from Joker, do you plan to tackle more live-action roles?
MH: I am in collaboration with Amber Entertainment to finally get “The Black Pearl” made as a feature film that I would direct but not perform in. That is my main goal at the moment. If someone sees Crow and thinks of me in a different way and offers me another idiosyncratic character role, I would be thrilled to do it. I don’t have any direct plans but I also didn’t plan on “Sushi Girl” coming my way either. So you never know.

MG: I am also a big fan of your work on “Metalocalypse”.
MH: That is a very unusual show. We are heading into our fifth season of that show and that is one of the four that I am working on right now. Then there is Disney XD’s “Motorcity”. “Regular Show” just won an Emmy, congratulations to the people behind that show! I am also on the “How to Train Your Dragon” TV series “Dragons: Riders of Berk”, which is doing very well. I play Alvin, a big stupid Viking on that show. But I love it. He doesn’t think about himself as stupid or a villain. He is a real fun character to play. He wasn’t in the movie but was created for the TV series. I get to channel the crew from “Star Wars” since they were from the East End of London. They were all great fun to be around and I love the music of their accents. To be able to channel those guys is great fun. It is like getting into an amusement park car and riding along in someone else’s persona. That is why I don’t like playing myself…I am boring [laughs] but all the characters I get to play are more interesting.

MG: When we met at Star Wars Celebration VI, a young child came up to you in passing and asked you to do the voice of the Joker and you did. I will never forget the look on his face. What do you enjoy most about meeting all your fans?
MH: Going and meeting so many people that care some much about something that you been involved with it is really overwhelming. I don’t take it for granted at all. It is not something that I come face-to-face with everyday. In that context it is so easy for me to make that little kids day by just saying “I want money first” (in Joker’s voice). It is just so much fun. It is like a magician being able to just do a slide of hand magic trick that the kid will remember many moons to come. That is one of the perks of this business and one of the reasons why I got into it. I enjoy it. I love making people laugh and I love making people happy. I wasn’t motivated by fame or money. I wanted to do something that I enjoyed doing and I am so grateful. The fact that I have been able to do some many of those things I love, whether it the seven shows I have done in NY or the Regional Theater or the numerous cartoons. I grew up loving cartoons. So I am just so grateful to get a chance to keep doing the things I love.

“Sushi Girl” Interview Series with Mark Hamill, Tony Todd, Sonny Chiba and More!

SUSHI GIRL centers on the compelling character of a man called “Fish,” just released after six years in jail after successfully not ratting on those involved in the robbery that sent him to prison. The night he is released, the men he protected with silence celebrate his freedom with a congratulatory dinner. The meal is a lavish array of sushi, served off the naked body of a beautiful young woman. The sushi girl seems catatonic, trained to ignore everything in the room, even if things become dangerous. Sure enough, the unwieldy thieves can’t help but open old wounds in an attempt to find their missing loot, with violent results.

Media Mikes had been working and promoting this film since August 2011. “Sushi Girl” is finally being released on VOD everywhere on November 27th, 2012 and in theaters on January 4th, 2013. It has been a long road for this little-movie-that-could but it deserves the attention. “Sushi Girl” is easily one of my favorite films of 2012. We got a chance to finally complete our interview series with the legendary Mark Hamill (“Star Wars”) and Noah Hathaway (“The Neverending Story”). We are proud to be supporting this film and hope you enjoy!

Andy Mackenzie & James Duval

Cortney Palm

David Dastmalchian

Destin Pfaff

Destin Pfaff, Kern Saxton, Neal Fischer & Suren Seron

Mark Hamill

Noah Hathaway

Sonny Chiba

Tony Todd

Directed by: Kern Saxton
Written by: Kern Saxton and Destin Pfaff
Produced by: Neal Fischer, Destin Pfaff, Kern Saxton, and Suren M. Seron
Cast: Tony Todd, James Duval, Noah Hathaway, Andy Mackenzie and Mark Hamill, Cyrus Alexander, Michael Biehn, Sonny Chiba, David Dastmalchian, Jeff Fahey, David Reynolds, Ted Stryker, Danny Trejo, introducing Cortney Palm

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Mark Margolis talks about his role in “American Horror Story: Asylum”

Mark Margolis talks about his role in “American Horror Story: Asylum” playing the role of Sam Goodman. He appeared as a Nazi hunter introduce in the episode “I Am Anne Frank, Part 2”.  Mark is also known for his role of Tito in “Breaking Bad”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Mark about his role on the show.

Adam Lawton: How did working on this set of “American Horror Story” compare to maybe the work you did on “Breaking Bad” or one of the other series that you’ve been involved with?
Mark Margolis: Well, they took the bell away from me.
AL: Ding, ding.
MM: I had to actually speak, so that was tough. They soon discovered that the guy is better with a bell, but it was too late because they had already employed me. I mean, Breaking Bad is a whole other thing. It’s in a whole other locale, in New Mexico, which is a whole other feeling and this was a strange 1964 kind of shabby motel room. It was just a whole other–it was something about working in American Horror Story; everything was very brown and gray, which is the complete opposite of New Mexico, even though my character in New Mexico was sometimes in a grim nursing home; whatever. It was completely different. It was a whole other kind of man with a whole other demeanor, a whole other world, and had come from a whole other world etc., etc.

AL: Do you find the character of Tio being–obviously it had to be a little bit more of a challenge without speaking much compared to the Sam Goodman character?
MM: Not really because all of it is–in both cases, it’s just like in life, we’re responding to what’s coming at us. Even though Tio can’t speak, his mind works well, and he’s responding to what’s coming at him. In this case, my character was able to speak and respond. There is an equivalence in that area of acting, I guess I would say.

AL: What was it about maybe portraying a Nazi hunter, what lured you to the role of “Sam Goodman”?
MM: Nazi hunters are kind of fascinating characters. I was actually–about a year and a half ago, I was up for a film with Sean Penn, the part of a Nazi hunter, and it was a marvelous character. I think the film is coming out in a couple of months called This Must Be the Place. The part eventually went to Judd Hirsch, but I was really hot to do it. Those are fascinating characters. I’ve read over the years–I’ve read a great deal about Simon Wiesenthal, who is probably the world’s most famous Nazi hunter. I think he’s the one that located Eichman in Argentina, or he’s located others. They’re fascinating people with a certain kind of a mission of devoting their lives to catching these people who are aging and dying–I think that world is almost disappearing at this point. If there’s anybody left, they’re in their 90s. When I heard that it was a Nazi hunter, I was quite excited about that.

AL: What is the reason why people really enjoy “American Horror Story”? Maybe it’s the format, or maybe it’s just something inside of us that we just love to be subjected to this kind of visual trauma?
MM: Well, it’s got wonderful actors on it, the principles. The regulars on the show are quite incredible. I mean Jessica Lange is amazing. Cromwell is amazing. There’s a whole group of them that are quite terrific; the regulars. I’ve never seen a show like that. I worked in all of Darren Aronofsky’s films. On some level I find a lot of the way that they cut from one thing to another to an eyeball. They’re always going to eyeballs. It’s very reminiscent of what Aronofsky did in his first film Pi where there were these very quick cuts. You know; you’d see a needle, an arm, and then an eyeball expand. They seem to have–I mean I don’t know, they seemed to have gotten some inspiration from the way that Aronofsky’s films cut from one thing to another. That also used in other films of his, but I don’t know, I’m sure there are other people that have possibly done what Aronofsky did, and that kind of movement is pretty exciting I think in a way as opposed to things that go on for five minutes and nothing much changes. It’s kind of exciting. It’s a jump from one thing to another thing to another thing; it’s like pop, pop, pop.

Alter Bridge’s Mark Tremonti talks about solo album “All I Was”

Mark Tremonti is best known as the guitarist for the multi platinum selling band Creed and for his work in Alter Bridge. Mark has just released his first solo album titled “All I Was” and Media Mikes was fortunate enough to talk with Mark recently about the decision to put out a solo album and what other plans he has in the works.

Adam Lawton: What was the idea behind wanting to put out a solo release?
Mark Tremonti: Being a songwriter for all these years I have had a lot of ideas that were stockpiled up. When Miles Kennedy who sings for us in Alter Bridge went out on tour with Slash recently I saw a window of time where I could take some of those ideas that didn’t work for my other bands and put them together to create an album out of. “All I Was” is what we came up with.

AL: Are the songs on the album all from previous ideas or was there some new material written as well?
MT: Most of it is stuff that was written. There were really just parts of songs and nothing that was completed. When I got together with the other guys who played on the album is when I started arranging the ideas. A majority of the initial riffs were already written.

AL: How did you go about picking the line up for the band?
MT: Eric the other guitar player was an obvious choice.  He is someone that I have been playing guitar with for years and years. We are best friends and over the years I have probably shown him more ideas for songs than I have with my other two bands. I am very comfortable working with him. Garret our drummer was in a band with Eric called Submersed. I co-produced a record for them years ago and Garret was still living in Orlando so he was an obvious choice to bring in. He is an incredible drummer.

AL: How did you go about creating a unique tone on this album that was different from your previous work?
MT: It was mostly based on my roots. The rhythm parts on this album are based around a speed metal/thrash type style. I tried to mesh the two styles of my influences that being speed metal and melodic 70’s rock. I was in to stuff that my parents exposed me to like Rod Stewart and Journey. I still love that music and wanted to mesh the two.

AL: What was the biggest difference you noticed when stepping up and performing not only the guitar work but also the vocal work as well?
MT: I loved it. I have written a lot of lyrics over the years for my other bands but I never had to write an entire album. It is a whole other process. I have to work out all the guitar lines and solos while also bringing in the lyrics. I spent about a month and a half working on that. The singing part was easy after everything was written. Singing is fun. Once I sang the album the first time I went back in and changed/re-wrote things where I thought the original stuff didn’t fit or sounded off. I sort of went through the vocal process twice just to make sure it was right. All together the album took about 3 months to complete.

AL: What types of tour plans are in place to support the release?
 MT: We have a 2/3 week tour run in the States coming up and then after that we are heading over to Europe where the first handful of shows will be with Slash. After those shows we will continue our own tour where we will hit Amsterdam, Italy and Germany. When I get home from that I will be back out on the road with Creed until I get back with Miles to write the next Alter Bridge record. In February I will be back out with the solo group for a more extensive European tour which will include shows in Australia.

AL: What are you most looking forward to about playing these songs live?
MT: It’s a much different vibe on stage when you are singing and not just playing guitar. It is a great experience to be able to play these songs. This record is a really fun record to play live and we enjoy it. I can’t wait to do it in front of a crowd who know the songs. The first time we played this material was for a couple of CD release shows. People hadn’t heard the songs yet. This time people will be familiar with them.

AL: Is this solo album just a one-time thing or will you be doing another one in the future?
MT: We will definitely do another solo album. As soon as we can find the time we will get it done.


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Marc & Shannon Parker from Parker Brothers Concepts chats about working on Syfy’s “Dream Machines”

Marc & Shannon Parker are the owners of Parker Brothers Concepts, which is located in Melbourne, FL.  They are also the stars on Syfy’s “Dream Machines”.  They have created cars for 50 Cent, WWE’s John Cena and Universal’s recent film “Battleship”.  Media Mikes recently had a chance to visit the shop in our first collaboration with and got a chance to sit down and chat with the guys about the show and their inspiration behind it.

Mike J. Gencarelli: Tell us about the origin of Parker Bros Concepts?
Shannon Parker: It actually happened by accident. We started out just building things just to be building things. To begin with Marc and I talked about just building choppers, just regular bikes. I thought with the economy the way it way, I thought it was a bad idea because there are a lot of chopper builders out there. We only had enough money to build one…
Marc Parker: We didn’t even have enough money to build one [laughs]
SP: We didn’t have quite enough money to build one vehicle. So we talked about it a little bit and I really wanted to do a replica of the Batpod from “The Dark Knight”. I thought if we run out of money or can’t sell it at least I got something I wanted anyway. So we built it and put it out on the internet to get attention to sell it. We put it out there for $100,000 and when we did that it drew all kinds of attention. We weren’t able to sell it right away but it gave us some great attention and a step towards what we should do next. I think the next step we built our Xenon Light Motor Bike. After that we were off and running…

MJG: How did you get involved with SyFy and “Dream Machines”?
MP: Once the Xenon Light Motor Bike hit the internet it started going viral and before we were even done, we got a call from the TV people. At that point we were only in business for a couple of months. A guy named Edwin Zane called us up and asked “How would you like to do a TV show because the stuff you do is really cool?”. The company he was with at the time threw out a couple of numbers to us and at the time went with out gut and didn’t go with it…luckily. Especially now that we know what we know. He left that company and went to another company and pitched us again.
SP: In the meantime, we were getting pitches from other production companies as well but we never felt comfortable. We liked Edwin as a person and felt comfortable with him. Edwin then moved to another production company called Triage, Inc. and we ended up going with him full circle around.
MP: Triage is taking good care of us. It is a good show for them. They are a big enough company that they are able to do what needs to get done but still small enough to where we are important to them. Once we signed up with him then he pitched it to seven-eight networks. Literally the next day, he had four of the networks interested in the show. Syfy stepped up and said the first day “He is a contract we will take it”. No messing around. They are revamping that network right now and our show fits in well with them.

Mike P. Gencarelli: What made you switches from Parker Bros Choppers to Parker Bros Concepts?
SP: It was the show. More than anything, we didn’t want to come across as old school bike builders and that is it.
MP: When we first started, the original idea and name of the business was going to be Parker Bros Concepts but then we thought no one would know what that is. The original thought was choppers sell, the stuff we are building is weird and not sure if it would sell or not. We were probably going to end up building a couple of choppers local and build our way up. Then on the side build the concept and if people like them great and if they don’t we can just keep them. We went with Parker Bros Choppers for the name and then it came around full circle since the stuff we were doing was more important to the TV people. They didn’t want us to look like the Orange County Choppers. We switched it over to concepts.

MJG: What was it like shooting a reality show and working your day to day business?
MP: Oh my God!
SP: It was difficult…
MP: …and a lot different than we thought it was going to be. SP: You think it is just going to be a camera standing there off in the background and shooting but it doesn’t really work that way. There is a lot of interviews. It is a totally different world for us. It was a cool experience but it was pretty difficult to build something when they are asking us to do it over. Sometimes they may not get it the first time or may need a different angle.
MP: Or before you do anything you need to check it first with the showrunner or director and make sure it is something if they want to get on camera or not. Then we need to wait for them to get the cameras ready before we do the work.

MPG: On the show you guys have these ridiculous deadlines. Is that due to the show and now that we know about filming; how does that affect the deadlines?
MP: It kills the deadlines.
SP: Normally you would think the deadline is reality. All of these things were needed for certain events or premieres. It was one of those “have-to” situations. You have to have it done by this time.
MP: In addition all of these projects, like 50 Cent’s car, if 50 came to us normally and said I want this car, wewould say give us a year/year and a half and we will have this car for you. But you can’t build a show around something like that. All of the deadlines came into play since we only have “X” number of months to film “X” number of episodes. So a lot of these we had to cram into a shorter period of time just because of being able to film them.

MPG: Got a funny question, why is the logo on the roof?
MP: It is actually not!
MPG: It’s not? CGI?
MP: On the show they will show the roof two or three times and sometimes it is there and sometimes it is not. They spent a lot of money on this helicopter for one day. One of the shotsthey wanted was a building shot. The building looks kind of plain and didn’t really stand out against everything else on the road. They wanted to use the shot since they spent the money on the helicopter and so they CGIed it up there.

MJG: What was your most challenging project to date?
MP: Filming a TV show [laughs].
SP: I don’t know I think John Cena’s car was very difficult. Trying to figure out all the things that go into it. That was was also weird for us beecause we started out with a frame, since normally we don’t. We had a lot of issues…
MP: …trying to work around it. Sometimes starting from scratch makes it a lot easier on you with the crazy designs we are working with. It is hard to take sometime and make it fit into that design. If you just start from scratch, even though there is a lot more hours into it, it makes the design and the build come together a little easier. The most difficult in my mind was the Shredder from “Battleship”. With the Shredder we really got to showcase what we wanted to do. When we started this show, we threw a bunch of really over-the-top project out there at the network. They had us tone it down a bit but not completely insane.
SP: Like the single man sub-marine.
MP: Yeah we wanted to do a one man attack sub-marine and some flying vehicles. But that was personally the hardest but also my favorite build.

MPG: Besides plans for season two of “Dream Machines”; what do you see yours doing years down the line?
MP: Hopefully, we get to execute our plans from the very beginning. We want to be the go-to guys for Hollywood. We want to be the guys to build the vehicles for the movies and TV shows. Whether we are on TV or not, if we are building these things that is what we are into.

Interview with Napalm Death’s Mark Greenway

Mark “Barney” Greenway is the vocalist for the legendary grind-core band Napalm Death. The band formed in 1981 and is set to release their 15th studio album in February. We had a chance to talk with Barney about the bands upcoming release and their plans for 2012.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the bands upcoming release “Utilitarian”?
Mark “Barney” Greenway: For this album we sort of spread out the recording process as we had so much material. It was quite a process to get everything together. The end result is really a continuation of where our last album left off. I have difficulty analyzing the material and comparing it to the rest of the albums. Our process of writing is very spontaneous and whatever comes out comes out. The real difference with the new album is I did some things differently with the vocals. There are some influences on there I have used before but not in this context. The influences are kind of alternative and not what you normally associate with grind core. I used a real ambient ballad type style and we worked that into the faster stuff. To be honest I wasn’t sure if this would really work. However it seemed to work quite well.

AL: What was it like working with producer Russ Russell?
MG: Russ is great! He is like a member of the band. His general approach to things is that as long as it songs good that’s all he cares about. He doesn’t mind if the recording techniques are unconventional or whatever. He is exactly the same as us in the band. It was nice having already known Russ as we didn’t have to go through that process of getting to know how each other works.

AL: Is there a particular song off the record you really want the fans to hear?
MG: The song “Everyday Pox”.  That track is also a personal favorite of mine as it’s really nasty! The track is pretty nuts and it just sounds really horrible and heavy. We of course are nice gentle people though. (Laughs)

AL: What do you think keeps the band fresh and current after being together for 30 years?
MG: We have always tried to go to places where bands have never been before. We have always kind of trail blazed in that way. We were the first band to play independently in the Soviet Union. That was pretty historic at that point. The band also has this chemistry where we never feel like we are just going through the motions. The band has gone through some pretty rough times and, we have weathered storms where other bands just fell to the way side. We have always had the drive to keep moving forward which is something that seems to come natural to us. There might come a time where things change and we might not feel as creative but that’s only natural. We take things month by month and year by year. We don’t want to do anything 50%.

AL: What other upcoming plans do you have scheduled for 2012?
MB: Well the album comes out in February and we have some shows scheduled overseas. The only thing we have scheduled here in the U.S. so far is the Bury Your Dead Festival. We are going to be doing more here in the states but we want to make sure that we get a good package of bands together. The days of going out with one support band I think are pretty much gone. We also want to make sure that the ticket prices are fair as well. It will take a bit of planning but we will get there.


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Interview with Knight Area’s Mark Smit

Mark Smit is the vocalist for the Progressive Rock group Knight Area. The band has just released their 4th studio album titled “Nine Paths”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat briefly with Mark about the new album.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the new album “Nine Paths”?
Mark Smit: “Nine Paths” is our fourth studio album, the title refers to an interpretation of the tarot where the cards are grouped into nine groups with one theme each. Each song on the album deals with one of the themes.

AL: How does this album differ from the bands previous releases?
MS: Previously only Gerben Klazinga composed, this time we have two compositions from the other band members. In general the song writing has become more of a group process which makes this album more than ever a product of the entire group. This has introduced some new influences, which has contributed to the richness and variety.

AL: How was it working with producer Neil Kernon?
MS: He is very professional, very friendly and open to suggestions. Neil is great to work with.

AL: What is your favorite track off the new album?
MS: I find it difficult to pick a favorite, perhaps The River because of its atmosphere.

AL: What are the bands upcoming tour plans?
MS: We will be playing some shows in Germany and hopefully more tour dates will follow.


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Mark Hamill Joins “New-Gen” Comic Book & Movie Franchise as Creative Consultant


“NEW-GEN” Names Powerhouse Production Team To Include Mace Neufeld, Kim H. Winther, David Tattersall, Jeffrey A. Okun, John H. Starke, Oliver Scholl and Christopher Young

From New York Comic-Con, “NEW-GEN” Debuts Graphic Novel and Film Sneak Peek, With Book Signings and Panel Featuring Mark Hamill

NEW YORK, NY (Comic-Con) – October 13, 2011 – A.P.N.G. Enterprises, Inc. (Association for the Protection of the New Generation), creators of “NEW-GEN,”® the epic superhero comic book series, today announced Mark Hamill as creative consultant for the franchise, including the upcoming live action feature film production. Originated as a comic book series printed and distributed by Marvel Comics, “NEW-GEN” is a transmedia property with characters and a storyline that reach across platforms, from movies to merchandise, television, mobile, video games and beyond (

Mark Hamill joins J.D. Matonti, Chris Matonti and Julia Coppola, creators of “NEW-GEN”®, as creative consultant, contributing to the multiplatform evolution of the saga of twin brothers with extraordinary abilities seeking to discover their true origins.  During NY Comic-Con this week, A.P.N.G. Enterprises, Inc. will release a special six-issue graphic novel, “NEW-GEN: Volume One,” featuring a “forward” from Hamill who shares his thoughts on this next-generation comic franchise that evolves around the battle over nanotechnology.

“’NEW-GEN’ is a fresh and powerful new story that will surely resonate with audiences across multiple platforms,” says Mark Hamill, legendary actor and voice artist. “I’m honored to join the franchise and upcoming feature film as creative consultant and aim to evolve this compelling universe for fans to enjoy with the A.P.N.G. Enterprises’ team.”

Also joining the “NEW-GEN” team for the upcoming live action feature film are renowned Producer Mace Neufeld (“The Hunt for Red October”), Co-Producer and First Assistant Director Kim H. Winther (“X-Men: First Class”), Director of Photography/Cinematographer David Tattersall (“Star Wars: Episodes I, II, III”), Visual Effects Supervisor Jeffrey A. Okun (“The Day the Earth Stood Still”), Production Manager John H. Starke (“The Punisher”), Production Designer Oliver Scholl (“Jumper”) and Composer Christopher Young (“Spider Man 3”). “NEW-GEN” founder and creator J.D. Matonti will helm the production as the feature’s Director, with the franchise’s Julia Coppola and Chris Matonti rounding off as the film’s Executive Producer and Producer respectively.

“’NEW-GEN’ is making its move into live action feature films with the perfect team, bringing experience from some of the greatest blockbuster films of our time,” said J.D. Matonti, “NEW-GEN” creator and director. “What started as a simple comic book in 2008 has quickly expanded into a full-blown universe that injects a fresh spin into superhero storytelling. We’re thrilled to introduce our characters and world with Mark Hamill and these immensely talented professionals taking the lead.”

Hamill will also support “NEW-GEN” from the convention with two graphic novel signings, on Oct. 14 and 16, and a panel on Oct. 15 alongside franchise creators J.D. & Chris Matonti, comic artist behind the series Abdul H. Rashid, and transmedia expert Jeff Gomez of Starlight Runner Entertainment, who provided support in developing the “NEW-GEN” story world.

Along with the graphic novel which features the first six issues of the comic book, A.P.N.G. Enterprises, Inc. debuts issue number one of a five-issue miniseries, “NEW-GEN: NEW-DAWN,” in addition to a preview of “NEW-GEN: AWAKENING,” an upcoming series for 2012 introducing Carmen, a driving character in the live action feature film.

About “NEW-GEN”
A.P.N.G. Enterprises. Inc. (Association for the Protection of the New Generation) ( launched “NEW-GEN” ® as an epic superhero comic book series, printed and distributed by powerhouse Marvel Comics. “NEW-GEN” ® issue #1 debuted at New York Comic-Con 2008 at the Marvel booth, introducing a nanopowered future world. Creators J.D. Matonti, Julia Coppola and Chris Matonti have transformed the “NEW-GEN” ® universe into a global transmedia franchise featuring characters within a storyline made for live action feature films, television series, mobile and video games, toys, merchandising and beyond.

Interview with Mark Isham

Mark Isham is the composer for two current films this year “Warrior” and “Dolphin Tale”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Mark about working on these films and also what he has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: What was your biggest challenge when it came to creating a score for “Warrior”?
Mark Isham: I would say the biggest challenge right off the bat was to figure out the vocabulary of the score. The film is not just about fighting or MMA. You don’t want to limit yourself to just the sounds of MMA but you don’t want to violate that world either. It became very apparent that this project wasn’t going to work with a traditional score. I spent a few weeks fooling around with the types of music we could put in this film. I worked with a few different music editors who helped experiment to find what the sound was of this picture. It ended up centering around the guitar. The sounds ranged from highly compressed basic electric sounds to huge rock and roll guitar sounds. There is some orchestration in the film which helped with the iconic “Rocky” style ending. You need the size and weight that an orchestra brings when you are building up to the final scene.

MG: Did you get inspiration from any other films?
MI: I can’t say there were any specific inspirations. The “Rocky” film is much more one dimensional than “Warrior” however you can’t deny the film being out there as it has worked so well. We knew we would have to use our own vocabulary in order to create the size and emotion of those final scenes.

MG: What was the process like for you working transitioning from “Warrior” to “Dolphin Tale”?
MI: “Dolphin Tale” was much easier to start. Charles Martin Smith who directed the film had a very clear sense of what he wanted as to where Gavin O’Conner was searching just as much as I was for a sound that fit the film. He wasn’t sure so it was an exploratory start for both of us. Charlie wanted a large traditional orchestral score. There was no trick to it as the story was very warm and open. He wanted me to find the two or three themes that the story really needed. We made sure we stayed very melodic as we didn’t want to fall victim to the current trends. Our catch phrase was “Shamelessly Melodic” [laughs].

MG: Do you prefer input from the directors or do you like to work from your ideas?
MI: I am a big believer in as much communication as possible. It’s a team effort no matter when you start. On “Warrior” I started right as the script was green lit because I had been friends with Gavin for some time. There is still not a chance where I am going to know as much as the director is going to know about what their concepts or philosophy will be about a film. The more time I can spend working with the director the better. A big part of my job is being able to communicate well with the director.

MG: Is there a genre that you prefer working on the most?
MI: No I don’t. I think over the years I have done a big enough variety of films that I feel comfortable working in any of them. I get quite excited when it comes to films no matter what the genre especially if it’s told in a creative way.

MG: From all of your work is there one score that you are most proud of?
MI: I think my two most recent ones “Warrior” and “Dolphin Tale”. I have discovered that one of the reasons I really love my job is that every time I work on a project a new door seems to open when it comes to exploring music. Not only do I try to present the best score I can according to the directors vision but I also want to challenge myself as a composer. I have noticed in the last few years that I have really done that and topped each of my previous works. I think in both of these two scores I learned a tremendous amount and I feel  they are some of my best work.

MG: Do you have any other upcoming projects?
MI: I scored a Scott Hicks picture earlier this year. The film is being held right now for marketing reasons. The film is a Zac Efron love story which I believe the will be being released around Valentine ’s Day so all the girlfriends can take their boyfriends 3 or 4 times [laughs].

Interview with Alter Bridge’s Mark Tremonti

Mark Tremonti is the guitarist for Alter Bridge as well as for the Multi-Platinum selling band Creed. Media Mikes had a chance to talk with Mark recently about both of his bands as well as his upcoming solo project release.

Adam Lawton: What’s has it been like touring with the Carnival of Madness tour?
Mark Tremonti: We are three weeks deep into the tour which has five bands on it and it’s been great. Alter Bridge generally plays an hour a night and it’s been a cake walk. Everyone out with us are good people and all help to put on a good rock and roll show!

AL: How did you guys get involved with being on the tour this year?
MT: We had been approached to do the tour last year. We thought it would be a good time and got all the details worked out with everyone and here we are.

AL: Do you have a favorite song the band is playing in the set and why?
MT: “Blackbird”. I think it’s all of ours favorite song that we have ever done. Most of the songs in the set are very loud and high energy. That song is a dynamic change from the rest of the set. It makes us all watch and listen to the crowd.

AL: Do you have a favorite moment from the tour so far?
MT: I think the most fun we have had so far is the show we did at the Kentucky Fair. It was good to just walk around and win all sorts of prizes for my kids and then the show was just real rowdy and fun.

AL: What do you like most about playing live every night?
MT: It’s what we are and it’s something we have been doing for a long time. It’s your release everyday and it’s what all the practice is for.

AL: What was your reaction to receiving the nomination for album of the year from Classic Rock Magazine?
MT: We were really excited. Classic Rock is such a classy magazine and we really respect their opinion. It’s a very big honor for us.

AL: What’s it like balancing both Creed and Alter Bridge?
MT: I am juggling 3 groups right now actually. I do a lot of planning ahead. 2012 is going to be dedicated to mostly Creed stuff. I also will be releasing a solo album as well. Miles will be going out with Slash and we all will meet up for a few months here and there for Alter Bridge touring. I know we will be going to Australia next year and doing some writing for Alter Bridge as well but the majority of 2012 will be Creed stuff.

AL: Have the comparisons between your two groups finally stopped?
MT: I think since the last record people really stopped the comparisons. With the newest record it has been a real non-point. We are pretty much our own band now and I think a new wave of fans are seeing the band for what it is and don’t compare the two as much anymore.

AL: What is the hardest part about writing material for both bands?
MT: I think you are always pushing to do your best. It’s hard to just switch hats and be the best at different sounds. I don’t want to over complicate a Creed song and make it sound like Alter Bridge.  This band is a little more progressive than Creed, so when I am writing for Creed I have to focus strictly on the melody and finger style stuff. It’s hard to sometimes not really dig in.

AL: What else project wise is coming up for you?
MT: I will be putting my solo record out early next year and then probably we will have a new Creed record out the middle of next year around February.

AL: What can we expect from the solo album?
MT: It’s a little heavier than both bands and I sing on the entire album. It’s a different thing that’s fun and heavy but still melody based. I have been a song writer for most of my life and I think I have finally gotten to a point in my life where I want to get all these ideas down on tape that don’t make the other bands records. It’s more streamlined when you can translate the ideas straight from your mind to tape.

AL: Will you be touring at all on your own?
MT: It just depends on how it turns out. If there is a demand for it then yes.

AL: Will it be put out by Wind Up Records?
MT: No it is completely independent. We are going to put it out on Fred 12 and you will be able to go to and download the songs. The idea is to use our grassroots fan base to promote the band and hopefully they will come and spread the word.

Interview with Chimaira’s Mark Hunter

Mark Hunter is the lead vocalist for the Cleveland, Ohio based band Chimaira. The band recently released their 6th studio album title “The Age of Hell”. Media Mikes had a chance to talk with Mark about the new album, life on the road and what it was like touring with Slipknot.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the new album “The Age of Hell”?
Mark Hunter: Where do I begin? For those that follow the band they may know that we have had a couple line-up changes over the past year and half to two years. We were forced to go into the studio a couple guys down and make the album. We tried to not let it cramp our style too much and we used the energy that came from it to make something great. We started in January and came out a few months later with “The Age of Hell”. It was a great experience working on the album as there were a lot of things both good and bad that led up to it.

AL: Did being two members down impact the recording process at all?
MH: It’s a mixture of two things. When it comes to writing the music for Chimaira, Rob and I have been the guys who usually deliver the base of the song. From there everyone else comes in and adds their character to it. Sometimes we would write so much that there wouldn’t really be much room for people to participate and other times it would be very open. We knew with our approach to writing an album technically we could do the work other than the fact that we were tripling the work load for everyone. Of course there is some impact on an emotional level as well whether it is confusion or anger or excitement. All the things that come with a relationship ending were present. It was almost like a divorce as we had been with the guys eight or nine years so it was a little difficult. We didn’t necessarily write specifically about the guys leaving but those events did affect the energy.

AL: Had you written any of the songs prior to the guys leaving?
MH: Everything had been unfolding over time and we chose to keep things internal until we felt it was appropriate to discuss. We tried to do our thing and make the album and music our focus. We had written something’s as early as 2010. Leading up to January 2011 when we began pre-production on the album we had about 15 songs written. I remember not being very satisfied with those songs as a whole and I knew that there was going to be a lot of work in front us. I have said before in interviews that we scrapped everything which wasn’t really the case. What I had meant to say is that those songs didn’t really get used and after everything happened we started writing and those new songs seemed to have what I was looking for that the previous demos did not.

AL: Do you have a favorite track of the new album?
MH: Yes and No. I like to listen to the album as a whole. I find that this album more so than our others feels like a journey of some sort.  So it’s hard for me to pick a favorite track from this album. Our previous albums it was a clear cut case for me but if I had a gun to my head I think I would choose the song “Powerless”. I really like to just hear the whole album and reflect on what it took to make it. I have taken more out of this album than all of our other albums combined.

AL: Can you tell us about the upcoming fall tour?
MH: This is going to be our first full U.S. headlining tour in almost four years. We have been out but most of it has been supporting other bands. We had some real great opportunities to go out with Disturbed on the Mayhem Festival as well as the other tours we have been a part of. It’s cool to go back out and headline. We get to play 14 or 15 songs a night which really pleases the fans, which is something that we love doing. It’s a great package that features Impending Doom, Revocation and Rise to Remain. This will be one of two U.S tours that we are going to be doing. We will also be going overseas and we are booked solid through April. I have been home for a year so it will be good to get back out there.

AL: Is there anything you like or dislike about being out on the road?
MH: I think Rob Zombie said it best when he said “You don’t get paid for the hour you are on stage. You get paid for the other 23 hours leading up to it”. I think that’s a pretty accurate description. The best part is playing the gig and the worst part is waiting around prior to the show. It’s an interesting life. You are camping with your friends but instead of being in nice scenic places you’re in shitty parking lots.

AL: What was it like when you guys were touring with Slipknot a few years back?
MH: Slipknot is a great band that we learned a lot from. They were always down to earth and treated us great. They were very thankful to have us on the tour with them. The first night we played together I was in the dressing room waiting for them to go on. I am a big fan of theirs and actually saw them on their first tour. So we were sitting there and a couple of the guys came into the room in full costume and in character. These guys were not the same guys once they had transformed into their roles. There was this feeling that things were about to get real serious! I was actually terrified.  Out of all of the bands I have seen live Slipknot is definitely the most intense.

AL: Are there any other things going on besides the tour for yourself?
MH: The touring is definitely going to preoccupy all the energy we have. However to keep busy I met a band from the Cleveland area called Ohio Sky. Musically they are in the vein of the Deftones or Mastodon. I describe them as space rock. Their keyboardist helped us out a lot on the album and we have become real good friends. I am trying to help them and share my knowledge of the business to help them get their foot in the door. It’s a good project to spend my free time with. Working with them has been different and a nice change of pace. This business and climate right now is like walking into a lion’s den, so I am glad to share my experience and insight.


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Interview with Mark Patton

Mark Patton career hit it big with “Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge” and then suddendly ended, but That was only chapter one of Mark’s career. He recently resurfaced in the upcoming documentary “Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy” and is looking forward to acting again if the role is right. Movie Mikes had a chance to talk to Mark and ask him some questions about his career and his anticipated return to the spotlight.

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Mike Gencarelli: Tell me about your journey to starring in “Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2”?
Mark Patton: I actually auditioned for the first “Nightmare on Elm Street” for the part that Johnny Depp played. Heather (Langenkamp) and I tested for that, but I didn’t get the part. When they came back around for the second one, it was the same casting director. They called me in really at the last minute and I auditioned and got the part. Prior to auditioning I had just finished a movie with Robert Altman and they were happy to get me.

Mike Gencarelli: What was the hardest part of your role as Jesse Walsh?
Mark Patton: Making a movie like “Nightmare on Elm Street”, they are very physically demanding on your body. I did all my own stunts. The work load was very strong for me. I was in practically every scene in the movie. The transformation scene, when Freddy comes out of my body was very difficult to do. Also the scene when Freddy burns up in the end and I come out of that fire, was also difficult. Those types of scenes took five or six days to shoot them. You are in that make-up for a long time. Other than that though it was a breeze. We had a great cast and I was treated very well.

Mike Gencarelli: You have expressed differences with director Jack Sholder, can you explain them?
Mark Patton: This month “Never Sleep Again” comes out and it is a documentary on the making of “Nightmare on Elm Street” series. I haven’t really given interview on “Nightmare on Elm Street” in 25 years. Over the course of the years a lot of controversy built up, especially about the gay subtext about “Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2″. Quite frankly, I dealt with a lot of negative issues for the first few years. Later in life, it changed dramatically though for the better. When you watch the movie, you can see that there is sort-of secondary storyline going on. When Jack Sholder and David Chaskin were asked about it back then, they said they had no knowledge that it was going on. In “Never Sleep Again”, David Chaskin, the writer, changes his answer to that question and finally admits; yes he was writing a subliminal message into the movie. I was very straight forward about the whole thing and I just did a Q & A that you can find on YouTube at Monster Mania Convention this March about it. Recently during the interviews and conventions I’ve done, people been really fantastic. It is amazing how many people were obviously touched by that movie but in a different way than they were meant to be.

MG: Where you ever offered to come back for another “Nightmare” sequel as Jesse?
MP: Heather, Kim (Myers) and I the only people still alive from the “Nightmare” franchise. I was never offered.

MG: You were recently featured in “Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy”, how was it revisiting “Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2”?
MpG: It was amazing, it took them two years to find me. They hired a web detective and everything. I like in Mexico now. They literally found me at the last minute, flew us down and shot the documentary three days later. It was a blast. The most fun about it was that they setup a Facebook account for me, which is how we obviously got in contact. The response has been amazing, I probably get one hundred friend requests a day. Literally I am going to have to have to hire someone to take care of this soon, it getting to be so much. The people have been so amazing that have contacted me.

MG: So after you star in “Nightmare 2”, you disappeared from the spotlight and haven’t acted since, what happened?
MP: I actually quit acting shortly after “Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2”. It was due to part to the controversy surrounding the film. Many people offered me film roles after but I just turned them all down. It took the people from the documentary two years to find me, because nobody from show business was able to get find reach me.

MG: What was it like working with Cher and Robert Altman in “Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean”?
MP: That was such an amazing experience. That story is like a book in itself. When I was hired to do that film, my first day of rehearsals there was a thousand reporters around the set because of Cher and Robert Altman. It was a mind blowing experience. I met everyone in the world, literally everyone. I met David Bowie and Robin Williams. They all treated me as a peer so it was great. That movie has a huge cult following and it is getting ready to be released on DVD for the first time ever. I am getting ready to be a part of that DVD.

MG: Now that you are back, what is next?
MP: I have been offered quite a few movies since the documentary. I am sort of hoping they ask me to be in the next “Nightmare on Elm Street” if there is a sequel. I think it would be funny and great. I currently own a gallery in Mexico and I am very involved with a lot of artists here. I am making a documentary about a club and its history here in Mexico. I do have bookers and agents now, so if something interesting comes along. Don’t be surprised. It is funny how life turns around, you never know what is going to happen.

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