Monday, 31 October 2011

Sunburnt In December (draft)

The band which me and my colleagues are using is mine and Conor's band Sunburnt in December. The band started as a side project for a few of us who were already in a band (me, Conor and Mitch) we were all in pop-punk bands at the time and loved heavier music, we had tried before to delve into heavier music but it never happened. Me, Mitch and Conor then decided to start the band, we went on the look for a rhythm guitarist and bassist, as Mitch wanted to sing and play lead guitar, Conor was the only drummer in the area with the skill to play metalcore music on the drums which is filled with double bass fills and large amounts of technical patterns and I was lead vocalist, I was the singer of another band and had incorporated screams into songs before but they were frowned upon by our guitarist at the time, so I wanted to try out screaming vox. We then  found Elliot in the year below after me and Conor were talking on a Facebook post about 'The Devil Wears Prada' in which Elliot had commented on we asked him if he played a instrument and he said guitar, Elliot has now become the backbone of the band, we practice at his and he writes a large amount of the  riffs. We then were on the lookout for a bassist, we then realized the perfect candidate... Jem Whitehead, he was an incredible bassist and we wanted someone who had been in a band before, who could help write songs. Jem at first showed no interest, but gradually has started to show an interest in the band. We got together and wrote our first song 'Where There's a Will, There's a Wave' a nautical song inspired by the band Parkway Drive, a band we are all very fond of. We then started making songs rapidly such as 'Ghosts With A Voice' , 'Take It All Back' and 'Like A Match To An Arsonist'. We have got a grant from a professional recording studio in Leeds where we will be recording probably our best song 'Like A Match To An Arsonist'. 

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Monsters in Music Video.

Werewolf Ozzy from the video 'Bark At The Moon'
Horror has been a massive part of music video since it started. Metal is a key genre to have taken from horror when it comes to making music video, this is because it's widely assumed that all metal fans are males from the ages of 15-24 so both mediums match a type of audience. Artists such as Ozzy Osbourne and Iron Maiden.

Examples of metal music videos that use horror effectivly are...

Ozzy Osbourne - Bark At The Moon
Cavalera Conspiracy - Sanctuary
Scary Kids Scaring Kids - The Only Medicine

Metal isn't the only genre that uses horror influences in it's video's. Dubstep and Electro music can also have dark and scary videos due to them taking influence from metal. Some examples of that being...

Aphex Twin - Come To Daddy (arguably the scariest music video of all time!)
Skrillex - First Of The Year (Equinox)

There of course is the extremely famous video "Thriller" as well by Michael Jackson. The film was directed by the amazingly famous horror director John Landis whos film 'American Werewolf In London' inspired my music video. The video is renound for being the most succesful pop music video of all time. Jackson got in contact with Landis and said: "I want to turn into a monster. Can I do that?"  after watching American Werewolf In London. Landis took Jackson to Rick Baker the makeup artist for American Werewolf In London and showed Michael a big book full of monsters, according to them both Jackson hadn't seen many horror films and was horrified by them.
Landis's ambitious script did not go down well at Jackson's record label CBS, who refused to pay for it on the grounds - entirely erroneous - that the album had slipped down the charts and wasn't going to sell many more copies.
So Landis did a deal with the new cable network Showtime, who handed over $300,000 for the video and the making-of feature that Landis would oversee, too. The rest of the budget came from MTV.

Images of monsters are a very common feature in metal, a classic example being Eddie in Iron Maiden,

Pitch Material

Here is part of my pitch material. I'll be adding the pitch tomorrow but for now here is one of the items I used.

First vodcast

Here is my first vodcast with Conor. I was looking at Tyler The Creator's video Yonkers and Periphery Icarus lives

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

While She Sleeps - Bel(lie)ve (draft)

Artist: While She Sleeps
Song Title: Be(lie)ve
Genre: Metalcore
Release Date: Febuary 21st 2011
Target Audience: 15-24

The video is a concept performance video that follows typical conventions of music video. The singer is the focus, however not entirely as there are a nhumber of shots focused on different band members and close ups of their instruments. The video also uses shots of lip synching which is a convention used in the majority of music videos. The shots are edited at a rapid pace this is because it's a very fast 'bouncy' hardcore/metalcore song. Tracking shots are used loads in the video, and pan across the entire band, this is to show movement. The video also has a concept idea of a bunch of angry working class metal fans running with various tools like wrenches and crowbars, this could link into the bands origin of Sheffield which is known as Steel City and is famous for being largely working class, the people shown running are nearly all heavily tattooed and pierced these break away from normal mainstream norms which would link to the audience as this isn't the music a group of preppy kids would be listening to typically. The location is also really rundown and looks like some sort of abandoned industrial area which hints at a working class audience. The people running are all male which hints at the masculine audience of people around 15-24.

CO - Research Parkway Drive

Parkway Drive are an Australian metalcore band, formed in Byron Bay in the year 2002. Blasting out of Byron, almost as an affront to the serenity of their surrounds, Parkway Drive quickly established themselves as the most formidable force Australian heavy hardcore had ever seen, here's their brief history.

2002 - The band begin as a five piece, with the lineup of Winston McCall on vocals, Luke Kilpatrick on guitar, Ben Gordon on drums and Brett Lagg on base. Their name is taken from the address of the band's first rehearsal area that the drummer owned in Parkway Drive, Byron Bay. The band quickly enlisted Jeff Ling, another local surfer (all of Parkway are surfers and spend a lot of their time away from the band doing this pastime) and began playing shows around their local area.

2003 - The band start recording demos with other bands around the area, principally I Killed The Prom Queen, another local metal band that Parkway were friends with, and they recorded a split EP with them, I Killed the Prom Queen/ Parkway Drive: Split EP and they begin playing more shows once they gain slightly more recognition.

2004 - The band record their first proper EP, entitled Don't Close Your Eyes. It is the first issue from the band and was somewhat of a collector's item, before it was re-issued in 2006, but the latter contained a few more tracks, such as the ones found on their EP with IKTPQ.

2005 - Parkway Drive release their debut album, Killing with a Smile, through Resist Records. It was produced byAdam Dutkiewicz of Killswitch Engage and written by Parkway Drive, while some guest vocals were included. The band also released a video for the single "Smoke 'Em If Ya Got 'Em". It was received very well in Australia's metal scene and established a foothold for the band in the metal market, and began playing tours around the area. Around this time, Parkway started playing more and more shows with more high-profile bands, such as The Acacia Strain and Suicide Silence. 

2007 - In early March, the band unveiled two new songs, The Sirens' Song and Carrion, which feature on the then-unreleased album, Horizons. The band began previewing more songs from the forthcoming album on a tour they did in August and October. Once Horizons came out, it was critically acclaimed by both critics and fans alike and was awarded high reviews in the local magazines of the area, and indeed worldwide because Parkway had made a huge global impact by now. In May 2009, Parkway Drive announced that they would be releasing a live DVD and an Australian tour was also announced with August Burns Red and Architects in support of it. Horizons is to date their best selling release, with the album reaching multi-platinum status in Europe.

2010 - Deep Blue - In March 23rd, Parkway began recording the follow-up to Horizons, Deep Blue. It is somewhat of a concept album, detailing the life of a man who is trying to find the truth in a corrupt, decaying city, and it has been dubbed as their heaviest record to date. According to a blog posted on 8 April 2010, Parkway Drive were half finished with rhythm guitars, bass and vocals for the upcoming untitled album. On 17 April 2010, Parkway Drive officially announced that they finished recording the forthcoming album, and added a studio diary video to their Myspace. Videos have since been made for Unrest, Sleepwalker and Karma. On 25 June, Parkway Drive's Deep Blue was released onto the Australian iTunes Store. After four hours since the point of the album being released, "Deep Blue" reached the Second position on the iTunes Album Charts in Australia, with Eminem's Recovery album seizing first position. Deep Blue was released in the United States and Canada on 29 June, now making it available worldwide. After Warped Tour, Parkway Drive began their Australian headlining tour with The Devil Wears Prada, The Ghost Inside and 50 Lions.

Present day - In an interview with NME, McCall discussed a possible 4th album. Winston is quoted as saying, "We've got ideas for this record that are bigger than anything we've done in the past. We're trying to pencil it in, but we want to get in the studio sooner rather than later." The album is set for a 2012 release.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The Devil Wears Prada - Born To Lose

Artist: The Devil Wears Prada
Song Title: Born To Lose
Genre: Metalcore
Release Date: 23rd september 2011
Target Audience: 15-24

The videois a performance/concept/narrative video. It doesn't have any real narrative, however the video does have connections with the lyrics which are focused on religion and worship. The video follows the key conventions of most metalcore videos, it has performance somewhere in the video and uses other conventions such as light sources, use of shadow and lip synching.

This video is another great example of light and shadow used in extreme metal videos. The shots of the band performing are all done in black and white which is an extreme contrast. This makes the dark figures performing stand out more and makes them out to be possible evil entities embellished in shadow.

The slow motion shots used are also contrasted with the speed of the music, this also links into the editing of the takes. The takes aren't fast at all which is a counter convention when it comes to metalcore videos as they normally are edited at an extremely fast pace, this is to go with the pace of the song itself.

The video also employs tracking shots, it's cleaqr that the tracks are set around in a semi circle and in some of the takes the camera can be seen slowly tracking the band members. Tracks are a very difficult thing for us to replicate in our own music videos as we do not have the equipment ourselves. But there are ways of making 'DIY tracks' that can be found on youtube.

Parkway Drive - Sleepwalker

Artist: Parkway Drive
Song Title: Sleepwalker
Release Date: 4th June 2010
Genre: Metalcore
Audience: 15-24

The video is a concept idea and has no relevance to the lyrics in the song, there is also no performance, unless you count the shot of Winston (the vocalist) screaming insects out of his mouth as performance. Nearlly all the shots are edited somehow wether it being the shot changed to black and white or use of CG in the shot. The shots are also edited at a fast pace this is a typical convention of the genre of music and it's videos, the reason the shots are edited to be fast is because the music itself is very fast.

The shots are shot from a persons perspective whiles't crazy things go down around him in his sleepwalking state. The POV shots give the whole thing more movement which is another conevntion of Metalcore music videos.

The video only shows black and white with some colour e.g red in the main bulk of the video. This effect can be done on final cut easily. The black and white suits the genre nicely as it's got possible good and bad connotations and makes the lighting more interesting as the light and shade stand out from each other, this is a key convention of extreme metal.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011


Metalcore Conventions.

Metalcore is a very successful genre that has become a mainstream recognised genre. It has been around since the late 80's and gradually gained commercial success however it really broke out into the public eye during the beginning of the 2000's with bands such as Killswitch  Engage, As I Lay Dying and All That Remains. 

The sound of the genre is extremely heavy riffs and the most common characteristic of the genre is the presence of 'the breakdown' a slower intense part of a song which is meant to induce moshing in people who hear it. The vocals are normally screamed with the occasional presence of clean vocals in a chorus or bridge. Guitar tunings are universally in some sort of drop tuning. Drummers usually include large amounts of double bass and the inclusion of the china symbol in breakdowns.

Cross-pollination between metal and hardcore eventually birthed the crossover thrash scene, which gestated at a Berkeley club called Ruthie's, in 1984. The term "metalcore" was originally used to refer to these crossover groups. Metalcore emerged from the youth crew and hardcore punk sub culture many of the groups were also part of the straight edge movement. Many metalcore bands are all practising christians, examples being  Zao,  The Devil Wears PradaAs I Lay DyingAugust Burns RedTexas in JulyDemon HunterOh, Sleeper and Underoath.

Some examples of Metalcore bands are...

Parkway Drive

  • Australian metalcore band from Byron Bay. A bunch of surfers they felt the music emulated the excitement of surfing, the band were the first metalcore band from Australia to gain any sort of recognition from a big metal label. The band use nautical themes in their lyrics which are normally about leviathans, shark attacks and ship wrecks.

The Devil Wears Prada

  • The Devil Wears Prada are a christian metalcore band from Dayton, Ohio. The band use religious themes in their lyrics such as the rapture and the apocalypse. They have changed their sound drastically and unlike other bands in the genre have gradually got heavier with each new album or EP. Their newest release Dead Throne which was just released was called the best metalcore album of 2011 and has had rave reviews from critics.

Bring Me The Horizon
  • Bring Me The Horizon are possibly the biggest metalcore band of the decade and their album Suicide Season paved the wave for British metalcore bands. Starting off as a deathcore band they felt that it would be easier to get recognised as a metalcore band. Which was a good decision on their part.