Slash Talks "Nothing Left to Fear", BandFuse, Horror, and More
Thu, 10 Oct 2013 11:05:17
Slash comfortably stepped into the role of movie producer this year with Nothing Left to Fear. His first foray into horror has yielded an undeniable and unforgettable opus that's as haunting as it is hypnotic. Add in a little new music from the man himself, and you've got a brand new genre classic. We can't spoil the details. You just need to watch it...
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Slash opens up about Nothing Left to Fear, talks the BandFuse video game [out November 19, pre-order], and so much more.
How anxious are you for people to see Nothing Left to Fear?
[Laughs] I'm dying for it to come out. It's been finished and in the can for a few months now. I got to go see it again doing a DVD commentary with the director and my scoring partner. It was really nice to sit back and see it after a while. We did a really good job. I'm really impressed with Anthony Leonard III because it's his first feature. All of the scary stuff aside, it has really lush visuals. He's got a really great eye. I think he's going to be a big director in short order.
What makes the film scary for you?
Well, the thing about Nothing Left to Fear—and what's cool about it for me—is it's really the antithesis of everything that's coming out. There are a couple of really great horror movies. I'm not trying to knock the temporary movies coming out in this genre. There are some things I'm not really into, which are usually the movies that are completely focused on the blood, gore, and dismemberment. There's a simple story to get from one end to the other and characters you don't really give a shit about. They're just all going to die [Laughs]. They're going to die in every possible gory way imaginable. There are some that are better than others. I don't even have a problem with that side of it. I've always been into really haunting movies that left more to the imagination than the obvious. A lot of those kinds of movies came out when I was growing up. Nothing Left to Fear is a slow burn old school kind of movie. You really get into what's happening. It's about a family that relocates from the city to this rural small town in Kansas. You really start get to know the kids, mom, dad, and the reason why they're going. You learn about this new house they move into and the people in the community. It does pick up at a pretty intense pace at one point. It's haunting, and it's really effective emotionally.
When was the moment that you could feel and see the whole vision? Did it happen on set or was it when you watched the first cut? When did it feel complete?
That's a good question. Unfortunately, I wasn't even there for the shoot. As is par for the course in the movie making industry when you don't have a lot of money, the shoot got set back numerous times outside of the window I had slotted for it. I ended up being on the road when it was shot. I only flew in for the shoot one day. It started to come together for me when I began doing the score. I was on the road, but I had my laptop with Pro Tools on it. Nick O'Toole my composing partner would send me the reels. I'd sync up the music and get ideas. I was able to watch it while it was progressing through the story very slowly. That's when it really began to come together.
How different is scoring a film versus writing songs?
When I write for movies, it's nothing like if I'm writing with a band in mind. It's a complete departure for me, which is interesting because that's not a conscious thing. It's just the way it happens. When I start writing for a story and concept, I branch off in this other world, that's not constricted by songwriting. It's more composing. It's a great departure for me. Because I don't know what I'm doing, it's great to see where it goes.
What movie scared you the most recently?
Usually, I can never answer that question, whether it's movies or "What's your favorite new record?" I don't fucking know. There's nothing really going on, but The Conjuring is fucking great. I was really impressed with that, and it's right in my wheelhouse of the kinds of movies I'd like to make. Of course, it's a bigger budget. I want to do a bigger budget sort of dramatic horror movie at some point. The Conjuring a really good benchmark. There's been a lot of other good movies coming out. The other two that directly come to mind are The Strangers and, fuck I keep wanting to name a Guns N' Roses song [Laughs]. It's Drag Me to Hell. The Guns song is "Right Next Door To Hell" [Laughs]. I thought Drag Me To Hell from Sam Raimi was just one of those bombastic scary movies that he's so fucking good at. It's got the most amazing sound design of any scary movie I've seen in recent memory. That's what's come out recently I really dig.
The Conjuring was so creepy, especially the "hide and clap" scene.
Yeah! The thing is you get to know the husband, the wife, the kids, and the paranormal investigators as a couple, and you start to feel something for the characters. If anything happens to them, you go through an emotional trip. One thing about the movie we just did is there's a villain and she's not really human.
Do you remember the moment you got into horror?
Really, it's ever since I was born. My mom was a horror fan. My dad was a horror fan. For my dad, it was all literature. Pretty much as soon as I could read, I was exposed to H.G. Wells, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and Ray Bradbury. My mom was like a little girl with horror movies. She loved them. They scared the shit out of her, and she knew every single one of them in terms of turning me on to all of them. When I was a kid still living in England, there were the old Hammer movies with all of the British actors like Vincent Price and Christopher Lee. Peter Lorrie and all of that was a big part of my childhood. When I moved to the states, it just blew up because there was so much going on over here.
What are you most excited about BandFuse?
BandFuse is really cool. I can't take credit for it [Laughs]. It's not my game. It's something somebody else came up with that I support and got involved in the video tutorial aspect of the game. It's the closest thing to teaching you how to play guitar that's ever come out. It's a little like Guitar Hero. You have an instrument that's a real guitar. You actually see the notes. There's another game called Rocksmith. it's really hard though. It's not fun. It works, but it's hard to navigate. This one is fun, and it teaches you how to play guitar and how to play songs while you're actually doing it hands-on. It's really comprehensive and it works. I think it will turn a lot of kids on to guitar without intimidating them. It doesn't have to be kids. It could just be people who want to play guitar and play a fucking Eagles song [Laughs]. By the end of an hour, you'll be playing that song.
Pre-order Bandfuse: Rock Legends for XBOX 360 at Gamestop here!
What's your favorite Slash song?