VOODOO RHYTHM - THE GOSPEL OF PRIMITIVE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
Slowboat Films has completed “Voodoo Rhythm – The Gospel Of Primitive Rock ‘n’ Roll”, a documentary about legendary primitive Rock ‘n’ Roll label “Voodoo Rhythm Records”.
The film has recently premiered at CINEMATTE in Bern, Switzerland where it sold out all 4 shows as well as in Düsseldorf, Germany where it sold out a 220 seat venue.
Here’s a list of previous and confirmed screenings:
14.05.2005 Bern (CINEMATTE)
15.05.2005 Bern (CINEMATTE)
16.05.2005 Bern (CINEMATTE)
17.06.2005 Düsseldorf (FFT)
01. – 31-07. 2005 Berlin (EISZEITKINO)Berlin
08.07. 2005 L.A. (The Scene Bar)
03.09.2005 London UK (The Spitz)
07.09.2005 Groningen NL (The Vera)
19. & 20.09.2005 Leicester UK (Phoenix Arts Center)
23.09.2005 Hamburg (HAFENKLANG)
30.09.2005 Frankfurt (Mousonturm)
07.10.2005 Bischoffswerda (East Club)
07.10. - 16.10.2005 Minnesota USA (Sound Unseen Filmfestival)
08.10.2005 Aschaffenburg (KLUB KAMIKAZE)
16.10.2005 Haarlem NL (Patronaat)
17. & 19.10.2005 Austin, TX (Alamo Theatre)
Screenings in Munich, Paris, London, Groningen, L.A., Las Vegas, Sao Paolo, Buenos Aires and Perth will follow between July and October.
The film is now available for bookings in art house theatres and clubs worldwide.
Further information can be found at: www.slowboatfilms.com
TITLE: “VOODOO RHYTHM – THE GOSPEL OF PRIMITIVE ROCK ’N’ ROLL“
DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: M.A. LITTLER
PRODUCTION COMPANY: SLOWBOAT FILMS
DURATION: 115 Min.
FORMAT: DIGI BETA, BETA SP, DV CAM & DVD (all NTSC and PAL + All regions)
CONTENT: The film features in depth interviews, live gigs and private home concerts of the following artists:
Rev. Beat-Man, The Dead Brothers, The Monsters, King Khan, DM Bob, The Watzloves, Zeno Tornado & The Boney Google Brothers, The Come 'n Go, Dink Winkerton and a special appearance by The Velvet Hammer Burlesque.
The film is filled with the finest RAW PRIMITIVE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL, BLUES TRASH, CAJUN SWAMP BLUES, GARAGE FUZZ MASSACRE, XXXHOBOBLUEGRASS, VOODOO SOUL, ONE-MAN COUNTRY SCUM GOSPEL and of course the most exquisite FUNERAL ORCHESTRA this side of New Orleans.
"Voodoo Rhythm - The Gospel Of Primitive Rock 'n' Roll" is more than merely a film about raw music, it's the portrait of a way of life that stands in stark contrast to an over-processed and assimilated age of facts and figures.
"I wanna fuck you baby...that's a good song...and on one chord...it's a hit song...it don't sell shit but it's a good song!"
REVEREND BEAT-MAN 2005
You can view and download the film's trailer at:
For questions and bookings, please contact:
The following interview with Director/Producer M.A. Littler gives further insight into the making of the film:
Q: How did you come up with the idea to make a film about VOODOO RHYTHM?
A: I was in my local club, the "Dreikönigskeller" in Frankfurt and the former owner put on a record by THE DEAD BROTHERS, which was odd because usually the guy swears by obscure METEORS Japan imports and that music didn't seem to fit into his musical universe at all but he thought it was great and I had sit down and have drink that's how blown away I was.
They just did whatever they wanted, Country, Gypsy Music, Blues, Jazz, Weimarer Republic era theatre music and THE CRAMPS...all wrapped into one.
I thought I ought to make a film about these lunatics and I started to do some research on the band...that eventaully led me to VOODOO RHYTHM.
I then saw a pictures of the REVEREND and heard "GET ON YOUR KNEES". I called BEAT-MAN up and told him, that I was going to make a film about his label....well, the rest is history...I always say: "I got voodooed!"
Q: Is the film merely about BEAT-MAN and VOODOO RHYTHM?
A: No, the film is the portrait of the various bands on VR...the label fuctions as a thread that runs through the entire film...and BEAT-MAN is the family patriarch...like Moses.
Q: Who all appears in the film?
A: Reverend Beat-Man, The Monsters, The Dead Brothers, The Watzloves, Zeno Tornado & The Boney Google Brothers, King Khan, The Come 'N' Go, DM Bob, Dink Winkerton and a Special Appearance by Scarlette Fever and Valentina Violette.
Q: From THE VELVET HAMMER BURLESQUE show in L.A.?
A: Exactly...we had too many men in the film...that had to be changed.
Q: Did you know any of the bands personally?
A: No, I hadn't met any of them before.
Q: The interviews are very natural...how come the bands were so open although they didn't know you?
A: That must have been the beer.
Q: Come again?
A: Well, I had done interviews in the past, but I never had any time, that can easily cause an interview to be stilted, so I though I have to accelerate the getting-to-know-you-process and beer seemed to be an ideal tool...which it proved to be in the end...sometimes Scotch was used though.
Q: What's the beer like in Switzerland?
A: Next question.
Q: Where can you get good beer?
A: In Bremen and Dublin.
Q: What's Switzerland like?
A: You won't believe it, but Switzerland is a Rock 'n' Roll Mekka.
Q: More than Memphis and Detroit?
A: Memphis who?...come to Bern and see NAKED GURRRLLLZZ AND WILD ROCK 'N' ROLL!
Q: Were there any problems...I mean with such an undertaking one could suspect the clashing of egos.
A: I thought that something like that could happen, but it didn't. I'm a sceptical person and until today I don't understand why everything worked out so well...it sounds ridiculous but many of the bands have become friends.
Q: Some people could say that there are bands appearing in the film, that don't really fit into the Rock 'n' Roll niche.
A: There are bands like THE DEAD BROTHERS, with their brass section or THE WATZLOVES with their accordion, that some Rock 'n' Roll purists wouldn't consider Rock 'n' Roll.
But for me Rock 'n'Roll isn't tied to a musical style, for me Rock 'n' Roll is a state of mind and THE DEAD BROTHERS as well as THE WATZLOVES are without a doubt 100% Rock 'n' Roll...more than most of the bands that keep linking themselves to that term.
Q: VOODOO RHYTHM is somewhat of confusing label...Psychobilly at times and Garage...sometimes BluesTrash and CajunZydeco, then Country and Primitive Soul...isn't that a bit confusing?
A: If VR would only release Psychobilly or only Country, I wouldn't have made a film about the label, BEAT-MAN has a feeling for musical styles that don't fit together on paper, yet bear a certain connection that goes beyond musical styles and that's what interested me.
Inspite of all their musical differences the VR bands have a common denominator.
Apart from that, Rock 'n' Roll has always been a bastard child of so many different musical styles....country, blues, bluegrass, soul, gypsy music...the list is endless...so it makes sense to wildly blend and mix them.
It's like Babylon, only that it works better at VOODOO RHYTHM and nobody smashes anyone else's skull.
Q: And the common denominator is PRIMITIVE ROCK 'N' ROLL?
A: You can call it whatever you want...the REVEREND calls it that, yes.
Q: How would you define PRIMITIVE ROCK 'N' ROLL?
A: (Laughs) Forget it...I ain't gonna define nothing...ask the REVEREND or watch the film...I'd say those who insist on defining it, don't get it...to me PRIMITIVE ROCK 'N' ROLL is like life in general...I favour those who do it their way...that applies not only to music.
Q: Do you consider the film to be essentially a Rock 'n' Roll film?
A: Of course it deals with Rock 'n' Roll...I think however, that the film goes further than that...I think it's primarily the portrait of a way of life that stands in stark contrast to an assimilated and over-processed music/art scene and society and Rock 'n' Roll is the soundtrack...sounds a bit pretentious...sorry.
Q: Why is the film called "THE GOSPEL OF PRIMITIVE ROCK 'N' ROLL"?
A: It's called that because it's a religious film.
Q: Rock 'n' Roll and religion...does that fit?
A: Absolutely...whoever doesn't believe it, ought to watch the film and be converted....COME AND SEE THE LIGHT!
Q: What do the Rock 'n' Rollers and Christians say?
A: I don't care...I say there's Rock 'n' Roll in religion and religion in Rock 'n' Roll...that's not a contradiction as far as I'm concerned.
Q: How do you see VOODOO RHYTHM's future?
A: It's not my job to be a fortune-teller...I only know that BEAT-MAN will realize his dream and release a classical record eventually.
Q: That's a joke?
A: No, I'm dead serious.
Q: Classical music and Primitive Rock 'n' Roll?
Q: Why don't you tell me an anecdote...something that happened during the shoot?
A: Let me think...are you familiar with "CHICKEN ON A THRONE"?
Q: Is that a band?
A: No, but it would be a good name for a band.
Q: What is it?
A: It's a recipe. During the shoot, apart from drinking beer, cooking was alwas a source of amusement and SILKY from THE WATZLOVES and DM BOB had this recipe from Bob's cousin in Louisiana.
This is more or less how it works:
You spice the chicken anyway you please, then crack open a can of beer...you empty half of the can and then stick the half empty can into the chicken's ass.
The whole thing then goes into the oven at approximately 200 degrees Celsius.
The beer evaporates, which causes the chicken to make odd movements and the meat becomes nice and tender.
I think it's time for a VOODOO RHYTHM cook book.
A: Believe it...I was there.
Q: How about a quote from the film?
A: I know what you want to hear: "I wanna fuck you, baby...that's a hit song....it don't sell shit...but it's a good song!"
Q: This is not your first film, correct?
A: No, I've made four 16mm short-films and a documentary about a trailer park as well as a documentary about biker's in the U.S.
Q: That cost money!
A: It does.
Q: May I ask where one gets that kind of money?
A: From a wallet.
Q: Your own?
A: Sometimes...but kidding aside, it's a tricky situation, but I work completely without aid from networks or funding agencies...it's important to me that I can make my films entirely my way.
Q: While doing research for this interview, I've read that you also write.
A: Yeah, it started with screenplays, then I wrote 2 volumes of poetry "BABYLON WASTELAND" and "NOTES FROM EREHWON", I've also got a half finished novel lying around somewhere.
Q: You don't look like someone who writes poetry.
A: Why...are the horn-rimmed glasses missing?
Q: Not exactly.
A: In my poems there ain't no birdies flying around the sun blissfully, my work is a bit darker.
Q: What's your subject?
A: My subjects are Outsiders...in my films and my literature...individuals who dance to a different beat and do their thing no matter what the consequences may be.
Q: Do you think the bands on VR are Outsiders?
A: This is getting serious now, right? I think in comparison to the mainstream, the bands as well as myself are Outsiders, but we're in good company...most people don't get what we're doing, but those who do, love it...and they buy us beer which is a good thing, ain't it?
Q: You've got a little company?
A: Yeah, SLOWBOAT FILMS....I run it together with my editor.?
Q: What's the idea behind it?
A: The company could be compared to VR...we do what we want...I call it RAW CINEMA...you can call it whatever you want. We own our own equipment, which of course makes it easier to work independently.
Q: Is it about rebellion?
A: That's such an over-inflated and abused term...I don't rebell against anything...I'm just doing my thing...if some people choose to call that rebellion...so be it.
Q: What goals does your company have?
A: I want to continue making self-determined films and I want to continue working with good people, then have a drink and throw some meet on the barbie....but I already do all that...so basically I want everything to remain the same...a little more $$$ wouldn't be bad, it would simplify a few things...but if it's not meant to be it doesn't really matter either....there's always a way of making another film.
Q: What does a film need to excite you?
A: It's gotta be real...I want to feel that the people making a film or music know what they're talking about...it's gotta be personal and hit you in the gut.
Q: Which path have you chosen for the VOODOO RHYTHM film?
A: I want to show it in movie theatres...as far as I'm concerned that's where movies belong...then I'd like to show it on television...I'm curious to find out if a network has the guts to show it...and eventually it will be released as a DVD through VOODOO RHYTHM.
Q: Anything concrete?
A: The premiere will take place on the 14th of May in Bern, at CINEMATTE, the Germany premiere will be on the 17.6. in Düsseldorf...further screenings in Germany, Switzerland and the U.S. are currently in preparation.
Q: Are their any new projects on the horizon?
A: Yeah, I'm making a film about THE DEAD BROTHERS.
Q: More VOODOO RHYTHM?
A: No, this film is very different.
Q: So you'll continue making documentaries?
A: No, after THE DEAD BROTHERS film, I'll make a Road Movie Gangster film...with a dirty blues soundtrack.
Q: May I find out more?
A: The title is "THE ROAD TO GOD KNOWS WHERE"...the rest is top secret (Laughs).
Q: Let me ask you, what kind of music you listen to?
A: That's going to be a long answer...how much time do you have?
Q: I've got time.
A: I listen to John Coltrane, Tom Waits, Taraf De Haidouk, Andre Williams, Johnny Cash, The Oblivians, Hank Wiliams, Leadbelly, T-Modell Ford, R.L. Burnside, Hasil Adkins, Arvo Pärt, Elvis...are you getting bored?
Q: No, not at all.
A: My fave record at the moment is Reverend Charlie Jackson's "GOD'S GOT IT!" It's incredible!
Q: What about VR records?
A: Do you think I make a movie about music I don't listen to?
Q: Do you still listen to them, even after working on the film for such a long time?
A: Good records you can always listen to...a good record needs to stand the test of time...so far the VR records have been extremely resistant...they simply refuse to go away.
Q: Why don't you recommend a few VR records to our readers.
A: That's impossible...I'll say one thing though...if you're open, then you can truly discover some crazy music...so buy 'em all!
Q: Do you think Rock 'n' Roll will always play a part in your life?
A: Absolutely. It's like bacteria that you can't be vaccinated against and there's no antibiotics against it either...once you've been infected, you're in it for life.
Q: Great closing statement...thanks for the chat.
M.A. Littler – tMx 21 – 08/05