“Legalize Murder” is the world’s first Black Metal comedy & is fast becoming a cult classic, having amassed 66548 viewings on Google Video, quickly establishing itself inside said site’s Top 100! Not bad going for two young independent filmmakers from Wales: Joseph Salerno & Nicolas Warden - aka the Design Confederacy.
Written, produced & directed by Salerno & Warden, “Legalise Murder” does for Black Metal what “Spinal Tap” did for Heavy Metal all those years ago: takes the piss. Mercilessly. Set in 1990, “Legailze Murder” joins investigative journalist, Dominic Dalrymple, on his quest to decipher the ominous portents behind the nascent Black Metal phenomenon - & in particular, the stranglehold it has taken on Welsh Black Metal artists, Vic & Jack Norseman, & their group, Legalize Murder.
Dalrymple, his searching mind awash with images of smouldering churches, corpses & self-murder, arrives chez Norseman to find the energies & vibes decidedly wrong. He gets to meet & quiz the decidedly different Norseman brothers, go for lunch with their decidedly insane mother, sleep in a fly infested caravan - & witness Legalize Murder at work in the studio - as well as attending a live ‘aktion’ at the brother’s local working men’s club. Needless to say, nothing is quite as it seems!
Jean Encoule talks to Joe & Nick from Design Confederacy to bring you this:
trakMARX - How did Joseph Salerno & Nicholas Warden meet - & what's the story behind Design Confederacy?
Joe: Well, we met way back in school, when we were both 11 - and from there we’ve always written and worked together on some level.
Nick: We were always in bands together, too!
trakMARX - Is Legalize Murder your first venture?
Nick: No, we started out making music promos and short films.
Joe: Yeah, when we were in London, we did a lot of art films for installations and small gallery showings. They were kind of shit, though.
trakMARX - When did you first begin work on the film?
Joe: I think it was about 2004. We did some small skits and put them online – then, before we knew it, we had loads of e-mails from around the world from people asking when and were they could see the whole film - so we thought, fuck it, let’s make it a full feature-length job!
trakMARX - How long did it take from inception to completion?
Nick: About a year-and-a-bit.
Joe: I think about 2-years, to be fair
trakMARX - In terms of budget, how much did it cost to make?
Joe: Proper everybody asks us this. I think it’s because it looks so cheap. It cost about two grand or so to make, although to look at the finished film you’d think it cost something more along the lines of a tenner!
trakMARX - Did you have any help with regard to funding?
Nick: Not one fucking penny!!!
Joe: In Wales, they really shoot themselves in the foot - they’ll only give you cash for making art, music or film if you’re Welsh speakers - which we ain’t. Also, all the interest we have had about the film has come from outside Wales, be it in Scotland, Ireland or the international media.
trakMARX - Were the main protagonists in the film based on anyone in particular?
Nick: Dominic is pure Louis Theroux.
Joe: Jack is a lot like the bloke that plays him (Philip Adams) - but even friendlier and softer spoken. I think Vic is a lot like me when I was about 15.
trakMARX - You chose to air the movie originally as a free download on Google - notching up an impressive 66548 views in three months - is it available commercially yet?
Joe: Yes, it is. You can buy it on DVD through our website: www.designconfederacy.co.uk - or if you live in Scandinavia, you can buy it through Megarock Distribution - or various independent record shops.
Nick: Also, Magma Books in London sell limited edition versions.
trakMARX - How do you feel about the comparisons to Spinal Tap?
Joe: I like it. I think that’s a real big compliment - we both love that film.
trakMARX - Are you planning any further mockumentaries?
Nick: We’re half way through writing a full series and are hoping to get it aired on a commercial television channel.
trakMARX - Are you fans of Black Metal?
Joe: Very much so, it’s the greatest musical art form in my book.
Nick: We grew up with it.
trakMARX - What's your take on BM's appropriation of ancient belief systems?
Joe: I think it’s good that it even has a belief system. Most youth based music nowadays is vacuous and says nothing: it’s all style and no content - whereas BM is all content. It’s very much like punk in the late 70’s - the only difference is: it hasn’t bled into the mainstream with the same ease as punk did - and I don’t think it ever will.
trakMARX - Do BM's associations to National Socialist agendas worry you at all?
Joe: It does in some ways. I don’t have any political leanings in that direction myself, but I do listen to bands that do. I think people should be allowed to express any ideas they want through music and it should be up to the listener to decide for themselves.
Nick: Audiences shouldn’t be patronised.
trakMARX - The running time of the movie is a neat touch. Was this part of the original plan - or an editing construct?
Nick: It just kind of happened, really. We though it was a nice touch, though.
trakMARX - You have created a devilishly succinct pisstake of a supposedly violent sub genre, do either of you live in fear of retaliation from the Black Metal Circle?
Joe: Everyone has been really supportive. We love BM - and I think that shows in the film. We’re are not out to mock the genre - because it’s too strong to simply take the piss out of - and stands up very much on it’s own. We were simply trying to reflect our own experiences from being in bands - and what people can be like when they use a genre’s pomp and regalia to hide their own insecurities.
trakMARX - And finally, my favourite line in the film was "yeah, we wear the corpse-paint ‘cos we don't want to conform". What are your respective favourite lines?
Nick: I think it might be “A ginger globe of hair on your back”
Joe: “I won’t allow myself to play my Mega Drive or Game Gear until I have finished my daily homage to the Beast”
Jean Encoule tMx 28 01/07
LinksTry: www.lovemusichateracism.com And: www.myspace.com/legalizemurderthemovie
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