Fredericton’s SpineSplitter Prepare to Release New Music Video.
Bruce Legrow is a man of many talents. Not only does he play guitar in the Fredericton black metal outfit, SpineSplitter, but he’s also an accomplished filmmaker. Recently Legrow turned the lens on his bandmates to shoot the group’s first music video. Fellow filmmaker Tim Rayne had a chance to ask Mr. Legrow a few questions about his craft, the making of this video and what it’s like pulling double-duty as filmmaker and guitarist.
When and how did you get into filmmaking?
Legrow: A love of movies, and a desire to be creative ignited my interest in filmmaking. I love its collaborate nature, its history, and how it evolves alongside technology. Growing up I had a tape recorder that I used to fill blank cassettes with skits and nonsense. In high school I would shoot skits with my friends, and upon moving to Fredericton for university I discovered the NB Film Co-op, which has been a very supportive resource, and a gateway to meeting talented people.
This is your first music video. Why did you decide to make a music video?
My first music video was for a fictitious growler jug band shot in the Village of Gagetown with some good friends and a multitude of goats. The goats would have been cool to have in the SpineSplitter video now that I think of it. The idea to shoot a Spinesplitter video followed an offer from Ian Noble to record a track from the band at R.A. Studios. SpineSplitter is currently down one guitarist, so recording the track and shooting a video helped to keep the train rolling, if you will. It was the time and place for it. We recorded the song on a Sunday, shot the video on the following Friday and Saturday nights, and I had the video cut by Tuesday.
What’s it like producing a video for your own band?
Being a guitarist in the band made it easier to produce the video. I had no homework to do. I was already in tune with the theme and vibe of the song. The song’s lyrics and this year’s ghastly winter was all the inspiration I needed to develop a concept that was realistic to produce within a tight budget. Plus, the rest of the band had no choice but to help out.
Every production has its challenges and happy accidents. What were some of the production highlights from your weekend of shooting?
Every video project is a learning experience. On this video I enjoyed working with friends from the music scene in a filmmaking capacity. The best part of the shoot was working with a great cast and crew who all got along and worked as a cohesive unit. The logistics were heavy, it was colder than the hinges of hell and time was tight, but it was the smoothest shoot I’ve ever done. It was my first shoot where I used torches as a primary light source. By the end of Friday night most of us were covered in kerosene. Jason Edwards burned his hand within the first five minutes but it didn’t faze him – he’s a fire spinning pro!
Many classic European Black Metal bands shoot their videos in an outdoor setting and use corpse paint. Your video plays off these traditions in a humorous way. We’re you making a parody or a homage to these videos?
I love the classic black metal music videos, particularly Immortal’s Call of the Wintermoon, and Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms. I would say the SpineSplitter video is more of an homage to that aesthetic, though it undoubtedly contains some elements of parody. The video’s shooting style and pace reflect classic movies like The Wolfman or Night of the Living Dead more so than anything else.
At the end of day, were you happy with the final result and are you interested in making more music videos?
I was very happy with the final result. A lot of blood, sweat, and burritos went into this project. I worked with a great group of people, we had fun, we worked hard, and I feel we made an entertaining music video. My favourite part about making a music video is that you can be as loud as you want during takes. This is in stark contrast to how I usually work as a location soundman, A.K.A. “the no fun police”. I am certainly interested in making more music videos in the future.