The last week of February this year was insane. I had just moved and was still involved in the quagmire combat of unpacking and remodeling as my new home was in desperate need of some TLC. I was totally unsatisfied with my job, frustrated by the never ending deluge of repair work, and becoming disenchanted with my writing. I started writing when I was fifteen but it’s only been in the past four years that I’ve devoted the true effort to my craft that it deserves. I was in a creative drought and thinking about chucking it all when my editor at Psycho Drive-In asked me to interview a musician about an upcoming music video.
I was born, raised, and still find myself in Nashville, Tennessee better known as Music City, USA and the Country Music Capitol of the World. While I consider myself a very well versed music lover, my opinion of musicians has been skewed thanks to hacks in ten gallon hats and rhinestone studded belt buckles. Still, it was a chance to do something I’d never done before and I wasn’t going to say “no” to a new experience. I read the press kit that had been forwarded to me, watched some music videos, and tried to get a feeling for what the band was all about. Australian, Goth, Industrial, Metal, Punk, Horror Rock and Roll.
Yeah, I was stoked.
David Black, known as Brother Black and arguably the frontman/spokesman for Darkness Visible seemed a bit intimidating as I studied up for the interview. Not only is he a rocker with more than 25 years of experience and stage presence, he’s also an author, cartoonist, editor, and most recently, a driving force inside the Australian independent horror community. And as if that wasn’t enough, he is also a cancer survivor and one of the most genuinely talented and kind people I’ve had the chance to get to know since my freelance career began.
We talked for over an hour about his career, his art, his battle to restore his health, and his passion for film. The upcoming music video, Breaking Point, is shot in a very classic style telling a story the way music videos used to back when MTV still played music. Raunchy, funny, gory, and terrifying, the vidro includes talented actresses including Whitney Duff (Sheborg Massacre) as well as contortionists, arialists, and two of the only three female sword swallowers on the Australian continent.
But the best part of my interview with David wasn’t the set photos or the music. He told me about his own struggles within the industry. His work has been largely ignored by the Australian entertainment and arts press despite a growing popularity abroad. He and other artists have been summarily rejected at home while being embraced the world over. He hasn’t let it stop him, though as he continues to experiment, break boundaries, and help others in the indie community do the same. He was sidetracked for two years due to illness and Breaking Point represents his first serious step back since his recovery.
He also shared a lot of encouragement with me. He explained how it’s always best to be patient, to hone your art and cultivate an audience rather than attack the fleeting stardom that viral fame can bring. He’s also a man who knows that every setback is an opportunity, explaining that each rejection he’s been dealt, regardless the sting it delivers to the ego, is a chance to critically review your work and devote the time it takes to craft it into something worthwhile.
I keep raving about Aussie films in large part thanks to David’s influence as he is constantly sharing links, not only to his own work, but to others who might not be receiving that recognition they’ve earned.
Below you’ll find links to my interviews with David Black, musician and modern horror auteur, as well as Oz Indie Cinema where he shares a lot about the Australian indie scene. Stay scary, guys, and keep up the great work.