The house lights dim and the crowd surges forward. Moments ago the crowd was loud and boisterous; now, they are hushed. It’s a special brand of reverence saved up for this once in a lifetime event. Together they experience the show. The band takes the stage. The lights pulse, the drums kick, the bass pumps, the guitar wails, and the singer croons; its magic. There is a sweaty goodbye and the fans are left with an unforgettable night. But what happens to the band after they strike the set? Long Way To The Top, a new rock documentary that recently digital outlets, takes you on the road with professional musicians to look at the highs and lows of living the dream.
While newcomers The Sword, Grizfolk and David Ramirez hold center stage through musical performances and looks behind the scenes of their tours, other interview subjects include members of Def Leppard, Weezer, Phantom Planet, Limp Bizkit, Nine Inch Nails and more. As director Rob Montague stresses, “It’s important to showcase every genre of music. Though one band may consider themselves heavy metal and another pop, the journey they take is the same. It’s just the details that are different.”
Montague and his producers really clicked with metal band The Sword, recognizing a driven and commitment to their art, “They are a blue collar band, living on the road.” Producer Taylor Wallace, who is an event manager for the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater and other venues, agrees, noting, “The Sword is a band that takes the time to talk to their fans and savor the crowd every show. They’re in it for the music.”
Formed in 2003 and hailing from music capital, Austin, TX, the heavy metal band is currently celebrating the release of their album Low Country. 2012’s Apocryphon debuted at #17 on the Billboard Top 200, marking their highest entry on the chart. Since first emerging with 2006’s Age Of Winters, the group has been extolled by everyone from Rolling Stone and The Washington Post to Revolver and Decibel. Metallica personally chose them as support for a global tour, and they’ve earned high-profile syncs in movies including Jennifer’s Body and Jonas Åkerlund’s Horsemen.
Three years in the making, Long Way To The Top is a story about the trials and tribulations of working musicians, with heavy emphasis of life on the road. From unexpected tour line-ups, to unforgiving weather, the undying love of their fans, to their unsympathetic landlords; LWTTT presents an uncompromising, behind-the-scenes glimpse of what it is really like being a career musician in our modern era.
Says film co-producer Thom Hazart (also responsible for day to day operations for powerhouse independent record label EMP Label Group) says, “I watched Rob and Taylor work on this film for years, with the kind of determination I can barely even fathom. At the end, it is such an accurate and intimate look at the heart of the independent touring musician. I recommend anyone to check it out.”
The film initially screened at the 39th Annual Cleveland International Film Festival, Ink’s Middle of the Map Fest, and Skyline Indie Film Festival. It was nominated for Best Documentary at NewFilmmakers and won Best Rock Documentary at the Albuquerque Film Festival before signing with Quiver.
The title was discovered by VP of Business Development Steve Bulzoni and Manager of Quiver, Sean Flanagan as part of a new Quiver acquisition initiative, recently highlighted in Variety Magazine. “The market place is being flooded with titles that fail to find the passion and support they require from their distributors,” says Sean Flanagan, Marketing & Sales Manager of Quiver, “If we can combine the passion that motivates our filmmakers with the powerful tools and relationships that a company like Premiere Digital holds, we have the chance to do something empowering and special.” Together they use the transparency and considerable tools created by Premiere Digital to assess the viability of titles in the digital realm before offering that further artistic partnership to their clients.