'Band vs Brand'
(Dave Ellefson, Jack Russell, Nik Turner, Dave Lombardo, Nicky Garrett, Frank Dimino, Marc Ferrari, et al / DVD / NR / 2019 / Cleopatra Entertainment - MVD Visual)
Overview: 'Band vs Brand' is a documentary film focusing on the current state of the music business and on how 'the brand' of a rock group, in many cases, has more power than the band members themselves.
DVD Verdict: Featuring interviews from David Ellefson of the Grammy Award-winning band Megadeth, Jack Russell from Jack Russell's Great White, Nik Turner from Hawkwind, Dave Lombardo from Slayer, Marc Ferrari from Keel, et al, the knowledge contained within 'Band vs Brand' isn't anything new, to be honest; but it is fascinating to hear the thoughts of those affected by it from behind the velvet rope.
Directed by Bob Nalbanian ('Inside Metal') and running a healthy 92 minutes, 'Band vs Brand' contains so many artists siding with the Brand that you'd think it would have made this documentary irrelevant. But, there's enough of the "other side" of the conversation to be heard here to create a nice balance of conversation; even if the final outcome is that, as one rocker himself puts it, "I think the argument can be made that the brand is more important than the band".
Another rocker in true belief of the fact is Jean Beauvoir (Plasmatics, Little Steven) who full admits that "The brand did more powerful than I am", albeit with a big smile on this face.
The documentary actually brings up a good point when it goes into its section of When does a band become a Brand, with one answer coming back of " ... when you sell it out a little too much", adding with a slight, yet deft shake of the head, "it's just not real any more."
For, as you would expect when you do away with the labels over time you do away with the quality control that was your safety net to the brands sneaking in and slowly becoming the band's "subtle" right arm.
In that way it actually works for a lot of bands that might have seen their better days and are currently sinking in the market they once ruled.
For once they get branded and their name is back up on the marquee, well, they can quickly go from washed up has-beens to living legends virtually overnight.
Informing us that all the things we learn throughout 'Band vs Brand' have to be there for the complete band package to successfully come together - as, shit, we all know ALL musicians want to do it play - artists and music executives and journalists and band managers have their say here; like Vinnie Paul (Pantera) says, "So be different! Bring it!" This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.