Drive is a sonically sound road trip rock documentary with David Gedge and his band The Wedding Present touring North America way back in 2005 which was Directed & Edited by Steve Stone and his company Third Hand Films whom I’ve known the better part of 20 years! Can’t believe it. Anyway, the story goes that Steve sent Gedger an email when he heard they were planning on coming to America and he asked him if he’d be interested in taping some of the shows. After a bunch of red tape, venues collecting taping fees, many emails and miles of editing here’s the end result; a road show which uses video shot at multiple venues in the states and some by the band themselves.
Some of the interviews takes places at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA but unfortunately the concert footage there could not show any of the cool shit there. Other venues include Maxwells to the Roxy in LA. Steve took a few minutes out of his Sunday and came over to play Wii with my daughter and I to drop off a copy of the film. Here’s a few questions I shot over to him after the home screening. [BUY IT ON MVD]
RS: You’ve done a lot of videos over the years since I’ve known you for Pegboy and Buffalo Tom. How’d you come to pick David Gedge as documentary subject matter?
SS: I saw that The Wedding Present were about to tour the U.S. after an 8-year hiatus, so I thought that would be an interesting project. I sent my pitch to David Gedge and he said yes.
RS: What’s your best memory shooting this road show and being on the road with the Wedding Present?
SS: my best memory was probably having dinner at Maxwell’s in Hoboken before that gig with Peter Mark Craig (a TWP fan from London who I had met 2 nights before in Boston) and my second camera guy, Matt McNamara. It was a real bonding moment.
RS: David Gedge is pretty English and from what you told me he wore the same outfit every night. That must had helped with consistency a little?
SS: actually I think (and hope) that he had a few of the same shirts, but it did help with the mix and match editing from the different shows
RS: When was the first time you saw twp? Where? Memories?
SS: I first saw TWP at CBGB’s in 1994. my only memory was that everyone was yelling for them to play “kennedy” and they wouldn’t do it.
RS: For the uniniciated can you describe their sound?
SS: their sound is very fast, jangly guitars with what i can only describe as very british vocals.
RS: Was it much different than shooting porn stars? I know one of the projects Women in Porn you’ve had on the back burner is still in process. Has that ever going to come-out? Or is there just a flood of that stuff?
SS: Obviously the content was different, but the biggest difference is that when you’re shooting a live concert, you can’t stop if there’s a problem, so you have to be better prepared technically. I hope to eventually finish the porn project, just have been busy with life.
RS: Was it easy to shoot this on next to nothing of a Dixie cup budget? Ever think of having a kickstarter account to fund something?
SS: Budget-wise, all I needed was tape stock and a couple of tanks of gas. The biggest expense was airfare to Los Angeles and a couple of nights in hotel rooms in Boston, D.C. and LA.
RS: What has the WP fan base response been like so far?
SS: One thing I learned from this project is that TWP fans are quite loyal and the overall response from them has been really positive. The film was premiered in London in June of ’10 and the feedback I got from that was really great. But I think the best compliment I’ve gotten from more than a few people was that they felt compelled to clap after each song in the film. That they felt like they were watching a live show.
RS: Seems like everybody and their mother is making documentaries. For instance the One about City Gardens and Randy Now. Would you do something like this again? What would you do differently?
SS: There are definitely a lot of docs coming out about everything under the sun, but that’s just because it’s so easy to do cost-wise and technology-wise these days. I love music and would welcome the opportunity to work on another band film, but as far as doing it differently, the only change I’d make would be shooting in HD.
RS: Any concert or other documentaries of recent you admire?
SS: I really enjoyed the Curt Flood doc on HBO.
RS: What’s in store for Third Hand Films? I know part of the big plan is to move out to LA. Sounds terrorizing to me but how can people reach you?
SS: I don’t know what is in store for Thirdhand Films. If things go according to plan, yes, a move to the west coast in possible. As for reaching me, only if someone has money to throw at me, email@example.com
RS: What are your top 10 songs as of recent? Any new bands? I know you’ve also DJ’d any other career you’d choose?
SS: This is the toughest question. I’m so out of the loop with new bands. I really love the alternate version of “Loving Cup” on the Exile on Main Street outtakes. Cant’ say there’s too much that rattling my brain right now. As for another career, I wanna be a dog whisperer.
RS: You once dj’d on prb and where else I can’t remember exactly? What are some of the songs you would put in a playlist with twp? Does not have to be current tunes.
SS: i did shows at wrsu, wtsr and wprb, all at different times between ’92 and ’98. songs that I would play with TWP? not so much particular songs but some bands would be new order, my dad is dead, the cure.
RS: Anything else you’d like to add? Words of wisdom for people in film school,etc.
SS: Nothing else to add and my only advise to film school students is have a back-up plan because everyone and his brother is making “films” now.
Roadshow play list:
Kennedy MP3 By The Wedding Present from Bizarro (1989)
Ceremony MP3 by New Order from Substance
French Film Blurred MP3 by Wire from Chairs Missing
Seven years MP3 by My Dad Is Dead from The Taller You Are The Shorter You Get (1989)
A Night Like This MP3 by The Cure from Head on the Door (1985)