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Home · Articles · Movies · Features · ‘Slow’ your roll
Features
 

‘Slow’ your roll


Life imitates art at The Conservatory, where a documentary about Southern metal will screen before a concert.

Matt Carney January 25th, 2012

Slow Southern Steel
8 p.m. Tuesday
The Conservatory
8911 N. Western
conservatoryokc.com
607-4805
$10 advance, $12 door

With decidedly repulsive band names like Alabama Thunderpussy, Eyehategod and Goatwhore, it’s no wonder that underground Southern metal remained a subgenre largely unexamined — until the documentary “Slow Southern Steel,” that is.

“This was something we felt passionate enough to put out there, because there is no comprehensive documentary about this scene, and we felt it’s a really important story to tell,” said co-director and editor David Lipke, who works and lives in Little Rock, Ark.

A fan of the Southern sludge sound, Lipke shared his vision with Rwake vocalist Chris “C.T.” Terry, who co-directed, and whose connections enabled most of the interviews and performances that comprise the finished work, which will be shown Tuesday night at The Conversatory.

“It was a good team we had,” Lipke said, noting they started shooting performances and interviews in 2008. “We’re just average guys doing it all ourselves. We have full-time jobs. I worked on it when I could.”

Currently on a 19-city tour spanning three weeks, Lipke and Terry are screening their film by piggybacking live performances from Southern metal acts Hail!Hornet and Zoroaster, whose members appear in the film. They’re aiming to break up preconceived negative notions about sludge-metal fans by examining their surrounding environments.

“You start realizing the South is so enriched with musical creativity. It was where rock was invented and country comes from it, blues came from it, and jazz,” Lipke said. “There’s something about that area, where music thrives from it. In our opinion, it was kind of weird that a documentary wasn’t made about the metal scene here.”

He said the movie isn’t so much concerned with the actual musicological progression and development of underground Southern metal as it is with the subgenre’s actual personalities and characters.

“We wanted to dive into how they grew up,” he said.

Raised in Arkansas, Lipke acknowledged a certain kinship with his subjects, and said he learned some important lessons shooting the doc.

“People are a product of their earlier environment,” he said. “We’d ask these bands if they thought they’d sound the same if they were from Toledo or Detroit, and they all said the same thing: ‘No.’”

 
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