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Guitar World Interview: Wang Chung Discusses New Album, ‘Tazer Up!’

WangChung_TazerUp!It’s been quite a while since Wang Chung released a full-length studio album (1989’s “The Warmer Side of Cool” to be exact). But throughout their “hiatus” the band’s music, synonymous with the 1980’s has still been going strong. Most recently, as part of the soundtrack for TV shows like ‘Breaking Bad’ (Dance Hall Days) and the pilot episode for ‘The Walking Dead’ (Space Junk).

Guitarist Jack Hues and bassist Nick Feldman had been working on side projects over the years but found themselves reunited for a reality show that planted the seed for a full on reunion. The duo then set to work on a new album to bring the band into the 21st century. The result of their efforts, Tazer Up! is a welcome blend of freshness and crisp songwriting that’s instantly recognizable as Wang Chung but with a modernized sound. Notably, songs like “Let’s Get Along” with its cool intro and infectious guitar groove and the track “Stargazing” which has a sublime, almost ethereal feel to it. With another new studio album and tour being prepped for 2013, the future has never been brighter for Wang Chung.

I spoke with Hues and Feldman about Tazer Up!, how they came together and of course, the origin of the iconic 80’s song “Everybody Have Fun Tonight”.

Guitar World: Why such a long hiatus between records and what sparked Tazer Up!?

Jack Hues: Life and families intervened, although Nick and I had both been involved in a lot of side projects. But a few years ago, we were invited to do a reality-type show called “Hit Me Baby One More Time”. The reality for us was, we had to play one of our hits (Everybody Have Fun Tonight) along with a cover of a modern tune. So we did Nelly’s “Hot In Here”. 

Nick Feldman: The show gave us the taste of working together again and we decided to record an album. So we started writing and it slowly came together over the years.

JH: We were also thinking about what a Wang Chung album might be like in the 21st century. We knew we wanted to keep it sort of 80’s aesthetic, but we also wanted a modern twist.  During the interim, we started touring again which also was a lot of fun.

You can read the rest of my Guitar World article with Wang Chung by clicking here!

PELT: A Conversation with Travis Goodman and Matthew Robinson

When a group of friends decides to go camping in the deep woods, it’s a decision they’ll forever regret.

There’s no better way to describe the story of “PELT”, a Richard Swindell horror film that pays homage to classic slasher films of the 80’s generation.

PELT re-lives the horrific events that took place in Caveland, Kentucky during the summer of 1991. The film is a guilty pleasure; complete with all the blood, promiscuity, recreational drug use and humor that had audiences flocking to theaters when hockey-masked malcontents were all the rage.

I had the chance to speak with Travis Goodman and Matthew Robinson; two of the stars of “PELT”, and get their thoughts on the making of the movie as what the future holds.

Travis Goodman as “Mark”

gJg: What’s the best way to describe “PELT” ?

TG: It’s the stereotypical 80’s slasher flick! That’s the part that was so fun about it. For me, it was like a throw back to my childhood.

gJg: What did you like most about your role as Mark?

TG: When I first started reading the script, I immediately found a lot of things that connected me with the character;  his playfulness was something that was very ME. Mark’s kind of the glue that holds everyone together.  He was the one constant between everyone else in the group, and I think that’s something that’s also very characteristic of myself; he really cared for his friends.

gJg: What was it like working on a horror film with a cast of relative new comers?

TG: I felt really fortunate to be a part of this project. It was low-budget, so I knew that the entire cast and crew were really doing it for the love of making a great movie. When you get people together in that kind of scenario, it always works out for the best. Everyone got along right off the bat.

Travis Goodman

gJg: The campfire scene with you, Ashley (Watkins) and Matthew was one of my favorites.

TG: You know, that was one of my favorite scenes to film. It was the time that I felt the most comfortable on set. A lot of my own personality really started to show through with Mark.

gJg: What’s your favorite horror film of all time?

TG:  That’s a tough category for me. My friend and I always used to watch movies like “Night of the Demons” and “Axe”. I think if I had to choose one, I’d say “Scream”  because I really like what it did for the genre.

gJg: What’s next for you?

TG: I’m continuing to audition. Also, my girlfriend and I are working on two different features right now.

We’re hoping those will start going through by the end of the year. I’m looking forward to that.

Matthew Robinson as “Mike”

Matthew Robinson

goJimmygo (gJg): Matthew, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “PELT”?

Matthew Robinson (MR): It’s a guilty pleasure. It’s also a film that’s better to watch when you’re with friends!

gJg: If you had to describe the story of “PELT”, what’s would you say it’s about?

MR: It’s a story about a group of friends who have a bright idea and decide to go exploring and reap any consequences for it later. Unfortunately for us, there was no later… <laughs>

gJg: What did you like most about your role as Mike?

MR: I liked the fact that my character was the comic relief. I was the one who got to make everyone laugh and keep everything fresh and fun.

gJg: For me, one of the funniest scenes in the entire movie was the part where everything was falling apart and then you discover the porn magazine.

MR: You know, my friends still use that on me! I’ll call them up and they’ll answer the phone and say, “Porn? Gimme that!” <laughs>

gJg: In most of the movie you’re wearing pajamas with little ducks on them. What’s the story behind that?

MR: That actually wasn’t written in the original script. On the drive up to location, Brian Gork (Producer) mentioned about me wearing the duck pajamas in one of the scenes. Everyone was laughing and I said, “Let’s do it!” That was how it first got into the script.

Then later, Brian thought it would be even funnier if I wore the ducky pajamas the entire time I was running!”  I was down for it, and so that’s how the ducky pajamas came about. <laughs>

 

Travis Goodman & Matthew Robinson in “Pelt”

gJg: What did you like the most about this being your first feature film?

MR: I really liked the unity. Everyone in the cast got along so well together. For me, this being my first film, it made me feel comfortable.

gJg: Do you have any hobbies outside of acting?

MR: Recently, I’ve gotten into directing and I’ve done a few videos for up and coming artists, so we’ll see where that takes me.

gJg: Any film projects coming up?

MR: I’m working on an action short film and am also directing a few short films of my own as well. I’ve also just completed production on another feature. It’s a comedy called “The King of Hearts”.

gJg: What has the reception been like for Pelt?

It’s been great. I remember when the movie first hit Netflix, it was kind of a shock to me.  People started coming up and recognizing me. But it’s all been good. As an actor and artist that’s the best.

 Article first published as PELT: A Conversation with Travis Goodman and Matthew Robinson on Technorati.

A Conversation With Actress Gabrielle Stone

Gabrielle Stone

Gabrielle Stone has acting in her genes.

Her mother is none other than the amazing Dee Wallace (“The Hills Have Eyes”, “E.T”, “Cujo” among many other great films) and her father is the late Christopher Stone who also appeared in a multitude of films and TV shows as well.

2012 will be a breakout year for Gabrielle. She has no less than four film projects scheduled for release and is currently working alongside her legendary Mom in another.

And then there’s the one in which she plays a role she knows very well.

Gabrielle will be portraying herself in the upcoming movie “CUT!”, a story which indirectly pays homage to the classic horror film “The Hills Have Eyes” and co-stars Suze Lanier-Bramlett, another amazing actress who starred alongside Gabrielle’s Mom in the original film.

“CUT!” also features the talents of David Rountree, William McNamara, David Banks and Dahlia Salem.

Here is a quick synopsis of “CUT!” from the film’s website:

Nothing is as it seems as an ex-con and aspirant filmmaker set out to manufacture a horror film by scaring real people; however, when it goes too far and someone actually dies, the pair decide that killing for real on film is the way to make a truly terrifying movie.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Gabrielle and discussing “CUT!” as well as some of her other upcoming projects! She also tells me what it was like growing up in an acting family.

goJimmygo (gJg): Gabrielle, it’s so great to speak with you!

Gabrielle Stone (GS): It’s great to speak with you too!

gJg: Tell me a little bit about “CUT!”

GS: “CUT!” was so much fun because I actually got to play myself. David Rountree is such a great director. I loved working with him and everyone else in cast as well.  They’re all fantastic!

gJg: David (Rountree) wears several hats in this movie. He wrote, directed and stars in it as well.

GS:  That’s right! It’s really his “baby”. I haven’t seen any of the final footage myself but from the people I’ve spoken with who have, it’s REALLY good!

gJg: What was it like working with Suze Lanier-Bramlett?

GS: Suze is awesome. She’s so full of life and is absolutely wonderful. We had a great time together. In a way it was kind of like coming full circle because she did the original “The Hills Have Eyes” with my Mom. It was very cool to be on set with her.

gJg: What’s your role in “CUT!”?

GS: Without saying too much to give it away: I play myself and am supposed to be starring in a new movie that Suze is writing and directing. She plays herself as well.

I end up getting into some trouble with David Bank’s character and there are plenty of pretty intense moments!

gJg: Since there are references to “The Hills Have Eyes”,  are there references to your Mom in the movie as well?

GS: Yes. Although my Mom doesn’t appear in the movie they do reference her. At one point it’s even mentioned that I’m “E.T.’s Mom’s kid.” <laughs>

gJg: How was the chemistry with the cast?

GS: It was awesome!  It was actually hard to be mean to each other in character at times because we were laughing and having so much fun with it!

gJg: Your Mom and Dad were both in the industry. What was it like for you growing up in such a great acting environment?

GS: It was fantastic! If my Mom knew she would be gone for more than a week she’d take me on set with her. So I was able to travel all over. I traveled to New Zealand with her when she filmed “The Frighteners” with Peter Jackson and I also got to go to South Africa when she was filming over there. I was really lucky.

gJg: Is that what motivated you to start acting yourself?

GS: I think in a way it did. I grew up around it and had always said that I would do it. But it wasn’t until I was 18 and did my first film where I walked off the set and said: “Oh my God, I don’t ever want to do anything else!” <laughs>

gJg: What’s your favorite movie that your Mom was in?

GS: “Cujo”! After I saw her in that movie I was never worried about being at home alone because I knew my Mom could kick ass with a shotgun! <laughs>

Seriously though, that was such an intense role for her. She was actually treated for exhaustion for three weeks when it was over. I still to this day think she should have gotten an Academy Award for it.

So, on the day that I get mine I will be dedicating it to her. <laughs>

gJg: You also have another movie in post production right now: “869”. What’s the premise of that movie?

GS: “869” was a film I shot last August. It’s kind of like a combination of “Big Brother Reality TV” meets “Paranormal Activity”. There’s definitely a lot of hot girls and a lot of blood. <laughs>

gJg: What do you like to do when you’re not acting?

GS: My other “day job” that I love is teaching dance. I teach eleven classes a week. I was actually doing this before I started acting.

gJg: What’s your favorite horror movie?

GS: That’s a tough one. Off the top of my head one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen is “The Strangers” just because it’s so creepy and realistic.

The ones that scare me the most are the ones that I think can actually happen. The ones with ghosts don’t really affect me as much as the ones with psychotic people who want to kill you – those are the ones that really get to me. <laughs>

gJg: Another project you have coming up is “Unhallowed”. Will this be the first time you’ll be acting alongside your Mom?

GS: Actually, no. I did a film with her called “Beyond” that we filmed in Roswell, New Mexico last Summer. That’s also in post production right now.

gJg: What’s “Unhallowed” about?

GS:” Unhallowed” is a psychological thriller but with a religious twist. It’s about a young kid who goes to Peru for a graduation trip, gets into trouble and goes missing.

My character’s husband gets hired to go to the family’s house to do some religious work for them and the intensity ensues from there. It’s a cool, different kind of script and I’m really excited to begin working on it!

Article first published as A Conversation with Actress Gabrielle Stone on Technorati.

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