BAND VS BRAND
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. 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.
Director: Bob Nalbandian
Writers: Bob Nalbandian
Stars: Jean Beauvoir, Frank DiMino, David Ellefson, Marc Ferrari, Nicky Garratt, Pat Gesualdo, Dave Lombardo, Adam Parsons, Jack Russell, Nik Turner, Mike Varney
Rating: 7 / 10 Stars
REVIEW – Let’s be honest here: when it comes to physical media, hardly anyone buys CDs anymore, which is a sad reality for collectors like myself. It’s ironic how many musicians complaining about not making money today were the same ones who criticized Lars Ulrich when he spoke out against Napster. With music stores closing for over a decade, it raises questions about the survival of the music industry as a whole, a debate that grows louder each day. “Band vs. Brand” explores this and other related topics. Did you know that The Troggs have been touring for years without any original members? It’s a strange phenomenon in the music world. As a devoted music fan for almost 50 years, it’s disheartening to see both fans and musicians become increasingly selfish and greedy. How many Great White or L.A. Guns bands do we really need? How many comeback albums feature only one original member? For instance, Frankie Banali is touring with Quiet Riot, a band with no original members left. The documentary features a decent selection of speakers who, while not groundbreaking, keep the topic engaging. Much like the Tower Records documentary, this subject deserves more exploration with a variety of voices.
I found the discussion on music downloading particularly intriguing. I, too, was a Napster and Pirate Bay user, but I also supported artists by purchasing music. These platforms served as a way to sample music before making a decision to buy. Others, however, used them to amass large collections of CDs they never intended to purchase. The film handles this topic matter-of-factly, shedding light on the complexities of music distribution today. Musicians and radio personalities participating in these documentaries likely understand that it’s an easy way to make a buck, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. Personally, I would do the same if asked to be part of a documentary about music or horror. Overall, while “Band vs. Brand” offers some insight, the subject feels deserving of further exploration with a wider range of perspectives. I found it interesting enough to give it a mild recommendation, especially for moments featuring Jack Russell of Great White and Marc Ferrari, who share their experiences and memories of their earlier years in the music industry.
BAND VS BRAND | Official Trailer: