MuzicNotez: First off, it’s an honor to be doing this interview with you Dave, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us.
What motivated you to create “Eternal: The Rockumentary”?
Dave Dillett: It’s my pleasure, thank you!
Aside from a lifelong love of movies and the desire to actually make one someday, the motivation primarily stemmed from suddenly having the resources to actually move forward on the dream. Having worked as a roadie for 19 years collectively, locally and on tour, went a long way toward picking the subject matter. It wasn’t hard to see that music, at a local level especially, was in trouble and having the contacts and insight into the subject made the choice for the theme of Eternal a no-brainer.
MuzicNotez: Who were your musical influences that have helped build your interest in our local music scene?
Dave Dillett: A love of music runs in the family. My Dad is a country musician, with his own recorded material and some time doing session work in Nashville. He still plays out to this day. Mom played several instruments and sang and my Grandma toured with one of the “big bands” back in the 40’s, then spent many years with civic and concert bands. As far as rock, my first exposure to working in the live, local scene was with a band called Risque’. They were close friends who needed a light tech and later, when members formed Jack Secret and needed a light tech for a US/Canada tour, they called me and the bus rolled. Once home, I discovered The Jabberwocky and a band called Damien needed a light tech. By then, I was hooked.
MuzicNotez: What’s the greatest concert you’ve ever been to?
Dave Dillett: As far as national acts go, I’d say Rush and Iron Maiden put on the best shows I’ve seen; but locally, I’m going to say the best was our own two-day, 13 band event for the movie. It was billed as “Full Circle” and though, with all the work involved, it was the epitome of controlled chaos; the experience was unforgettable.
MuzicNotez: What’s the ultimate goal you want your movie to achieve?
I’d like the local rock scene to see a return to what it was back in the 80’s and early 90’s, with bands having a multitude of venues that feature live music and a fan base that can support live rock on full calendars. Things really have changed over the years, so that’s really reaching, but if the framework is there, more people might have an interest in creating music. But that’s the main idea, to generate interest, or light a fire in young talent to go out and make it happen again, at least to some degree.
MuzicNotez: How long did it take you to create Eternal? What were the biggest challenges?
Dave Dillett: From the first concept for Eternal, to our private participants screening this last May, the movie took three years to complete. I had a small crew of friends helping with the actual production (The Bruise Crew), but the editing side of post-production was pretty much just me. This is where the bulk of the time involved got chewed up. It’s a long process, especially when you’re a first-timer, dealing with the learning curve. So that was a challenge, as well as trying to figure out how to raise the finances to help get Eternal into the hands of the public, once the budget was gone. But we’ve just managed to make that happen, thanks to some great friends and supporters of the project.
MuzicNotez: In your opinion what are the biggest successes of this movie?
Dave Dillett: Since we’ve just gone into the release process for the movie, it’s hard to put a finger on how we’re set up as far as hitting some of the long term objectives I mentioned. We have seen some positive things happen so far, though. Some of the bands involved in Eternal were no longer playing together when they were contacted to participate. Now, some of these same bands are officially back together. They’ve recorded or are recording new material and playing some high profile gigs again. By my count, 5 of the bands at our Full Circle event have new CD’s out since that show, or are in the studio working on a new release. Maybe it’s my imagination, but I’m also seeing more “buzz” for live, local rock events on social media. It would be nice to think that Eternal had a hand in some of this.
MuzicNotez: Who are some of the most notable musicians involved in this movie?
Dave Dillett: It’s going to be difficult to answer this without excluding some very talented people who also happen to be friends of mine. In my opinion, everyone involved has made a valuable contribution to local rock history and we were very fortunate that they decided to join us on this project. But I will drop some names your readers might be familiar with. Members of Bad Boy, High Treason, Katella, Moloko Shivers, Picasso Trigger, Problem Child, Realm, Spiral Trance, Thyatira and Victims of Voodoo should all ring a bell as well as newer names like Circleswitch and Conniption. But again, with around 100 musicians interviewed, it’s really difficult to list off only a few when all who participated have made a mark.
MuzicNotez: You and the participants in this movie really believed in what you were doing. This helped expand the quality of your movie beyond the budget that went in to it. Would you agree, and if so how did you all make it happen?
Dave Dillett: There’s no doubt about it. Had it been necessary for us to pay not only our crew, but all of the bands and musicians involved, the budget would have easily inflated to double its size and the movie would never have been made. Everyone who came on board had the mindset coming in of wanting to do something to help. That’s absolutely what we needed from a production/budget standpoint, as well as for what we were trying to convey as a message. The camera doesn’t lie and when somebody believes in something and is passionate about it, this comes through onscreen. Nobody “phoned it in”. Everyone brought their “A” game to the table. As far as making things happen, for the most part it was easy. Everyone approached who came in on this was enthusiastic and very generous with their time and talents. There was some juggling of schedules involved along with some special considerations here and there, but this is rock & roll and to be expected. I couldn’t have hoped for things to work out any better than they did.
MuzicNotez: Is this movie available for purchase or more viewing? If so where can we see it and grab it?
Dave Dillett: We’ll be shipping off the artwork and the files for a short run of the 2-disk DVD package right around the end of August and should see disks in hand by mid-September. We’ll have 3 retail locations. The Exclusive Company and Uncle Bob’s Music in Milwaukee and Outpost music in Waukesha have all agreed to stock the movie. We also have some screening events in the works. The movie will be available for purchase at all of these events. There is a screening with 2 live bands booked as “Full Circle: Coda” at Club Garibaldi’s, Milwaukee, in October. We’ll also have a screening at The Times cinema in Milwaukee and another at the Waukesha Public Library. These last events have yet to be booked, but are deep into the planning stages. We’re also awaiting news of acceptance into the Milwaukee Film Festival this fall.
MuzicNotez: Is there going to be a follow up movie?
Dave Dillett: The plan for Angry Bruise Productions has always been to work our way up and do a feature film. I do have a couple of script ideas roughed out and if we do manage to get to that point, the next project will be a horror film. That’s a sandbox I’d very much like to play in. Finances for that project are another matter entirely, but another movie is definitely on the wish list.