Sam Dunn Reveals the Inspiration Behind His Upcoming 'Metal Evolution' VH1 Classic Series
VH1 Classic has proclaimed 11-11-11 as "National Metal Day" and will celebrate with a slew of exclusive metal programming, including the exclusive debut of Banger Films' groundbreaking documentary series, 'Metal Evolution.' The latest passion project from Canadian documentarians Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen, 'Metal Evolution' will dedicate each episode of the 11-part series to a specific facet of the heavy metal sound and culture.
Dunn and McFadyen's 2005 film, 'Metal: A Headbanger's Journey,' is considered by many to be one of the finest films to ever cover the heavy metal pantheon. Noisecreep actually listed in the number one slot of our 'Top 10 Heavy Metal Documentaries' list.
"When we did 'Metal: A Headbanger's Journey,' we knew we weren't going to be able to cover all of the different styles, subgenres and history of the metal scene in a 90 minute film. That was the inspiration behind using a family tree in the documentary to help show that side of things. That film was more an exploration of the culture and controversy around heavy metal. It wasn't meant to be a history lesson about the music," Dunn tells Noisecreep.
Noisecreep congratulates Dunn on the film's exhaustive attention to detail and its handling of all of the different genres underneath the metal umbrella. "Soon after our first documentary came out, we had people telling us that they wished we had made it eight hours long [laughs]. So the idea behind this series was to bring people 11 one hour episodes where we focus on one subject each time. Part of the inspiration to even do this new series was all of those hardcore metal fans that have a passion for the music, its history and like you said, an obsession with categorizing everything to help understand it all. We hope this series feeds that curiosity."
Dunn told us that one of the upcoming 'Metal Evolution' episodes shines its spotlight on the power metal sound and its history. Noisecreep asks the filmmaker if it was difficult to convince VH1 to air an entire episode on the much-maligned (at least in the States) metal genre. "Think about the image power metal has. When it comes to dragons, swords and sorcery – I think VH1 completely understands that it would make for some entertaining television [laughs]. It was probably harder to sell the network on full episodes of black metal than it was one on the history of power metal. What's interesting about the power metal episode is that I think it's going to be the first time a lot of people in North America will be exposed to that genre. Power metal has been huge in Europe for many years and it's the place where most of the bands that play it come from.
"What I think is really interesting about power metal is that it came up during a time in Europe grunge was exploding and there were a lot of fans and musicians over there that just didn't like that kind of music in the early '90s. With grunge all of the things that many people loved about metal were gone. You know – the soaring vocals, guitar solos, etc. So power metal was like a revival movement that brought back a lot of those missing elements and gave them a modern twist. I think there's a really interesting story there."
The premiere episode of 'Metal Evolution' will focus on the earliest sounds of metal that can be heard in the music of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Jimi Hendrix. It debuts on Friday, Nov. 11th at 10:00PM EST/PST on VH1 Classic.