INTERVIEW WITH BRAINSTORM'S MARK FROLICH
Nosegrind. Photo by Pierre Prospero
WORDS: Stu Gomez
If Brainstorm was your brain on Mark Frolich, then his Brainstorm interview is your brain on Mark Frolich's brain. Any questions?
How long has this video been in the works?
The video has been in the works for a bit more than 2 years. There have been some other/smaller projects in the meantime as well … but the main focus has been Brainstorm.
What is the significance behind the title?
The title Brainstorm for me makes sense in 2 ways:
1) I would say the video kinda captures and shows what I have been on about during the time working on it, and I guess in the end the name makes sense because it's neither a full-length video nor a simple online video part. It's actually a brainstorm of mine being put together in form of a video. I wanted to include a couple of things in there that matter to me. I' m happy there's good footage of the homies in there as well; I wanted to share a few things that have been inspiring me over the years and I guess it's supposed to send a few messages out there in a way as well… but in general I'm just happy if the video inspires the viewer a bit.
I guess it's kinda like watching a painting—the one who drew it knows exactly what he wants to show with it, knows the meaning of it for himself and all that, but the viewer might capture it in a different way, which doesn`t necessarily have to be a bad thing.
2) Sometimes working on bigger projects becomes so intense that you feel your head is gonna explode at one point, or might feel like a storm in your brain, so yeah the title Brainstorm definitely also made sense regarding that… haha
Ollie. Photo by Stephane Zanette.
In the credits you thank the recently passed Lemmy Kilmister and David Bowie for their Inspirations. Can you share anything specific about Bowie or Lemmy that influenced you?
Bowie and Lemmy are very different characters in many ways probably, but they have a few things in common that I always liked about them. I would say both of them have done their things their way, have believed in themselves, have shown balls and dedication and resistance in moments where people tried to change them into something they're not. They both have stood up for themselves AND for others too, I would say to the point where it has even made things difficult for them at times. It inspires me when people's actions go along with their beliefs. People who don`t always look for the easiest way but for the one that seems right for them, plus they both have stood up in their careers to protect or support minorities which speaks to me as well.
I think they have both been pretty humble in a way, which I also really like, especially when people stay “down to earth“ while being famous and all that… the more natural they stay the more respect i have for them, Iguess.
I have been to one of Motörhead`s last concerts in 2015 (November, in Düsseldorf, Germany—actually that's where they interviewed Lemmy for the last time—and I used a little outtake from that interview for Brainstorm).
Lemmy was really sick by that time already, and you could hear and see that time was ticking for him… it was a sad, but also very inspiring, moment. He was for sure in a lot of pain, feeling weak and all that—but he gave us a great concert that night anyways, really fighting his way through, I would say. He always said he wanted to be on tour and on stage till 70 for sure.
He just turned 70 during a break in between concerts and died 4 days later—luckily at home and in peace. It's fascinating to see those things—how somebody can keep up his energy and composure till he reaches his goal, even if his battery has been blinking for a while already… impressive stuff.
With Bowie it has been similar in a way… nobody knew he was sick, or at least I didn't. But he obviously knew it but still decided to bring out a new album. The album was released and a few days later he passed away. I`m happy and thankful they reached their goals.
After I`ve been to that concert, I hit up a friend of mine (who is a Motörhead fan as well (Johannes Burgstaller) and we decided to put a little tribute part together for Lemmy`s 70th birthday. We called it “Stand“—like the song we used for the part. I don`t know if he ever saw the part, but we re happy we did it anyways.
You edited this yourself , and it clocks in at 19 minutes . How long did it take you to edit this? Did you find it difficult to edit your own footage, as opposed to the footage of your homies?
I've been trying to keep stuff in order a bit during the filming process, and then I guess it took me a good 2 months of editing till i felt it was done. This is not the first time that I have been editing my own footage, so i guess I have gotten used to it a bit, but yeah it's hard at times —way harder than editing other peoples footage. You get tired of seeing yourself, at times you loose objectivity about things and it might even make you feel bad at times. The good thing about it is that you can make it your way, and I think it's very personal in a way as well if you edit your own stuff. Especially with this project I actually have the feeling I had to do it myself, otherwise it would have changed the whole meaning of it. And I`m glad I did so.
Are the video sections grouped in any particular order?
Yes, they are. I`ve put everything together in a way that made sense to me. I have to mention here that I had to re-edit the video a bit though for problems with the music rights for Youtube and that. Originally I had a very nice songby Dire Straits for the part that now is edited to "Bermuda“ by Roky Erickson which luckily also is a great song. There was a different song in the credits before and the small section that shows some slams, etc., also had a different sound. So this version here is a bit different to what has been the first version. The mood of the part that now goes with the Roky Erickson track is a bit different to what I first made it to be, but iIstill like it anyways and it didn`t make me change the order of the parts either.
It was very weird to change the video again after actually being quite happy with how it was, but luckily I found more good music that made sense in my eyes (ears) to use for the parts I had to change. I guess I`m cool with both versions ….time will tell …haha …hopefully I will feel the same next time I watch it.
Are there any clips that stand out to you as being especially long battles?
Well, for sure there have been a few battles on the way of getting everything together. I guess something that in general always becomes quite heavy is finishing a project. The last few tricks that are missing… time is ticking… you get stressed and often those sessions take more out of you than what they actually should. But that`s part of the game I guess… it's good to stay calm in those moments and keep an overview, but easier said than done… haha
Backside 5-0. Photo by Edu Lester.
Any exciting stories you want to share about the filming?
Since we were talking about tricks before. I guess this one might be a good one. My ender trick—that backside overcrooks on the rail with the trash bin at the bottom—that was on a trip through Germany, and a bit before i had a mean slam on a rail and got a bit hurt. I went to get checked but the doctor didn`t examine me properly and told me to just rest a bit and that everything should be fine in a few days. Our trip through Germany probably started like a week or 10 days later, and that rail was actually the first spot of the tour. I felt i wasn`t completely fit, but at the same time still good enough to mosh and I guess we were all really motivated that day.
I warmed up and then backside 50-50ed it first try and after that I was hesitating for a minute if I should try the backside overcrooks or not. I knew i had to be on point—especially with that trash bin being in a sketchy place and all. It didn`t take me long to convince myself to try and I didn´t wanna lose the good vibe, but still I could say I almost didn´t go for it… very intense process within a very little amount of time. Luckily it didn ´t take me too long and i `m really happy i went for it .
We skated the whole trip but when I came back to Barcelona I decided to go to see another doctor and ask for an MRI, since I kept feeling weird about my foot. The doctor actually said again it wouldn't be necessary, and that I only had to rest but i resisted on having it and listened to my instincts that told me something was wrong in there. In the end it turned out I had a fractured bone and a halfway fractured ligament. I guess both the doc and me were a bit surprised, but actually her more than me… haha. Very grateful I was still able to get my ender in that condition.
Even though this kind of project gets a bit too intense at times I can say I had a lot of good times working on it and gratefully could share them with some good people around me. I wanna say thanks to everybody who has been a helping hand in any way—much appreciated!