metal talk
instagram Facebook Twitter RSS
metal talk
  CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN
SMASHING PUMPKINS VIDEO SHOOT
February 2013


chris dale



In my youth I would do anything rather than having a proper job. I tried all manner of low life occupations from toilet cleaning to bass playing. Somewhere between the two on the social scale came being a film extra.

An extra is like being an actor but you don't need to learn lines or have any noticeable talent. Extras are the guys milling around in the background on your favourite films and TV shows.

I did a few jobs like that. For one particularly humiliating supermarket shoot I even patted my own bum and said "That's Asda price!". But it was better than stacking the shelves at Asda's shops which was my next option.

Probably my favourite extras job was on the promo video for the Smashing Pumpkins song 'Ava Adore' and this was not because I was particularly a fan of the band.

We had to do an audition for the job where we were asked to pretend we were being poisoned. I did some Gene Simmons tongue faces, fell to the ground and hoped that'd do as I really couldn't be dealing with putting much more effort into it. I am not an actor.

Article continues below...

Article continues below...



The directors obviously weren't very picky and that did do. A bunch of us London rock scene folk passed the audition with similar techniques including Sack Trick and Rachel Stamp members David Ryder Prangley, Chris Nubile and the ubiquitous Mr Robin Guy.

The idea for the video was that several different sets would be made in a U shape facing inwards. A different scene would be being played out in each set and the band would walk in and out of them of them miming to the song as the camera followed them around on a single track. The song had to be filmed in one take from one moving camera.

Geddit? Read that last paragraph again. Perhaps I didn't explain it very well.

It's not how promo videos are usually made where different scenes are usually shot in separate takes over a few days. This was a unique idea and took a lot of money and hard work from the supporting crew to make it happen.

One scene looked like a bombed out house with a crying woman. One was a filthy asylum ward. There was a disco scene and a pornographic movie shoot, Chris Nubile played the part of the film director there. One couple lay on some steps in an indoor rainstorm.

This was a massive set up. I heard later that the video ended up costing over $1million to make. My wages made up only a tiny fraction of that total.

To add to the confusion, they played the song digitally sped up in some sections and slowed down in others but keeping pitch throughout for the ease of the band miming.

So now dancers had to keep beat to a changing tempo. This meant when the video was played along to the song at normal speed the footage appeared to speed up and slow down.

That was a very clever idea. In fact, I thought it sounded better like that. I was later quite disappointed when they released the standard tempo version.

We were dressed up from a large hired costume department. A male model who'd been telling me how his "cheekbones were his living" was given a gasmask. I liked that. He didn't.

They fitted me up in a vintage red hunting suit with tails and a top hat. I looked quite smart for a change. Robin Guy had turned up in fancy dress already. He usually does.

They paired me up with a girl dressed very similarly to me in a red Victorian dress matching my suit, a top hat and a veil. She was quite pretty and wore lots of make up.

We were told our places on set and then the directors came around to give us a briefing on how it would all run and set us individual roles. One of the directors (Nic Goffey or Dominic Hawley, I'm not sure which) asked me what my "motive" was.

"Dunno", I offered helpfully.

Actors have "motives", Extras do not. My motive was simply to stay out of gainful employment for the day.

He looked impatient, pointed at my pretty colleague and said "Just lick her boots would you?"

For a second I thought he'd said "boobs", but no he wanted me on all fours licking her high-heeled boots while she pouted and played up to me. She was a good actress as it turned out.

In breaks I hung out with her. This was partly because she was pretty and partly to make sure she didn't step in any dog mess outside, before we began the next round of boot licking.

We did 28 takes of that video. Each time something wasn't quite right for the directors. It went on later and later. We got paid for overtime and then a bit more for taxis home.

For some it was tougher than others. Robin Guy had to keep jumping up and down as high as he could for the duration of the song twenty eight times over. The couple under the rainstorm had to get soaked with freezing water and then dried off twenty eight times.

Chris Nubile had to direct twenty eight porn videos. That's more than he had previously seen.

I licked her left boot and she licked her lips at me. We did that twenty eight times. That was a pretty clean boot at the end but I thought I could have done a better job on take number 29. I'm a perfectionist you see.

The album 'Adore' went platinum. The finished clip won the "Most Stylish Video" at the 1998 VH1 Fashion Awards. I have yet to receive my personal award. I guess it's probably stuck in the post somewhere...



In case you can't see us, I'm the guy in red kneeling down about 1.00, Robin's jumping comes in around 2.09 and David Ryder Prangley is in with him about 2.22. Chris Nubile is filming porn with a slick haircut and green Hawaiian shirt about 3.14.



PREVIOUS CHRIS DALE COLUMNS

chris dale DEVIL HORNZ - WHO DID IT FIRST?
Lets have a quick look through that big history book called the internet...

June 2017

chris dale KISS NOT KIDDING ON A KRAZY, KRAZY NIGHT IN LONDON
"I never realised how amazing it was in real life..."

June 2017

chris dale DEAD KOSMONAUT: COLLABORATION OF THE UNDERGROUND SWEDISH METAL SCENE
"Hopefully I will make another one a bit quicker the next time."

April 2017

chris dale WHY DO LEAD SINGERS BEHAVE THE WAY THEY DO?
Doctors will (probably) tell you that Lead Singers Disease, or LSD, is a psychological condition commonly contracted by lead vocalists...

March 2017

chris dale IS THERE ANYONE THAT DOESN'T LIKE IRON MAIDEN?
It really took me a lot of Googling to find a people somewhere that didn't like Iron Maiden but I think I've found them...

January 2017

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY- KISS SONGS THAT SOUND A BIT LIKE OTHER ARTISTS' SONGS
"They had a song called 'Open My Eyes', it's basically the same intro, we kind of copied them."

December 2016

chris dale SCREAM FOR ME SARAJEVO: BRITISH ARMY TELLS HOW CLOSE TO DEATH BRUCE DICKINSON AND BAND ACTUALLY CAME IN 1994
"They had actually taken aim at the vehicle, taken their safety's off..."

December 2016

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY - KISS COVER VERSIONS
We're going to sit back and listen to the original versions of all the songs that Kiss have covered on their records

September 2016

chris dale 1066 AND HOW THE NORMAN INVASION OF ENGLAND SHAPED HEAVY METAL
These invaders that King Arthur and his brave Knights of the Round Table fought against were the Anglo-Saxons - yes, the English!

September 2016

chris dale 'KISS ROCKS VEGAS LIVE' CD AND DVD
In case you hadn't guessed from some of my previous articles, I'm a massive life-long Kiss fan...

March 2016

chris dale EU REFERENDUM FROM A HEAVY METAL PERSPECTIVE, TAKING THE SWISS EXAMPLE
For some bands the UK will, like Switzerland, simply not be worth the hassle in future...

March 2016

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY - THE KISS GUITARIST AUDITIONS OF 1982 Part 2
...more juicy tales and a plethora of brand new information.

March 2016

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY - THE KISS GUITARIST AUDITIONS OF 1982 Part 1
...and the mystery of who actually played guitar on the Creatures Of The Night album.

January 2016

chris dale BEST NEW UK BAND OF 2016 AND THE PHENOMENON OF BIGFOOT HOAXERS IN NORTH AMERICA
"Something very odd is going on in the forests of North America and it's not Bigfoot."

January 2016

chris dale BRIGITTE SCHÖN: 'BRUCE DICKINSON: INSIGHTS: AN INTERPRETATION OF HIS SOLO ALBUMS
In which our scribe reviews a book where he has more knowledge than most about the subject matter...

December 2015

chris dale THE IRON MAIDEN-GO WEST PARALLEL UNIVERSE THEORY
He said in one diary he had a singer named as "Bruce" noted down, a phone number and next to it he'd written "Too heavy!"

September 2015

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY: VINNIE VINCENT'S WARRIOR
The Full Story Of Vinnie Vincent's Awesome Pre-Kiss Band

March 2015

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY: THE KISS DRUMMER AUDITIONS OF 1980
How many and which drummers auditioned for KISS when Peter Criss departed the band in 1980?

March 2015

chris dale MATTHEW TRIPPE RIP
Another look at the strange case of the man who would be Nikki Sixx.

March 2015

chris dale KISS – LOVE GUN DELUXE EDITION
In depth review of the re-issue of the classic Kiss album, Love Gun with bonus live tracks and studio outtakes.

November 2014

chris dale MR BIG – KOKO, LONODON
Live review of the opening night of Mr. Big's 2014/15 World Tour.

October 2014

chris dale MR BIG – THE STORIES WE COULD TELL
Review of the new album from Mr. Big.

September 2014

chris dale INTENSIVE BASS COURSE WITH BILLY SHEEHAN
Your humble narrator goes on tour with the legendary Mr. Big / David Lee Roth bassist and picks up some handy tips along the way.

September 2013

chris dale BOOKING AGENTS vs PROMOTERS
Why your favourite band aren't playing in your home town this year and who would win in a hyothetical fight between a promoter and a booking agent.

August 2013

chris dale ROCK AND METAL PUB QUIZ
Your MetalTalk columnist hosts a regular pub quiz on our two favourite topics: rock and metal!

July 2013

chris dale COMMUNICATION TIPS FOR EUROPEAN FESTIVALS
How to learn a foreign language in a single evening with a film, a phrasebook and a few beers!

June 2013

chris dale Storm Thorgerson (1944-2013) RIP
A tribute to the artist and visionary genius behind the album covers of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Muse, Rainbow, Thunder, Dream Theater and Helloween and his work on Bruce Dickinson's 'Skunworks' album.

May 2013

chris dale Daily Mail Columnist Sinks To New Low With Anti-Heavy Metal Article
A response to Richard Littlejohn's Attack on Goths, Punks and Heavy Metal fans.

April 2013

chris dale The Future Of Classic Rock Bands
What will happen to bands like Kiss, Rainbow and Van Halen in the next decade? Do you want tickets for AC/DC's 50th Anniversary of the 'Back In Black' Tour?

April 2013

chris dale Smashing Pumpkins Video Shoot
The fun I had working as an extra on the 'Ava Adore' promotional video and why dog mess should always be avoided.
March 2013

chris dale Ten Years On Total Rock
Good times as a Radio DJ playing my favourite tunes, making mistakes and talking to Queensryche, Dokken and Geezer Butler.
February 2013

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY I: An Entire Album Full Of Unrelased Songs
How Kiss could make a great record this year by looking back at their old demos. We get to hear them all here.
January 2013

chris dale Kiss Reformation Magick
How Alex Dickson and I unwittingly caused the Kiss 1996 Reformation during our South American Tour with Bruce Dickinson.

December 2012

chris dale Exclusive Interview With Geoff Tate
Steve Goldby and I get to ask the singer of Queensrÿche all the questions we ever wanted to know the answers to.
November 2012

chris dale Morally Worrying Session
As an occasional bass session musician, at what point does one call the line and say that enough is really enough?
November 2012

chris dale Kiss 'Monster' Review
Thoughts on the lastest Kiss album after hearing it a few times. It is indeed a great album!

October 2012

chris dale The Best Invention Of All Time
Absolute proof that we bass players (including Steve Harris, Billy Sheehan and Bob Daisley) are the best people in the world. Fact!
October 2012

chris dale A Conversation With Rudy Sarzo
My son Archie and I get to ask Rudy Sarzo (legendary bass player for Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, Queenryche and Dio) everything we ever wanted to know about Kiss Make Up, Steve Vai and Cuban Politics.
September 2012

chris dale Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 1
The tale of how back in 1994 Bruce Dickinson and his band of merry men (including myself) found ourselves on our way to the besieged city of Sarajevo in the midst of the Bosnian War.
June 2012

chris dale Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 2
The second part of the story, telling of the practicalities of playing a heavy metal gig in a besieged city.
July 2012

chris dale Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 3
Our journey home from war-torn Sarajevo and refelctions on the long term effects of war.
August 2012

chris dale Managers v Producers
Why do bands need managers and producers and more importantly who would win in a hypothecial fight between the two?
May 2012

chris dale Kiss 'Monster' Album Preview
Predictions of what the upcoming Kiss album may sound like. I think it's going to be pretty good!
April 2012

chris dale London Venue's Nazi Past?
For years I'd heard rumours of the Kentish Town HMV Forum being a former Fascist or Nazi venue. One day I decided to research it more closely to find its true dark past.
March 2012

chris dale How Not to Join the Ozzy Osbourne Band
The time that just for a second, I thought I might be the new bass player for Ozzy Osbourne.
Feburary 2012

chris dale Metal Evilution
Theories about the orgins of Heavy Metal from Creationists and Evolutionists put to the test in a study of the recordings of Def Leppard and AC/DC by producer Mutt Lange
January 2012

chris dale Take Your Pick Competition
This was a competition but still have a look at my cool collection of guitar picks from the last century! Can you guess the original owners? Here's a clue, there's some Dokken, Dio and Kiss in there.
December 2011

chris dale The Pandora's Box Of Pop
What do you do if Banarama offer you their backing vocals for a heavy metal session?
November 2011

chris dale Tank Tour Diary
The Tank Tour of Scandinavaia and Poland including our show supportting Judas Priest.
October 2011

chris dale Festival Stage Collapses
What caused the tragedies at 2011's Ottawa Bluesfest, Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis and the Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium?
September 2011

chris dale Bruce Air, The Early Days
Recollections of flying across the American Mid West on Bruce Dickinson's ''Balls To Picasso' US Tour in 1994.
August 2011

chris dale European Festival Round-Up
My reviews of the best bands while I was with Mr Big on the European Festival circuit this year, including Twisted Sister, Whitesnake and Judas Priest.
July 2011

chris dale Who's Your Favourite Ozzy Guitarist?
Let's compare live clips of Rhandy, Jake, Zakk and all the other guys who have played lead guitar for the Ozzy Osbourne band. Who do you think is really the best?
June 2011

chris dale Bernie Torme Proud To Be Part Of MT Ozzy Article
Former Ozzy Osbourne and Gillan guitarist gives his repsonse to our thoughts on Ozzy Osbourne's various guitarists before and since him.
June 2011

chris dale Japanese Tsunami Disaster
How Japan coped in the wake of the earthquake/tsrunami/nuclear disaster of 2011 seen from the view of a roady on the Mr Big Tour shortly after the events.
May 2011

chris dale 10,000 Tank Albums!
How us having ten thousand listeners might well be the end of the music industry as we once knew it.
April 2011

chris dale Death Metal Session
Recording death metal for polite customers with Mikee Goodman from Sikth and Jay Graham from Ravens Creed.
March 2011

chris dale RIP Gary Moore
My happy recollections of the late great Gary Moore (4th April 1952 - 6th February 2011). A legend and a good guy to laugh with.
February 2011

chris dale Recording Bass at Steve Harris' House
The tale of how we recorded the bass tracks for the Tank album ' War Machine' at Iron Maiden HQ!
February 2011

chris dale A Column About Columns
How I got asked to write columns for MetalTalk by editor Steve Goldby and how I got it wrong from the very start.
January 2011










 

metal talk © All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2017, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.