THE BAND: Luxury is a band that began in the 1990's in the small town of Toccoa GA, but from the start, it was clear that their aspirations and influences were elsewhere. Sounding like Fugazi or Shudder to Think fronted by a younger, more vicious Morrissey, they were an anomaly, in Toccoa, or almost anywhere. They brought together such disparate influences that one could barely imagine them co-existing in a band, much less pulling it off as a thoroughly distinctive sound. The English melodicism laid on top of such pummeling instrumentation was a study in contrasts, but it was of a piece, as there was enough of the melodic in the instruments and enough brutality in the lyrics and vocal delivery that it hung together, just so. As singer, Lee Bozeman describes it, "I write these beautiful, nice songs, and then the band destroys them." Upon the release of their first record, Amazing and Thank You (1995), Luxury seemed poised to move to another level, but a wreck in the summer of 1995 (with tour-mates and fellow Georgians, Piltdown Man) had the opposite impact. All told, there were 3 broken necks between both bands, with Bozeman sustaining the most devastating internal injuries. The wreck changed their fortunes as well (evidently) as their ambitions. With each successive record, there was a greater sense of self-reflection in Bozeman's lyrics, and the music followed that deepening maturity, all the while maintaining the fundamental dichotomy of soaring melodies on top of angular post-punk instrumentation. The first record was essentially a document of their live shows, which were remarkable events in their intensity and the band's posture of defiance directed even at their own audience. On successive records, though, Luxury learned to use the studio as an instrument. While, on the first record Bozeman asks "So, what do you expect from life?" he seems to have spent each of the following records seeking to answer that very question.
Causation is a notoriously slippery force to get one's hands around. Yet, humanly speaking, it is hard not to point to the wreck of 1995 when hoping to understand how three members of Luxury are now Eastern Orthodox priests (the other two members are an ordained Presbyterian [PCA] elder and an occasional Lutheran board of directors member, surely cementing their status as one of the most ordained bands in history). Now, it is doubtlessly a noteworthy fact that members of a band went on to become priests, as members of most bands are obliged to go on and do something different with their lives. But what can it mean for a band led by priests to continue making records? On their newly recorded fifth album, Trophies, the lyrical themes may be said to be further musings on the expectations and memories of life. But as with prior Luxury records, spiritual concerns are obliquely addressed, if at all. So does Luxury sound anything like a band full of priests? There are several legitimate answers:
1. Who can say? There are no others.
2. Self-evidently they do. For they are.
3. No. They don't even sound like Christians.
THE FILM: Follow the story of Luxury, a band who, on the cusp of success suffer a devastating wreck. In the intervening years, they continue to make records and three members of the band become Eastern Orthodox priests. Through interviews and archival footage, Biography / Autobiography will tell the gripping and poignant story of Luxury and will follow the making of a new record, now as priests.
Matt Hinton would have begun this film years ago had he not been struck with the nagging thought that it is hopelessly lame to make a film about the band one plays in. And yet, it is such a thoroughly compelling story with layer upon layer of additionally rich storylines (e.g. Drummer Glenn Black spent a portion of his childhood in a traveling carnival. Bassist Chris Foley was in a breakdancing crew in his youth before he found punk rock. He and his wife are now raising four sons, the oldest of whom has nonverbal autism) that, in the absence of anyone else making the film, he feels more or less obliged. This feeling is heightened by the fact that Hinton has hours of video footage of the band, both from before he joined and after, which includes live performances, recording sessions and even footage of the band in the hospital, when even their hope of survival after the wreck was in question. The working title of the film, "Biography / Autobiography" (also the name of a track on the 4th Luxury record Health & Sport) gets at the tension inherent in this project. This film is not being made by Luxury, but by Matt Hinton with the cooperation of Luxury.
THE PLAN: We have shot over 90% of the film thus far. In addition to the older analog footage, we have visited each member of the band in their respective environments, in Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. We have begun editing, but need to finish the production phase which includes additional interviews in far-flung parts of America. So, we need to travel a bit. The majority of the funds we raise will go towards the post-production phase. We will hire an editor for the last week of the edit to get another set of eyes on the film; someone who can view the film from a position of objectivity and who can brutally cut scenes that we have fallen in love with but which don't actually serve the story. Next, we need to have the film color graded. This is especially important with a film like this that pieces together various kinds and ages of media. Next, we'll have the sound mixed. Again, a film about a band will need good sound. Ultimately we need to output it, manufacture it, submit it to festivals, etc. None of these things are cheap. But we have every expectation that this story will gain national interest and have already hired an excellent publicist. If you or anyone you know has video footage of Luxury, please contact us! We would love to have as much footage as possible at our disposal. As it is, we have plenty of footage to make the film, but every extra camera angle gives us added options for editing! Similarly, if you know of worthy interview subjects you feel may not be on our radar, please let us know. Especially if they are musicians, music critics, etc.
REWARDS: We are excited to offer some great rewards. They are to your right. Note well, we will ship physical rewards to you as soon as the last reward you chose is ready. In other words, we plan to only send one package to each supporter, so if that package includes both a CD of the new Luxury record (which are available to us now) and a DVD of "Biography / Autobiography," which is not yet complete (clearly) it will ship when the DVD is ready. This principle does not apply to digital offerings which might be sent well before the physical packages. Therefore, the estimated delivery dates we have listed are an estimate of when the last item will be ready to go. We are sure you understand.
Here are a few of the rewards available to you:
Risks and challenges
The risks we face are similar to all projects like this. Did we budget correctly? Are we realistic in our timeline? What we CAN say is that if we raise the funds, we WILL complete the film. We've done it before and now that we know what we are doing, we can do it again. By nature, we are optimistic, else we would not even begin. The risk is that we are overly optimistic that we can get it done as quickly as we hope. Perhaps interviewees will not be available when we hope. Perhaps the right editor will be booked on another project. Perhaps the manufacturing companies will have a slow turnaround. When Luxury made "Trophies" we expected to have vinyl pressed at a certain facility. When we were ready to send the final master we asked what the turnaround was. Their answer was "6 months". So, we found a vinyl manufacturer in the Czech Republic who could do it in a little less than 3 months. This is the most likely risk. No matter when we conservatively estimate that we will be finished, there are unknowns. Rest assured, though, when we are funded, we are committed to complete it. Hopefully on time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (48 days)