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A look into the world of a Chicago heavy-metal band that’s pushing the envelope in terms of originality and style.

BE THAT AS IT MAY...

An insightful look into the world of a contemporary yet underground Chicago metal band that’s pushing the envelope in terms of originality and musical style.

ABOUT THE PROJECT...

Be That as It May follows Yakuza over a 2 ½ + year period documenting the recording and 2010 release "Of Seismic Consequence" and beyond.

From the recording of the "Of seismic Consequence" album, to documenting the Yakuza “live” performance including the one off performance of the "Yakuza Arkestra.”

Testimonials/ interviews from the band members, engineer Sanford Parker, Seismic performers including vocalist Kelly Lamont and cellist Alison Chesley (Helen Money), to testimonials from their peers including Tom Gabriel Fischer Warrior (Celtic Frost, Tryptikon), Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Brann Dailor (Mastodon), Eugene Robinsion (Oxbow,Author), Greg Kot and Jim Derogotis (Chicago writers (music critics) and NPR's sound opinions), Dr. Deena Weinstein (sociologist, author of “Heavy Metal: A Cultural Sociology and professor, De Paul University), Jazz saxophonist Ken Vandermark, Blake Judd (Nachtmystium/twilight), Dylan O’Toole (Indian), Rodney Pawlak (Dj, manager of St Vitus/Macabre), Dave Witte (Municipal Waste, Human Remains, East West Blast Test) and many more.  

WHO IS YAKUZA?

From the band’s inception in 1999, Yakuza has been fiercely independent in all facets of creativity and output.  Refusing to be limited, or pigeonholed by the often-conservative “metal” genre restrictions and or instrumentation expectations, Yakuza has created a sonic resonance unlike any other band.  In the tradition of musical outfits such as Hawkwind, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, The Stooges and Black Sabbath, Yakuza is an extension of that tradition.  And yet Yakuza is taking it to a new level by making it a little weirder, a lot heavier and are doing it on their own terms. 

                                         JAMES STAFFEL

  

                                        BRUCE LAMONT

                                     MATT MCCLELLAND 

                                           IVAN CRUZ

THIS MIGHT BE DANGEROUS...

In a genre of music where LOUD, distorted and gut wrenching guitars are king, Yakuza is out there doing something different:  Sticking a saxophone front and center as a lead instrument ultimately challenges many preconceived notions about whether or not a saxophone belongs in contemporary Heavy Metal music. 

A MIRROR FOR APATHY...

In American culture where mainstream commercial music has become very safe, banal and overproduced, Yakuza is a breath of fresh air.  Now so more than ever, popular musicians are presented as magazine advertisements, billboard icons and super heroes to garner media attention.  This unfortunately is the paradigm or example presented and sold to teenagers everyday.  Be That as it May is a piece of alternative media, showcasing an outlet for creativity that is real and attainable through dedication and hard work. 

Be That as It May presents a band and its respective members, as proficient and talented artists committed to creating soulfully epic music as a lifestyle while doing it with honor and integrity.  This playing and recording of music is recognized as a privilege and is upheld as something sacred, not to be taken for granted.  Yakuza’s members creatively construct their lifestyles to service this creativity.

THIS IS ABOUT COMMUNITY...

Be That as It May is a look at a band that’s is a product of the Chicago Independent music community.  This urban metal “scene” is being recognized as an epicenter for contemporary Heavy Metal by both fans and critics alike.  Yakuza resides in the bull’s-eye of this movement.  Its members are synonymous with blue collar and service industry Chicago and are entrenched in this community and committed to it as lifestyle.  Local critics and fans are in agreement that Yakuza is the embodiment of the Chicago metal “scene.”  

One might think that this kind of creative ethos, integrity and musicianship would be respected and recognized by a larger audience, but that’s not the case with Yakuza. 

Yakuza has decidedly rejected any form of musical, promotional or marketing compromises to gain larger commercial and mainstream acceptance. For Yakuza exists in a consciousness just above (or below) any corporate media perception. 

LOVE and FEAR...

 This underdog musical outfit has yet to be sought out for large-scale commerce, for the music industry is somewhat perplexed and often fearful about how to market a band like this. This is not a concern for the band nor thier musical peers, rock critics and their small yet widespread fan base always eagerly awaits their next show and latest creative effort. Their avant-garde creative ethos are held in high regard, and is considered a high watermark in terms of creativity, integrity and musicianship, regardless of how known or unknown they may be. 

Be That as It May is about a band that’s rejected packaged conformity and are forging their own path, defining a new model of success and doing what ever it takes to keep the Yakuza "ship" afloat with its flag flying high.  

PLEASE HELP US EXCEED OUT GOAL!!!

Initial amount seeking:  $10,500

Current State of the project…

Be That as it May is almost entirely shot, and several rough edits of various sequences of the film are in existence.  The shooting is to be completed by June 2012.

That amount will cover a minimum of 3 months of hardcore editing over 60 hours of footage to get a solid cut of the movie together along with additional post- production, manufacturing and distribution of film. 

THIS IS ABOUT LIFE, DEATH and CHOICES...

In a perfect world we would hope to double or even triple this amount to enable a longer editorial process, allow for more shooting, (that will tie this footage together to the recording of the newest 2012 Yakuza album, recording in May 2012) 

However because is a grass roots effort the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM we can make do with to bring this film together is $10,500. 

But the more funds we get the more time we will have to build the most amazing edit, sound mixes and create original, collectible promotional materials, and a killer website!   

Our ideal is to do a special (limited edition) release with unique packaging, and reserving the option to put this documentary out completely INDEPENDENTLY!

SO PLEASE HELP US EXCEED OUT GOAL!!!

PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG IF YOU LIKE MOVIES AND HEAVY METAL AND DESIRE TO SEE A KILLER INDEPENDENT DOCUMENTARY ABOUT A KILLER INDEPENDENT BAND!!  

HOW KICKSTARTER WORKS?

You will need to choose an amount to pledge and a reward level (to the right) to get on board to help us out.At the end of our Kickstarter campaign, if the combined total of all pledges for our project meets our $10,500 goal, then the credit cards of those who pledge are charged and we receive the funds to finish our movie. If we don't meet our goal, then the money is not withdrawn from your account and no rewards are provided.   But if we exceed our $10,500 goal then the extra funds will be used to make the movie even better.  Aside from a 5% Kickstarter fee and a 3-5% Amazon credit card processing fee, all funds raised will be used directly in the production of “Be that as it May. 

WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON’T REACH OUR GOAL?

Absolutely nothing.  You don’t get charged and we don’t get any money to make our movie.

Thank you. 

FAQ

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    Gratitude, blessings and satisfaction knowing you are part of helping this project get made. Justin Baron will send you a thank you email!

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    A thank you in the credits of the film. (in addition the above incentives)

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    Skype Music Lesson (1/2 hr) with band member of choice (in addition the above incentives)

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    Yakuza gift pack.A copy of the new Yakuza recording due out Sept 2012 (ship before release date), copy of 2010 "Of seismic consequence" on vinyl,a copy of 2007 "Transmutations" on vinyl, t-shirt,stickers, and buttons. (in addition the above incentives, excluding Skype music lesson, shipping not included)

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    “Retired” cymbal signed thank you by James Staffel, in addition to the first 4 incentives (shipping not included)

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    Bruce Lamont's King Tenor saxophone used on 2002's "Way of the Dead" release, in addition to the first 4 incentives, (shipping not included, email for specs and details before making a pledge).

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Funding period

- (45 days)