Cactus Logos

Broken Wagon Films LLC is a new company being formed to produce a documentary where we retrace the steps of my great-great-great grand uncle's 1905 expedition into Baja California to catalogue the peninsula's flora and fauna. Things are still in the very early stages, but I'm sure you'll be hearing much more about this project as things develop. For now, here are some logo variations I'm working on for the production company.

Spraypaint Skull

Edit: I had an animated gif version of this up, until I realized how huge and annoying it was to have it looping endlessly in a blog post. It's still kind of cool though, so I put it up here instead. Apologies for any epileptic seizures that may have caused.

Interview with A Dead Spot of Light

I recently did a very in-depth interview with A Dead Spot of Light. We talked about the inspiration behind my latest album, Vandal of Fortune, as well as the history of my music project and the influence of visual art on heavy metal. 

You can check it out here. Below is an excerpt:

To me the music appears to be more focussed as well. It is not as dreamy and meandering as on your previous albums. Also the increase in intensity and heaviness leave a lasting impression; Stress Fracture and Iconophage for instance.
     Universica was pretty sleepy and dreamy, so Vandal was meant to wake you back up. I wanted to make something that was album-based, where each song stood alone but was also part of the bigger whole and worked best when listened to as a full unit. Lots of independent artists today seem to operate on this idea of constant releases. They'll release single after single, just individual tracks, one at a time. I think it has to do with the influence of social media. Vandal was trying to get away from this. It's not just a bunch of songs, it's an album. When I was a kid, I would go to the store and buy a CD and listen to the whole thing back to back, and that's how I wanted Vandal to be. A power album that you could keep coming back to and find new things in after multiple listens.

While Universica had a considerable amount of keyboards, Vandal of Fortune is much more on the guitar side of the spectrum. Can you elaborate a bit on the idea behind this latest release of yours?
     Universica relied heavily on synths, and Vandal was a conscious reaction against that. I had been listening to a lot of classic heavy metal when I was writing Vandal. Lots of early metal had this really powerful simplicity that I loved. Vandal is probably my fastest and heaviest album so far, and that comes from wanting to write this kind of straight-ahead guitar-based heavy metal. In the end, it's still very melodic, but that's kind of my style.

Thomas Reichert

In early 2007, I got an e-mail out of the blue from a German filmmaker. He apologized for his English (which was nearly perfect - I know Americans with worse grammar) and asked me for permission to use some of my music in his project. When I saw the video, I was absolutely blown away.

Thomas had trekked up Mt. Etna, an active volcano in Italy, and filmed some of the most impressive eruption footage I've ever seen. He captured huge plumes of ash and fire, pyroclastic flows, a tornado spinning at the mountain's peak, magma spitting out of the caldera at twilight, all culminating in glowing rivers of lava that flowed down the volcano's blackened slopes at night. Incredible images, all set against the relentless sounds of Etna's thundering eruption.

I couldn't wait to hear how he would use my music in his film, and I gave him permission without hesitation. He thanked me, and I never heard from him again. His video, meanwhile, has clocked over 2 million views on youtube, a big success.

Unfortunately, I just found out why I'd never heard from Thomas again. In an attempt to return to Mt. Etna to document the ongoing eruption, he slipped and fell to his death. It's incredibly tragic, and although he lost his life back in 2008, this sad piece of news just found me yesterday.

I didn't know Thomas outside of our small collaboration, but I felt connected to him. Our work exists side by side, online, indefinitely. It's likely that it will outlive both of us. The images he risked his life to record have been immortalized in silicon. It's a reminder of how the internet empowers people like Thomas and gives them a voice and a presence where he might otherwise have none, preserving his work beyond his death and allowing others to enjoy it, for free, forever.

More of Thomas Reichert's videos.

Memorial site for Thomas.