'Heavy Metal In The Country': German Documentary To Air In February

November 20, 2005

A brand-new documentary focusing on Nuclear Blast Records, one of the world's most successful independent heavy metal record companies, and its founder, Markus Staiger, is scheduled to air on February 2, 2006 on the European channel Arte. Dubbed "Heavy Metal in the Country", the film's synopsis reads as follows:

"Donzdorf on the edge of the Swabian mountains in Southern Germany. A village just like any other, with a pointed church spire, a supermarket and a new housing estate. But Donzdorf is the seat of Nuclear Blast Records, one of the world's most successful independent heavy-metal record companies. The company's boss, Markus Staiger, grew up with heavy metal, like many young people in rural areas, and has turned his enthusiasm into an empire with branches in Los Angeles and other major cities. Housewives from the village work for the mail-order department, sending out bloody skulls to every conceivable place in the world. Listening sessions are held in the village pub, where the offerings are commented on by the regulars as critically as by international journalists.

"The film takes a look at the occasionally comical interaction of the tranquil village inhabitants with the rather crude hard rock scene. But traditional positions have shifted: whereas heavy metal once stood for rebellion against provincial traditions and conventions, it has today, far removed from urban subcultures, long become a firm and established part of life in the country."

Commented the film's director, Andreas Geiger: "I met Markus Steiger [for the first time] eighteen years ago. We used to live in the same neighborhood in Donzdorf. Back then I helped him with the shipping and handling of 2,000 vinyl records of his first two releases. One of them — a sampler with hardcore bands from America — was called 'Senseless Death'. Almost unbearable noisy roars was just what we wanted to listen to.

"Last year at a Donzdorf visit, I discovered a new, large building in the industrial area. The logo looked familiar: Nuclear Blast was still using the symbol of radioactivity, neon green and reminding me of our adolescence and the nuclear weapons that were stationed close to our village. The mailorder-company-from-home had grown into an imperium. I found that quite interesting: Was this a crude heavy metal UFO in a village idyll, a foreign body on the outskirts of a rural society? Or — on the contrary — was this village, with all the peace and quiet of life in the countryside, the ideal location for a after all quite conservative musical genre?"

With a running time of 52 minutes, "Heavy Metal in the Country" will receive its world premiere on January 12, 2006 in Donzdorf, with a second showing scheduled for January 13 in Stuttgart. The Arte broadcast is slated for February 12 at 10:21 p.m.

For more information, visit www.filmtank.de.

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