Hey, everyone; Greg Pratt here, I'm the head writer for A Fat Wreck. I thought it was time to say hello and talk about how I became involved with this project.
I'm a music journalist; I write about punk rock and heavy metal for magazines and websites like
Alternative Press, Exclaim!, bravewords.com, , and others. A while back, I wrote an exhaustive
(exhausting?) history of Propagandhi for Exclaim; they're one of my favourite bands of all time and I was extremely happy to be able to answer some questions that people had been wondering about that band for a long time.
Shaun Colon (not pronounced like the body part, but pronounce it like the body part to bug him) was one of those people. He got in touch with me after he read the story to say how much he liked it. As it turned out, that story helped plant the seed of this movie in Shaun's mind. He asked if I'd be interested in coming on board to be the guy who does the interviews and helps write the "story," as it were, for the movie.
Make no mistakes: I thought (and still kinda think) that Shaun was a madman; add in the fact that I live in Victoria, BC, Canada, and the rest of the crew are down in Texas, and I thought, This will never happen.
Fast-forward a whole bunch of months later. Shaun Skyped me and said it was time to buy my plane ticket. We were going to California to interview Lagwagon in the studio, Strung Out in the studio, Swingin' Utters, Good Riddance, Fat Mike, Chris from No Use For a Name and Foo Fighters, and more. I was shocked. Still thinking he was a madman and he was going to meet up with me at SFO and slaughter me, I bought my ticket.
I'm a 37-year-old man with a wife, two kids, and several jobs. It's not really reasonable for me to leave town for a week for an indie film project that's not exactly drenched in profit. But, I had to, because these bands changed my life when I was a teenager.
I was right there front and center when the first few Fat releases came out. Duh blew my mind so wide open it never recovered, and the first Propagandhi completely changed my life. The list goes on and on. The great thing about these bands is many of them have aged well; I think later-era Strung Out records show a great depth in their maturity for what is essentially a metallic skate-punk band, for example. Lagwagon and Propagandhi, sometimes months and months pass when I don't listen to them, but then I go on a bender and remember why I consider them two of the best bands of our time.
With this movie, I want to do what I did with my Propagandhi story: I want to tell the tale of Fat Wreck Chords in a way that people haven't heard before; I want to explore the history of the bands on the label; I wanted to help you get to know the people behind the music. I want to tell the story of a bunch of people coming of age through punk rock, a bunch of people accidentally stumbling on to a sound that ended up becoming iconic. I want to tell the story of how a record label created a family that bonded together through times of loss. I want to tell the downs as well as the ups: how some bands left the family, how others feel the label may have had a negative consequence on punk. As a writer, I want to show you all sides of the story. But I can't pretend to be completely neutral: this music changed my life, for the better, and I'll always love it for that.
And, man, these dudes filming, editing, directing, organizing, and generally doing all the dirty work behind the scenes at A Fat Wreck rule. I couldn't be happier to be part of the team, and I'm still shocked and honored that I was asked to be involved. I can't wait to bring this story to you all.
Follow Greg on Twitter @gregprattwriter