Long Live Rock…Celebrate the Chaos is a fascinating new documentary that takes a deep dive into the often misunderstood culture of hard rock and heavy metal. The film follows a number of dedicated fans who drop everything to “commune” with their “rock family” at festivals such as ‘Rock on The Range’ (where some of the film was shot) ‘Louder Than Life’ and ‘Aftershock’.
It also features exclusive interviews with some of the genre’s biggest names including Rob Zombie, Jonathan Davis of Korn, M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold, Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour, Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach, Taylor Momsen of the Pretty Reckless, Josh and Jake Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet, Caleb Shomo of Beartooth and Prophets of Rage’s Tom Morello, as well as members of Guns N Roses, Five Finger Death Punch and Halestorm.
The film examines the reasons why these artists have dedicated their lives to the genre as well as discussing the unique relationship they have with their fans and that their fans have with each other.
“It’s a place of solidarity, it’s a place where the disenfranchised feel like they belong to something bigger than themselves. Part of the reason we all gravitate towards this music is it gives us a sense of belonging and a sense of community,” explains Metallica’s Lars Ulrich.
A sentiment that is also expressed by the fans featured in the doc. “Music provides that bond where two people can find a mutual ground,” say Scott Prince, a law enforcement veteran of 17-years. “It’s not a deputy and an inmate sitting in a jail. We’re two people expressing feelings about music that just brings everyone together.”
Ohio Governor and former presidential candidate John Kasich adds, “Whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat, a liberal or conservative when the music catches you, it doesn’t matter, we’re all one.”
Director Jonathan McHugh had this to say about why he wanted to make this movie:
“Growing up in Staten Island, NY as a kid sneaking into Madison Square Garden to see legends Black Sabbath, KISS & Led Zeppelin there was only one type of music for me. I was lucky to fall into the music business doing radio promotion at Elektra Records in the early 90’s where I met “Long Live Rock” producer Gary Spivack and here we are once again championing this music we both adore so much. “Long Live Rock” is a celebration of the chaos that makes this music and its fans simply the best in the world. I’m so proud to be part of this beautiful madness and I really hope you – the true fan – will help support our mission to bring the hard rock culture back into the mainstream…just like when I was a kid sneaking into MSG.”
Yet the doc doesn’t shy away from the dark side of rock music. “A lot of people in this scene like to drink and do drugs, and that’s where they escape. But if you continue down that path, it’s just going to lead to dark, bad things,” Jonathan Davis says.
“Everyone wants to give you free drugs when you’re a rock star. And everyone wants to party with you. But you still have the same problems everyone else has in their life,” M. Shadows explains.
“People put you up on this pedestal and think you’re bulletproof,” add Corey Taylor. “I struggle with it every day. I want to drink every day. I want to do everything that can kill me. And I don’t [do any of them]: because I have this whole list of things that are way more important.”
Check out the trailer here.