Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth Jason Reitman Calls ‘Labor Day’ "A Misguided Effort" Jason Reitman Calls ‘Labor Day’ "A Misguided Effort" David Fincher & James Ellroy Plotting 1950s Crime Noir Series For HBO David Fincher & James Ellroy Plotting 1950s Crime Noir Series For HBO Chris Evans On His Directorial Debut ‘Before We Go,’ Filming In New York, & ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Chris Evans On His Directorial Debut ‘Before We Go,’ Filming In New York, & ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ TIFF Review: Liv Ullmann’s ‘Miss Julie’ Starring Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell & Samantha Morton TIFF Review: Liv Ullmann’s ‘Miss Julie’ Starring Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell & Samantha Morton Boardwalk Empire - Season 5 - Episode 1 Recap: “Golden Days For Boys & Girls” Boardwalk Empire - Season 5 - Episode 1 Recap: “Golden Days For Boys & Girls” Box-Office: ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Leads Slowest Weekend Of The Year & Surpasses ‘Iron Man’ & ‘Man Of Steel’ Box-Office: ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Leads Slowest Weekend Of The Year & Surpasses ‘Iron Man’ & ‘Man Of Steel’ TIFF Review: Tom McCarthy's 'The Cobbler' Starring Adam Sandler TIFF Review: Tom McCarthy's 'The Cobbler' Starring Adam Sandler TIFF Review: Kevin Smith's Horror Story 'Tusk,' Starring Justin Long, Michael Parks & Johnny Depp TIFF Review: Kevin Smith's Horror Story 'Tusk,' Starring Justin Long, Michael Parks & Johnny Depp TIFF Review: Noah Baumbach's 'While We're Young' Starring Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver & Amanda Seyfried TIFF Review: Noah Baumbach's 'While We're Young' Starring Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver & Amanda Seyfried TIFF Review: Dan Gilroy’s ‘Nightcrawler’ Starring Jake Gyllenhaal & Rene Russo TIFF Review: Dan Gilroy’s ‘Nightcrawler’ Starring Jake Gyllenhaal & Rene Russo TIFF Review: ‘The Drop’ Starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace & James Gandolfini TIFF Review: ‘The Drop’ Starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace & James Gandolfini 'Wolf Of Wall Street' Star Margot Robbie Circling Live-Action 'Ghost In The Shell' Remake 'Wolf Of Wall Street' Star Margot Robbie Circling Live-Action 'Ghost In The Shell' Remake The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes

NYFF: David Chase & Steve Van Zandt Talk The Music That Drove Them To 'Not Fade Away'

Indiewire By Gabe Toro | Indiewire October 6, 2012 at 11:30AM

As the movie entered common film-buff conversation, talk persisted that David Chase’s directorial debut “Not Fade Away” was autobiographical. The creator of “The Sopranos” had crafted a nostalgic tale set in the era in which he came of age, with a young group of mavericks dreaming of stardom from their garage band setups, and many claimed we were watching the life story of the TV legend. Speaking to the New York Film Festival audience upon the film’s premiere, Chase was quick to squash that talk immediately.
0
David Chase Steve Van Zandt

As the movie entered common film-buff conversation, talk persisted that David Chase’s directorial debut “Not Fade Away” was autobiographical. The creator of “The Sopranos” had crafted a nostalgic tale set in the era in which he came of age, with a young group of mavericks dreaming of stardom from their garage band setups, and many claimed we were watching the life story of the TV legend. Speaking to the New York Film Festival audience upon the film’s premiere, Chase was quick to squash that talk immediately.

“I read that too that it was autobiographical!” Chase said with a smile. “It’s personal, sure, but to call the organization I was in a band is already mixed up. My friends were really good guitar players, and I was an ok drummer. But when we had this band I never even bought a set of drums, I played on cardboard boxes. We never got on stage, we never played one gig, paying or otherwise, no one ever saw us, we were way to good for that. We were a super group in my town.”

Not Fade Away

It’s that sense of self-deprecation that fueled many of Chase’s comments regarding his film, which he hoped would speak for itself. His is an attempt to take the pulse of an era first and foremost, stating, “I was trying to capture what a strange time it really was. Towards the end of that era, it seemed like something major was happening every day. An assassination, invasion, constantly. And I was interested in doing the backstage version of that.” Though he demurs, noting of the headier topics in the film, “As I was developing the script, I realized there was stuff I wasn’t paying attention to when I was young, because I was just a spoiled suburban kid.”

To capture the feel of the music, Chase sought his “The Sopranos” collaborator Steve Van Zandt. Of course, that didn’t necessarily mean Chase would listen to all his suggestions. “I begged David to find musicians who could act,” laughs Van Zandt. “He said, 'Forget it, the acting must come first.' Of course he’s right, but that meant that we found people with no musical talent whatsoever.” That inexperience yielded a three-month boot camp, and Van Zandt exclaimed, “It was amazing to watch, because it took me ten years, and it took them three months.”

Actor Will Brill reveals, “David would come and hang out with us while we were playing. And it was really fun, because we were terrible, we were so bad at the time.” Brill jokes when he says, “We would eke out a song just horribly, and then we’d feel guilty and look at David and he would say, 'You’re fired.' No, he would say, that was amazing, you guys were perfect.”

Not Fade Away

The search for authenticity also meant the actors would provide their own vocals, which initially gave Van Zandt pause. “It’s very rare in a movie where an actor can sell that thing about singing,” he says. “I don’t know why. So it was really important that the actors were able to sing. It’s totally real when you see the film, they literally can play and sing, there’s nothing fake to worry about.”

And while Chase sought serious actors for the roles, “For me it began and ended with the music,” he said. “Rock and roll comes out of the most dramatic time in life. All that intense self-scrutiny, self-loathing, self-glorification, being in love, discovering your freedom. That’s it, that’s the feeling.” And that involved the cast not only learning pre-established songs, but also performing a single original tune from Van Zandt.

“I wish I wrote ‘em all!” Van Zandt says of the songs covered by the band. “Most bands are cover bands in the first couple of years of their lives, or they should be, actually. These days, not so much, and it’s actually a bad thing. But most of the big bands, Beatles, Stones, E Street Band, spent their first few years playing cover songs. That’s how you find your identity, and learn to write songs, from analyzing and absorbing those songs. In the end, we decided they would be developing as they went along.”

Not Fade Away

Chase, who was candid about his love of the film’s music, disclosed, “The only reason I did this movie was because my favorite part of doing ‘The Sopranos’ was putting the picture and sound together. And I wanted to continue that, I missed that. So this is really a compilation album of my favorite songs.” And what songs they are. “Not Fade Away” has an extensive back catalog of hits from the era’s biggest bands. Shrugs Chase, “I just tried to remember when I was interested in learning how to play.”

He reflects honestly, giving credit not to himself, but to the very rich musical history which he utilized for the film’s unique sound. “I don’t wanna do this thing where I’m bragging about the '60s, because I don’t feel like that,” Chase said. “But the music was good, and I was lucky to be that age at that time. I was living through one of the best musical periods. Music was my way into art, poetry, fashion, humor, film. Rock and roll was my first glimpse into art... And it’s been years since I’ve had this stuff in my head.”

"Not Fade Away" opens on December 21st.
 

This article is related to: David Chase, Not Fade Away, New York Film Festival

E-Mail Updates


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.