Interview with Director/Producer and Metal filmmaker, Bob Nalbandian

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Interview with Bob Nalbandian

by JP

Check out the new movie Band vs. Brand..available!



How did you first get the inspiration to create BAND VS. BRAND?  Sort of related, how long did it take from inspiration to completion?

I had a meeting with Brian Perera, the president of Cleopatra Records a little over 2 years ago and we were discussing ideas for me to direct a documentary film for Cleopatra. And we were discussing a lot of ‘80s bands like Rats, Great White, Queensryche etc where there are two versions and many musicians are fighting over the brand (ie: band name). And Brian suggested that it would be an interesting topic for a documentary and asked me if I’d be up for directing and producing this film and I jumped at the offer. And I teamed up with some friends of mine at Reality Check TV to co-produce and editing the film. So it took a little over 2 years since we started this project and the film just got released last week.

Were there any revelations that came to you during filming about the evolution of the music industry. 

As far as revelations, not many that I personally encountered from the interviews I did as I already was well aware of much of the current state of “branding” in the music biz. But I did learn quite a bit about the business from people like David Tedds, Mike Varney, Marc Ferrari and others that I interviewed for the film.

Were there any people you wanted to interview but could not get to participate?

I purposely tried not to get too many interviews for the film as I knew I would have to fit it into an 80 minute documentary film and didn’t want to run into the same problem I had with the INSIDE METAL documentary films that I directed and produced that had so much material and inetrvewi footage that we ended up making each film into 2 volumes. There were artists that I was hoping to interview that had two versions of the same band but many of them were either going through litigation or weren’t too comfortable talking about the subject matter. I did manage to get Jack Russell though, and he is always a great interview.

What is your personal perspective on bands becoming brands…good?…  bad? … necessarily evil? 

When I film documentaries I think it’s important to keep the subject matter partial and let the audience decide if it’s good or evil. But I do feel it really depends on the individual band or situation. I’m not against it but I think it should obviously be done tastefully and with integrity and not just about the money.

What is it about the 70’s and 80’s Hard Rock and Metal scene that still inspires people and has such loyalty and longevity, as compared to lately disposable pop music artists? 

I think that the rock/metal bands from ‘70s and ‘80s, as well some from the ‘90s, most of them had great songs and were great live performers and weren’t just fabricated pop bands as 90% of the pops and what they call “rock” bands of the new millennium. People miss the great music and songs from that era and want to experience that great time in rock n roll again as they know there’s few newer bands out there that can deliver the goods. Most of them are synthetic rock/pop using auto-tune, backing tracks and sampled drums.

I feel the audience still exists, but do young Metal bands have a hope in hell or will they have to be a ‘brand’ right out of the gate? 

They may have that hope but I think it’s a lot more difficult today more than ever for young Metal and hard rock bands as today’s music is so disposable, and the means to exploit the music is so easily available for free that the market has become saturated with a lot of shitty bands. So nowadays it’s really about having the money and backing as well as social media presence and YouTube and Spotify views and listens. Unfortunately that’s what success is based on in today’s music industry.




How can people see this film? 

The film is now available worldwide through Cleopatra Entertainment (distributed by MVD). Here are some of the most popular retail links where people can buy/order online the physical DVD:

Amazon (DVD)




Was it hard to secure digital distribution?

The movie just got on Amazon Prime and can be streamed for FREE by Prime members. It should be available on Google Play, Xbox, Night Flight, Vimeo and Vudo as well as Cable PPV and VOD by next week. Here’s the link to Amazon Prime:

Amazon Prime

How many films have you done now?  Do you have one that stands out in your filmography? 

I’ve directed and co-proudced 3 INSIDE METAL titles (each are 2 volumes so it’s actually 6 film titles) and the movie BAND VS BRAND which just came out.

What is your next project? 

We are currently editing the 4th INSIDE METAL title on the SF Bay Area metal scene of the ‘80s titled “Bay Area Godfathers” (which will also be 2 titles) which I also directed and co-produced and will be coming out toward the end of this year. I hope to have some more films under by belt for 2020 as well

Thanks Bob!

Thank you Joshua!

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