Posts Tagged ‘Venture Brothers’

Kashpoint

302324_10150343062741765_33862071_n

Sister Meatwad’s kick ass cards

One of the defining moments in our journey came about on another jaunt into London town. We’d been invited to an avant garde evening of music, art and style known as Kashpoint, a regular club night that had been running since the early noughties organised by Matthew Glammore, a new media artist, visionary and electro-pop guru. Kashpoint has a history of attracting the eyes of the fashion world and we were promised a spectacle of the weird and fabulous we wouldn’t forget. So how does a Northern metal monkey cope with entering this unfamiliar slice of the underground electro scene? By going full Gritty of course.  I’d not manifested The Gritty Chimp in public outside of Metalocalypse night and the odd drunken metal festival but this seemed the perfect occasion to play with the outfit and define the public persona. Michelle had been to Cannes earlier in the year and had begun to flesh out ideas for the documentary, spreading the word to all who would listen and recruiting some kindred spirits in the process. This culminated in the purchase of a simple wooden cutlass which when brought back to the UK embodied the will and passion for the project thanks to some late night beach banana magic. 

Banana Magic in Cannes

Banana Magic in Cannes

The Gritty  Chimp mask came with a detachable rubber baseball cap that I didn’t really care for, underneath it was a grisly patch of rubbery baldness and wirey fake black hair, it was obvious the chimp needed a hat and it just so happened I had a ropey looking joke shop velvety pirate hat that complimented the grotesque face of the  mask with just the right element of tackiness to offset the disgusting visage.

With the hat of a captain I was compelled to go full pirate. I borrowed a flouncy white shirt and waistcoat from a dear friend who drums in a pirate metal band and teamed it up with some tight fitting New York bondage pants I had from my goth days. With the cutlass in my belt, the look was complete.

Monkey pirates ahoy!

Monkey pirates ahoy!

Michelle too was developing a persona and this arrived in the form of Sister Meatwad. Michelle has been preaching the good word of The Swim for so long it was only right that an ecclesiastical element should manifest itself. For her costume she paired up a nun’s wimple with Meatwad badges and armed herself with scripture in the form of the The Revolution of Modern Art and The Modern Art of the Revolution by the English section of the Situationalist International and a fuckload of DVD screeners. 

Sister Meatwad

Sister Meatwad

So, dolled up like no night I’ve ever been on before we headed out to the tube. I saved the mask for the venue lest I fall under a train, visibility being the main restricting factor in the sweaty mask of chimp. We took in a comedy night first of all, Michelle’s mate (and massive Venture Fan) Paul Gannon was rocking a geek inspired evening of stand-up and improv. Arriving late we crept quietly to the side of the bar, whispering our drinks order lest we disturb the performance. A few belly laughs and giggles later with the booze doing its trick it was time for us to head to Kashpoint.

 Our journey is peppered with a rash of unfathomable coincidence born of a communal fountain of luck and hard-core blagging on god-like levels from the Queen of Scheme, Michelle. It just so happened that the venue for Kashpoint was Moonlighting in Soho, the very club that a year before we were lucky enough to take Venture Bros creator Chris McCulloch to for a Pulp aftershow party following their performance at the Wireless festival in Hyde park. To cover that day briefly, following the interview I did for Adult Swim UK Chris mentioned he was coming over for the gig. We met up the following summer, Michelle having blagged us some guest passes. We watched Grace Jones and Pulp together and danced the night away in Moonlighting only for the band to turn up. Chris met Jarvis, we danced to Tina Turner, the drink flowed and we crept back to normal life a little star struck knowing that we needed more. It was that night, gazing up at the sign outside the club Michelle revealed her plan for the documentary..

 “We went outside so you could have a ciggy – and while we were out there I told you about the story in one of Moore’s magical workings which was based on the psycho-geography of Bloomsbury and the nature of art/creation of art. He talked about how creativity requires both the lunar and the solar aspects – the imagination and inspiration of ideas/the moon, PLUS the daylight toil and craft, the honing and the sweat/frustration of the sun. One without the other results in inferior work. Then and there I asked you if you’d help me make my documentary – I told you there probably wasn’t much in the way of fame or riches or glory in it and that it might take a while and be a bit of slog – and boy was I right on that score – but that hopefully it’d be a bit of an adventure too – and you agreed – and then we went back in and Chris and his mate Michele wondered where we’d got to – we’d been nattering that long…” – Michelle

Bar Italia with Chris and Michele and Michelle for some post-Pulp coffee

But to get back to Kashpoint… We arrived at the club, greeted by a gathering crowd of the most fabulously bizarre guests I’d ever seen on a night out. Mask on and names ticked off the list we descended the stairs to be greeted by professional photographers capturing the guests as they arrived. Posing in the mask and looking around at my fellow patrons I felt distinctly under dressed, the sheer effort in some of the clobber being worn that evening made my mind boil. I cautiously approached the bar and ordered drinks and whilst Michelle shot some footage on her camcorder and I was immediately approached by a couple of people wanting to poke and prod the mask. Feeling a little more comfortable we took to the dancefloor for a bit of Northern Soul and disco and then coincidence knocked me sideways again as Tina Turner came on over the sound sytem and once again we were in the presence of Jarvis Cocker. Awestruck I danced along, no longer thinking of the beads of sweat running through my red raw eyelids, instead revelling in the magic and majesty of this bizarre evening.

Inflatable lady

Inflatable lady

After a few more songs we were cleared off the dancefloor to make way for the first of many acts, this was a troop of rubber clad dancers with oversized, inflatable instruments dancing to cutting edge electro. The night continued and the mask came off lest I pass out, a bottle of chilled pink wine worked its spell and we saw the night to its messy conclusion.

Matthew Glammore

Matthew Glammore

We chatted to all manner of folk in the smoking area, Sister Meatwad touting The Swim to anyone with space for a DVD on their person. The sword came into its element and became communal, everyone succumbing to its piratey charm. We must have put it down somewhere at some point to dance and it simply vanished. After the music died we swaggered outside for a cab. “We lost the sword” I lamented in the taxi, “it’s not about the sword” replied Michelle. And it wasn’t.

As an extra treat, here’s the video we did from that evening

and also this…

Ok, probably best we didn't find the sword after all.

Ok, probably best we didn’t find the sword after all.

Part 2 of our Comic-Con Friday. Venture Bros fever, Titmouse party and yet more yummy grub….

adultswimcentral.com's John J Galbo and Michelle wide eyed at the Titmouse party

adultswimcentral.com’s John J Galbo and Michelle wide eyed at the Titmouse party

It was nearly time for the Venture panel so we rested our tired feet and had a quick bite to eat at the food court which consisted mainly of expensive crisps and trail mix. It was apparent – after nearly choking at food prices – that we were unprepared for life at the Con. Tomorrow we would brink snacks and plenty of drinks to sustain ourselves and our wallets.  

Huge snaking queue for the Venture Bros panel

Huge snaking queue for the Venture Bros panel

We headed to the IGN theatre for the Venture panel, crossing through what felt like a huge aircraft hangar before we got to the entrance. The queue was massive and it’s a good job we got there an hour early otherwise we wouldn’t have got in. After an arduous wait, eventually we shuffled through and settled into our seats to watch the Venture team put on one hell of a show. Forgoing the traditional convention formula of one massive desk, they opted for a 70’s chat show theme entitled “Let’s All Smoking” where they smoked electronic cigarettes and drank that notorious granny diet grapefruit drink, ‘Fresca’. The crowd whooped as they brought on guests Mike Sinterniklaas, who plays Dean, and Paul Boocock (great name) who plays Jonas Venture Senior and we eagerly awaited the new clips. It’s been forever since the Season 4 finale in 2011. During that time, all the scheming that led to us being at Javits watching this panel had happened. We’d befriended Chris McCulloch (Jackson Publick) a year before at Pulp’s Hyde Park gig in London. Seeing him again on stage doing his Venture thing was surreal. The clips came, we got a sneak peek of the Halloween special and a hastily thrown together cut of what’s coming up in Season 5. The rough snippets of new Venture Brothers they showed us were not enough to give anything away but just enough to make us yelp a little, then it was time for the Q&A. Doc and Jackson answered questions with their typical flair, oozing sublime nerd coolness from every pore. It’s rare to find creators who are as entertaining as their shows and these guys are masters of giving the fans what they want (besides more episodes, more often that is… You can’t rush quality)

Pretty bad photo of the Venture panel

Pretty bad photo of the Venture panel

 For many fans in the room that was the end of it but not for us. A quick coffee and a sprint across to the backstage press area and we were in interview land, a series of temporary rooms separated by huge curtains at the back of the aircraft hangar waiting area we’d been waiting in earlier. We commandeered a table and waited patiently as Doc and Chris wandered around being interviewed by bloggers, journalists and other film crews. I seized this opportunity to Irish up everyone’s coffee with a bit of duty free from my hip flask belt buckle (never leave home without one).  John J was readying a small HD camera when Lou stepped in and offered to shoot the interview on our mega camera, this would give it that professional zing. Just before the shot, we got to have a little chat with Doc and Chris. I introduced myself to Doc Hammer for the first time in person. I don’t know if Chris had clued him into who we were or if he genuinely recognised me but he shook my hand and said “Hey you’re that British guy we did the Skype interview with that time”.  I can’t imagine that 1am Skype interviews with unknown British bloggers are a regular event at the Astro Base, but all the same I was working hard to suppress my inner fanboy at this acknowledgement.  

John J, Doc Hammer, Jackson Publick and the lovely folks from Adult Swim

John J, Doc Hammer, Jackson Publick and the lovely folks from Adult Swim

Before we knew it, it was interview time. John J nailed it, of course. It was great seeing him work and he bounced confidently from question to question. Interview over and Friday was fading fast. After making a proper mess in the press area we skulked out to catch the Titmouse panel. 

 The panel had already started by the time we got in, it was comprised of the movers and shakers of Titmouse New York and LA and they were showing clips from the huge catalogue of work they do from Motor City to Metalocalypse, Superjail! and more.  Jon Schnepp entered part way through, having been over at the Grimm panel. He had changed into a skeleton onesie, which looked very impressive on a man of his build. He proudly showed us a clip from Grimm Animated (and I got to see where the $40 I’d contributed to the Kickstarter had gone).  After the questions, I looked over to see that Chris had joined the room. Apparently he was going to the Titmouse party too (well he does have an office there). It turns out the party was being hosted in his girlfriend’s garage, double win! Next to Chris stood a nicely dressed older gentleman, “have you met Keith yet?” asks Chris. “Keith… Keith…” I think to myself… KEITH! As in KEITH… FUCKING… CROFFORD! We are not worthy! This guy’s name appears on the end of virtually every adult swim show I’ve ever loved, second only to Lazzo himself; he’s someone who gets stuff done. We mention our film, of course he can’t comment but he wishes us luck. That’s enough for me. 

As we leave the room, Chris beckons me to go for a smoke with him and Schnepp. Chris was accosted by a polite but persistent fan, talking about how he’s trying to get into the business. Chris goes to work, nodding politely, chatting away, aware that this guy is going nowhere fast. A full 15 minutes later we actually get outside and the guy’s going full-on Columbo on him “oh, there’s just one more thing…” Eventually he leaves, grinning all the way home no doubt, leaving us to have a cig together and chat. Chris asks about my shitty job and we talk about the fact I post tons of photos of food. He checks my Facebook, apparently.  

Titmouse party - Brooklyn

Titmouse party – Brooklyn

A little while later we catch up with Lou, Michelle and John J and head over to Brooklyn for the Titmouse party. Now when Chris said the party was in a garage I thought it’d be like a UK garage, you know, attached to a house. Nope, this was four bare walls and a massive shutter door guarded by a couple of bouncers. It was starting to get a bit chilly by now but the swell of people in the room and the free alcohol was enough to get us through. A DJ played a decent mix of rock and indie tunes for that room full of lucky creators, actors and animators although nobody danced. “Nobody dances in New York” Lou exclaimed. Well I do… but I decided not to on this occasion lest I look like a tit.

By 1pm we were cold and tipsy enough to leave, so we sloped off to get some grub.  We headed up the road, the cold really biting now, to a quaint little diner just like you see in the films. One look at the menu reminded me how little I’d actually eaten since breakfast, so whilst everyone else was quite modest in their food selection I went for a pizza burger which came with a humungous pickle… and a White Russian on the side. 

I am a glutton. I'm a sucker for greasy, delicious stuff with stuff on it...

I am a glutton. I’m a sucker for greasy, delicious stuff with stuff on it…

Full and a bit warmer we headed to the subway to catch the L train back to the East Village. Some clever GPS trickery got us home eventually but only after going the wrong way for a bit, I also couldn’t fight my bladder any longer and offloaded into a bush in the middle of the East Village much to the disappointment of Michelle. (insert comment about working with monkeys here – Michelle)

Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer

Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer

This is possibly my most favourite interview I have ever done. It happened at the tail end of 2010 when I was still writing for adultswim.co.uk (sadly deceased). Venture Brothers Season 4 was coming to an end and we were all anxiously waiting to see what the finale would bring.

My brief was to do a profile piece on Doc and Jackson for my ‘Gritty Guides to..’ blog but I went one step further and through the magic of Facebook and a lot of luck I managed to secure a late night Skype interview with the Venture Brothers creators live from the Astrobase. It manifested itself as a video chat over Skype at 1am and I managed to snag the audio. When this was put on the blog it was in the form of a painfully transcribed two part piece, but now you get to hear the whole thing in its entirety. A full hour of Venture loveliness and off-topic babbling with two of the most entertaining people I’ve ever had the pleasure to interview.

This was really a catalyst for what was to come. On the back of this interview we met up with Jackson Publick in London where we saw Pulp in Hyde Park together and from there the idea of this film grew and blossomed into what it is today (thanks mainly to some genius levels of dealings and schemings by Michelle).

Enjoy!