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“Born In The Basement” by Rat Skates

Artist: Rat Skates
Title: “Born In The Basement”
Label: Kundrat Productions
Release Date: 5/12/2007
Genre: Documentary
Rating: 4/5

Drummer Rat Skates founded Overkill in the early 1980’s just as the Disco movement was waning and the NWOBHM was becoming a rising force in music across the pond. The Thrash Metal scene that this inspired would be a mixture of these teachings from the UK and the Hardcore Punk scene that was going strong in the States. The DVD film “Born In The Basement” is the story of how it began for Skates during these formative Metal years and it takes you on a very interesting and educational journey from the musician’s perspective. Skates himself came from the Punk background and it was his creative visions and determination that would forge the beginnings of one of the most influential bands in Thrash Metal history. The film should prove quite the learning experience for any performer who seeks to jump into the fray that is called the Music Business. So many people are focused on the likes of American Idol type competitions and having Internet resources such as MySpace, and Friendster to help them along to “success” that none realize the exact amount of work that actually goes into it and how hard you truly need to work. Throughout the DVD Skates is interviewed and his commentary and demeanor are very candid, and above all honest. He lines out how they would stay awake entire weekends when they were not playing to make their own T-shirts, and demo tapes. Tape Trading was a big deal and it seemed like the bands didn’t mind back then since this was helping get the word around and to the most people possible. Since there was no record deal in the beginning for the guys, the copying and passing around of these tapes and selling five dollar homemade shirts would help make the band more popular than many of their peers of the day.
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