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My Kind of Weird Episode 2 – Memento vs Wandavision

My Kind of Weird Podcast Memento vs Wandavision

Table of Contents

My Kind of Weird Podcast Episode 2

with guest: Aaron Sammut (Maurice and the Metal)

My Kind of Weird is a Podcast where two people swap and pitch three kinds of media: something watchable, something readable and something listenable – to see if each person says at the end of the podcast “That’s My Kind of Weird.”

Joining host Anthony Pollock on this episode is comic book writer Aaron Sammut (Maurice and the Metal), in which Christopher Nolan’s strange long-term memory loss film, Memento, takes on Marvel’s Wandavision. Then BOOM! Studios’ King of Nowhere takes on the aptly named Garth Ennis A Walk Through Hell mini-series. Before the episode finally finishes up with way too many syllables as These Arms Are Snakes album “Oxeneers or The Lion Sleeps When Its Antelope Go Home” takes on Maserati’s “Inventions for the New Season.”

Released:

February 11th, 2021

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Listen to Last Week’s Episode


Transcription

Anthony Pollock: Now Aaron presents your something watchable.

Aaron Sammut: It’s a show this has come out of Disney plus, and it’s more about just talking about it because the show has finished on of course, obviously, I’m talking about Wandavision.

Anthony Pollock: Okay. Yep.

Aaron Sammut: Just because it seems like such a weird thing for Marvel and Disney to do with two lovable characters from the Avengers and like where you think the plots going Whether or not you’re happy with what you’ve seen so far, and just what you make of the show

Anthony Pollock: Well, the funny thing is, I actually haven’t seen it yet so I can only really talk for what I’m saying and read and sort of trailers and whatnot. But from what I can see, it looks the looks like the right type of work, you know, It looks like they’re going to build up to a the event which was the house of them, which is basically where wonder recreated the world from the ground up and did the whole no more mutants thing, but so far, it looks like a whole bunch of fun. What was your take with the first episode?

Wandavision (TV Series)

My Kind of Weird: Wandavision
My Kind of Weird: Wandavision

Aaron Sammut: The first episode just made me really nostalgic for like a 50s sitcom. Like the, “I Dream of Jeannie” and they were doing that so well. Just seeing Paul Bettany in that kind of role as the Dick Van Dyke esque character, they’ve done it so amazingly, they put a little bit of intrigue in there, and I’m sure there are some Easter eggs that comic fans are going nuts for. But yeah, it just made me nostalgic for that kind of show. Rather than, you know, what are we watching? Is it a dream? Is it a simulation? Is it a prison that they’re in? It’s just really strange. And I can’t get over the fact that they’re doing that to these characters, but it’s linking up to, like a bigger world and a world that is ,wonder like,  she’s built herself, then that that sounds okay. Because there’s gonna be a plot twist, there’s going to be a twist for sure. And what is it? Am I going to be okay with it? Or am I going to be disappointed? And I think that’s an exciting show to watch.

Anthony Pollock: Yeah. I specifically like how they seem to be leaning more into the aspects of a character that the comic books have always sort of triumphed so her being able to control the laws of probability seems to be something they’re leaning into. Am I correct or not?

Aaron Sammut: Yeah, yeah, you are. Because, like, visions role in this is kind of secondary as far as like superhero abilities go, because he seems like he’s lost. Even in some sets, you know, it’s a much more fun version of vision and wonder, at some points of the episode, she’s looking around and know something’s wrong, but she can’t think that and then they cut away to like an end sequence and not to give away any spoilers. But yeah, they’re definitely building up. And what they’re doing in the show, though, is the first two episodes with the 50’s vibe, the black and white, and then the third episodes of color. So it’s like we’re getting into the 60s type of sitcom. And then I imagine the next couple of episodes might go to the 70s and I imagined that this is how wanderer imagined her perfect life would be when she was growing up, her parents starting out. But yeah, just to see a bit of humor from vision as well because he’s always been such a stoic, no nonsense character. And I think that humor is something that the Marvel, the MCU do really well and it’s good to see them doing it with this character. It’s interesting. It’s been a great show.

Anthony Pollock: It’s interesting to see how they got the woman that plays the mum in that 70 show, does she play a primary part? Or is she just sort of a secondary character or what’s her role in?

Aaron Sammut: She’s a secondary character. But when she was in the show, you know, she was acting as if she was acting in a show. You know, her acting was so bad that she was kind of breaking that wall. And, you know, though, we’re looking at the camera that we’re looking at the characters, and there was silence and it was really awkward. Like, I can’t get over how Disney’s doing this or letting this happen. And it just the backlash on the internet like the people complaining that it’s in black on white.

Yeah, I think most of the trailer apart from the flash of the marvel logo, that’s all we get, is a nice bit of red. Yeah. But um, yeah, I love how the internet just goes, you know, I’m not upset about this, , I want to tell somebody, but like, I’m loving everything I’m seeing on the show, much more than I thought I would, because I just didn’t know what to make of the trailer. And I think that level of intrigue is always good when you’re starting out to work.

Anthony Pollock: When I saw the trailer, I kind of got a bit nostalgic because the trailer plays around with the aspect ratio. So for those playing at home that aren’t really familiar with that terminology so the widescreen that we enjoy today that sort of the narrower sort of ratio or aspect ratio of what we used to enjoy way back in the day with before digital TVs. So does that continue on through the show?

Aaron Sammut: It does, I think the start of the first episode, they were having that almost like it’s almost a square, but then it does fill out but you’re not really sure of it happening. Like they do it suddenly and I kind of want my house to look like wonders and it’s just amazing.

Anthony Pollock: Yeah, yeah.

Aaron Sammut: And not the tacky version of the 60s or the 50s but yeah, and she’s doing things in there that her character or her superior superhero abilities. She’s doing stuff that she can’t do outside of this, fake world. Some of them so hokey, like a joke where she’s overcooked to the turkey for this dinner and she uses her hands as a rewind, and then it turn into a bunch of eggs. So it’s such a hokey 50s joke, but I don’t know why it’s working.

Anthony Pollock: Gotcha.

Aaron Sammut: But you’ll have to give it a watch. And we’ll connect on email later on. And I’ll see what you think with it.

Memento (Film)

My Kind of Weird: Memento
My Kind of Weird: Memento

Anthony Pollock: My something watchable is Memento which is a movie that spends a lot of time I guess playing with the idea of short term memory loss. I think its short term memory loss. I always get the two mixed up but its stars this guy that basically he can’t remember anything for more than a day. I believe it is.

Aaron Sammut: And I did watch the film. Its 15 minutes.

Anthony Pollock: Its 15 minutes, so he tattoos everything on his body. And because he can’t remember anything sort of beyond those 15 minutes, he is sort of trying to a bit by bit try and figure out sort of the mystery behind what actually happened to him. I believe who his wife is, and then also others sort of, which seem to be nefarious individuals in the in the film itself. It’s a little strange how there’s random matrix actors throughout the film. If I remember correctly, the guy I can’t remember his name. But the one who betray or at least tries to betray the matrix crew on the Nebuchadnezzar in the first film, he’s in it for some reason. I think it might be. Is that cipher or something like that?

Anthony Pollock: Yeah. Yeah. Which is sort of the on again and off again, girlfriend in this as well, I would say check this out for anyone who’s sort of into i guess what the fuck when it comes to stories and scripts and just playing around with different sorts of ideas to sort of sum up my pitch for this for anyone to check out momento, I lent it to an old roommate of mine prior to getting married, and he returned it. When I was away, I came back and went into my room. And the DVD was sitting there with this little slip in the case saying, this is fucked up. So I don’t know, any other better way than to sum up this

Aaron Sammut: Yeah, I did rewatch it. I probably watched it about 16 year’s ago. Like it’s a Christopher Nolan movie, I think it’s his first major, and it’s still an indie. He did it on a shoestring budget. I think it’s an amazing film, because it is chopped in half. Half of it is in black and white. That’s in the past, and his future is kind of there reconnecting. But I watched it 16 years ago. And I know like I was familiar with like film techniques. But Christopher Nolan what he does in this film, sets out like the idea of memories being something that can fade. And the start of the movie starts with the character taking a photo on a Polaroid and then shaking it. But it goes reverse. So the photos there and it slowly disappears. And he uses that as a metaphor for the idea of memories fading. And there’s this great sequence in the film where the color storyline is catching up with the black and white storyline. And it happens that way with those Polaroid where he’s shaking it and the color comes out and then all of a sudden, you’re watching the color version like the past is caught up with his future and such a strange movie like you don’t know who to root for. I don’t know who the protagonist was. The antagonist was it’s it is a confusing film. But once you sit with it and go, okay, you do have to focus. You do have to imagine what it would be like to have short term memory loss. I think it’s an amazing movie. It’s amazing film.

Anthony Pollock: Yeah, I did, too. I mean, if anything, it just goes to speak to Christopher Nolan’s talent, because he also wrote the screenplay for it.. The fact that it is considered a major film is just complete bonkers and really just sort of blurs the line between what is considered a major film, and I guess what is a indie film? I think it was just really just an indie film, but it had like, major data.

Aaron Sammut: It’s crazy. But so good, everybody should watch it. Or like, if you think you’re a film buff, and you want to, like, just watch a movie, that’s kind of Christopher Nolan based movies on like a film technique, and then starts forward. You know, like, Inception feels like that would have been a cool idea and then make a story around it.

Anthony Pollock: Yeah.  I mean, if you’re not going to watch it for that, then it’s great to sort of watch just to see sort of the smorgasbord of random actors sort of thrown in the mix. I mean, I’ve got sort of Georgia foxes in it that plays Leonard’s wife who, that’s the guy that Guy Pearce plays, by the way guy Pierce’s in it. Georgia Fox was in I believe it was CSI at this lesson, the first couple of seasons. I mean, you’ve got Mark Byrne Jr, who plays the sort of crooked cop at the in Batman Begins. I mean, it just goes on forever. There’s just so many faces that you’ll recognize so that that is my pitch.

Aaron Sammut: Guy Pearce is an amazing actor in this and I don’t know why he wasn’t the next big actor to come out of Australia. Like he did a couple of movies, but he decided he deserved a lot more than what he got.

Anthony Pollock: Yeah, I feel like the two kinds of main actors that really just get shafted when it comes to any kind of accolades is definitely guy Pierce and probably Naomi Watts is the other one.

Aaron Sammut: So yeah, I think so.

Anthony Pollock: Yeah it’s strange. Yeah. So that’s something watchable. What is your something readable Aaron?

A Walk Through Hell (Comic Book)

My Kind of Weird: A Walk Through Hell
My Kind of Weird: A Walk Through Hell

Aaron Sammut: I went with Garth Ennis’ A Walk Through Hell.

Anthony Pollock: Yeah.

Aaron Sammut: There’s a warehouse that this two FBI agents have walked into and they haven’t come out. A SWAT team goes into to get them and they come out in five minutes, you know, terrified look on their face, and they commit suicide in the back of the SWAT van. And there’s two other FBI agents are brought in to try and investigate what’s going on. And when they do walk through the back jacket of the book says so these two FBI agents walk into a warehouse. And it sounds like this thought of a really, really corny joke. But inside this warehouse is kind of a walkway or a portal to hell. And it just gets crazier and crazier the more nightmarish things that they have to see before they’re faced with the antagonist of the story. I love Garth Ennis, his work. You know, you can tell that this guy does his research when he’s writing a story rather than just plotting out a whole bunch of cool stuff to show somebody and then writing a story around it,his dialogues witty, the dialogue snappy as well, which I really like. And each character sounds like they’ve got their own voice and you could get lost in reading it because there’s a lot of FBI agents and they all dress the same. They’ve all got the same stern faces and stern names and but yeah, there was some like horrific scenes in the in the in the comic and to not get scared while you’re reading the comic, but just to have that fear that  is it perdition? You know, that place between heaven And hell? Is that what it’s called?

Anthony Pollock: Yeah, you mean sort of like, it’s not really perdition, such as kind of like, as an airport.

Aaron Sammut: Yeah. Anyway, this is what this kind of world they’ve walked into is and slowly it reveals that one of the latest cases has come back to haunt them. So I don’t want to give anything else away about the story. But there’s just some crazy messed up scenes in this book where you go at this no normal human should be thinking about this and the fact that Garth is we don’t have to do now And it’s kind of got an FBI vibe about it, or Nina expos vibe about it as well. Just with the male and female character. But yeah, sort of modern scholars sort of. Yeah. And they’re, even though they’re seeing this horrific stuff, they’re still trying to keep a straight face, you know, trying to keep their wits about them. I mean, there is a sequence where they wake up after being unconscious for how long in this warehouse, and they just for some reason, take their pulse, and they can’t find a pulse. And the guy starts growing a beard. They don’t know how long they’ve been in there for. Yeah, it’s crazy, really good comic really good series.

Anthony Pollock: I think it’s interesting how with almost all of Garth Dennis’s work, it’s always either a commentary on sort of the culture of where we’re at, or it’s set against a backdrop of something sort of more sinister. It’s interesting I’ve only read the first issue, but, um, it’s interesting how at the start of that first Israel issue is clearly using as a backdrop of, you know, who ex president inciting sort of, you know, sort of racial, war between, you know, different sides, the left and the right, arguments, you know, can’t trying to militarize his followers, you know, whether, even though he was unsuccessful. So, it’s interesting how that is used as sort of a sort of not really a metaphor, but to sort of make a point that the world is quite screwed up right now. This is something that’s going to take it to the next level.  I mean, if that’s not enough for you the fact that that you know, a baby basically gets shot in the face in the sort of the second or third page should really say that this is something different.

Aaron Sammut: Yeah, I mean, you don’t get the kookiness, the kind of off the wall vibe that you get with the preacher or but it’s quintessential Garth like you’re not going to misplace his dialogue and the structure of the story in this comic book.

But it does mess you up as much as what being a reading the preacher does as well. And you know, the fact that he could do that with you know, panel to panel story like this, I mean, you know, the illustrator Goron I think he’d worked with him in the past as well. Yeah, just the whole books great from start to finish.

Anthony Pollock: Now, we don’t usually use this as sort of like, an opportunity to sort of sing the praises, but now good is Aftershock Comics, though, really, like just all of this stuff, and don’t think I’ve really come across anything that I had anything bad.

Aaron Sammut: Yeah, but today, they keep in the same vibe as well. Like, you’re not gonna get it in a kid’s book Or something fluffy from an aftershock. Like everything in their roster is kind of this level.

Anthony Pollock: Yeah, well, I think a lot of their crew, and I guess their writers acts like image x, Marvel x de se, haven’t really, you know, gone that sort of far right? Comic skate routes, they’ve gone more the sorts of way just want to write, you know, sort of gritty, adult comic books. So and I guess, a lot of them just deal with more of complex stuff. There’s more things to this sort of the material. So I think that’s a good segue into my something readable, so mine is king of nowhere issue one, which is out through boom studios now, King of nowhere. How should I put this,  it’s a story about this sort of, for lack of a better term, this alcoholic douche bag, who is on a bender, and ends up in this town, which seems to be populated by anthropomorphic sort of creatures and things like that.

King of Nowhere (Comic Book)

My Kind of Weird: King of Nowhere
My Kind of Weird: King of Nowhere

As the story progresses into the other issues, you find out that this town and you sort of from the start, you kind of feel like oh, okay, this is like a, you know , the last town on the earth after sort of almost like an apocalyptic kind of thing that’s just happen. But it’s not like that, at all. Turns out that the town is actually one big government experiments that just so you know, sort of dumping chemicals and all that type of stuff and the anthropomorphic creatures that is saying are in fact, it’s not anthropomorphism at all, it’s just, you know, people have mutated that way. . And there’s also murders that are starting to happen around this sort of this odd looking town. And we find out that the murders are from an assassin who’s been hired by I guess, the military to get rid of this guy, who is the protagonist who’s woken up after a, you know, a weekend long Bender, in this town. So it’s quite interesting in the way that how it sort of blends different types of oddities with sort of American culture, there’s very much a feeling in sort of the lighter issues that it’s almost like a sort of a westerns, kind of sage Allah, sort of Walker, Texas Ranger or something like that, trying to, you know, stand up for the town and all those sorts of things.

But the most interesting part about the story is that there’s this narrative of the protagonist, he’s quite sort of damaged as an individual, he’s an alcoholic. He’s got addictions. And he’s given this opportunity to sort of go back to his family. And he doesn’t, because he knows that to do so would just put them in harm’s way and damage them because he just can’t let go of his issues. So it’s all sorts of interesting like that. If you want to read a comic book that has sort of traditional looking panels, you’re not going to get that in this. In fact, it fails on certain pages, like it’s kind of just like a big canvas of just kind of weird imagery.

Aaron Sammut: So that’s what I liked about the story the most was the panels, the illustration of themselves, they’re almost like a sketch, with really thick black scratchy black ink, but then watercolor all over the page, if you didn’t see the cover as well, but I think that really lends itself to the first couple of pages where the character doesn’t know whether or not he’s in a bad trip or a dream. And he’s kind of going along with it even though there’s characters with, you know, eight arms and a seven head bartender was the weirdest one just because his whole face had been flipped upside down because he was looking at it like this is completely normal. And I kind of liked that part of the story where I didn’t know how he got the why he’s not freaking out more. But like you say, he is messed up, he’s got a lot of mental issues and for him to become completely comfortable with this kind of thing going on. He’s obviously got some deep shit, you know, things in his past and, and the way they’re revealed that bit by bit it’s intriguing. It’s great. It’s a really great comic, thanks for recommending that.

Anthony Pollock: No worries. And I think when you spoke about the discussion with the bartender who was an upside down face. That’s probably the best silver discussion in the entire series.  He’s got an upside down face. And he’s saying to the guys just kind of like you need to sort out your problems

Aaron Sammut: When a bartender with an upside down is telling you that you know, you’ve got issues. But yeah, even though he thought he was in a dream, he still helped out that guy he becomes friends with. So I think even though this character is completely flawed, there’s some ray of hope. And I read through the whole series. And like, you did start, like you hate this character in the first couple of comics, the first couple of issues, and then, you know, you can see why he is the way he is. But one thing I liked about the comic as well is there were like, big sprawling panels in some pages where you got to see the townspeople, and they’re all beautiful but they all look like they just getting on with it. You know, they’re not upset. They’re just kind of living their life. . And there’s a married couple in there. A bird is married to a fish.

Anthony Pollock: Sure, why not? We live in the age of bojack horseman. So I mean, at this point, I don’t think that, kind of, which is speaks volumes for the body of work. It’s kind of that juxtaposition of complete, sort of odd kind of absurdism. I’m sorry against sort of just a story about this guy that’s really trying to find himself.

Aaron Sammut: Yeah. Yeah. And it’s kind of like, if you were to put it into like a caption, it would be like an Alice in Wonderland type. This character is just falling down the rabbit hole.

Anthony Pollock: Yeah, definitely

Aaron Sammut: It was really good, really great.

Anthony Pollock: So Aaron, let’s move on to your something listenable.

Inventions for the New Season by Maserati (Album)

My Kind of Weird: Inventions for the New Season by Maserati
My Kind of Weird: Inventions for the New Season by Maserati

Aaron Sammut: The band is Maserati. And the album is Inventions for the New Season. They are an American band. They do post rock, but all instrumental and the reason why I got back into it after, I probably would have listened to this, you know, mid 2000s. The album came out 2007. So around then and just loved every minute of it. And it recently comes back in my playlist, and I forgot how great the song was.

The inventions the first track off this album. I love music that like takes me to a different place. And I get to see like a, like a visual of what the music would feel like. And if you get to see them play live on YouTube. I don’t think they’re actually touring anymore, obviously. But yet spacey echoes the feedback. In the mid 2000s, there are a lot of bands doing poly rock.

Anthony Pollock: Yep.

Aaron Sammut: Where it was all math’s based. And all the riffs were intertwined, but separate and it’s really great. It’s the song whenever I start like a really massive road trip. I’ll put inventions on by Maserati, and it’s got the drums just thumping the hallway and the guitars just loops and echo is feedback.

If it was a bad trip, it would be like the bad 80s outranked by the bots type trip., it’s something else and I played it for my eight year old son and now he loves it as well. I don’t know where the boundary is for, you know, you can like anything you can just give this a go. It pumps you up for work as well. That’s what I like about these trucks. Did you ever listen to it Anthony?

Anthony Pollock:  I did. Is kind of sounds like ISIS. I’m talking about the band, ISIS, not the terrorist organization. I kind of live by that kind of mantra of think about the band that you’ve listened to and think about the name of the band and maybe think about whether you should wear that T shirt or not, and I feel like ISIS is one of those bands where you shouldn’t wear that T shirt out in public.

Aaron Sammut: Yeah.

Anthony Pollock: So Isis this a very sort of sludge meets post rock meets atmospheric meets

No, and then sort of goes into several different movements. I wonder if, in sort of 300-400 years if history will go back and look at bands like this and ISIS and then look at them with the same sort of reverence that we do for like Beethoven. And, you know, in all those types of composers, because it’s four or five people composing something, it’s not exactly a song. I mean, you could argue that the track is the, the vocal part of it is being played by,  an instrument of some description, but it definitely feels like a composition more than sort of, a four minute track exam. And you won’t find a four minute track on this album.

Aaron Sammut: Yeah, they experimented with the sounds and I kind of do tend to go away from music that sounds like this, it’s a little bit, you know, self absorbed and, you know, you’re just at one point, just making sounds, but even though there’s no lyrics, there’s, there’s a build and a lift, there’s a drop. So you do get that vibe after you listen to it. It’s a definitely, like, you have to listen to it three times before you go. I love this bit. I love that bit. And just the drummer or just, he’s just amazing. It’s a shame that he did pass away in 2009.

Anthony Pollock: That’s some shame. Yeah. Especially considering you can tell with the music. It’s very sort of delay, like into hard delay driven as well. So yeah, that’s a shame. Yeah.

Aaron Sammut: You know, just the fact that I never got to see them live. Just to hear just the echo that guitar, you really need to hear it, like a book, whatever. You do it on a podcast, but yeah, it might hear it. And it’s definitely one of those ones I listened to while in the car but also on headphones. You know no other sound around me at all crank that up.

Oxeneers or the Lion Sleeps when its Antelope Go Home by These Arms Are Snakes

My Kind of Weird: Oxeneers or the Lion Sleeps when its Antelope go Home by These Arms Are Snakes
My Kind of Weird: Oxeneers or the Lion Sleeps when its Antelope go Home by These Arms Are Snakes

Anthony Pollock: Yeah, so my something listenable is by a band called phase arms or snakes and the album title and you know, listeners at home may want to write this down Oxeneers or the lion sleeps when Its Antelope Go Home.

So, I think they get points just for inventive sort of album names. Now in terms of this band, I saw them funnily enough with ISIS. Now, ISIS, like I said, very much that kind of sludge makes Ambient mates kind of sort of sounds cape post rock metal, this band is the exact opposite, for people at home listening to this, if you are familiar with sort of your math, rock history, then you’ll remember a band by the name of brcth. That’s the name, So brcth, were pretty much sort of one of the very first American sort of hardcore bands that flooded with math rock, there are a definite influence on Dillinger Escape Plan for those and Dillinger is probably the, the sort of the shining example of anything that sort of math metal.

The base is responsible for a lot of the sort of math the kind of riffs in brctch’s earlier albums is the same basis in these arms are snacks. So this band is kind of punk rock mates, sort of that math rock kind of vibe with a little bit of I would dare say grunge elements  mixed with just organic sort of pump organs and all those sorts of things. I mean, it kind of sounds like if Nirvana we’re going to create a math album probably sound a little bit like this because and it’s just a constant.

I saw these guys live and it’s a bit like a sort of an assault on your senses because there’s so much happening in every part of the every part of the album, but very tight, very rehearsed but still has that sort of that feeling of not being overly produced.

Aaron Sammut: Yet even on a studio album or on stage?

Anthony Pollock: Both onstage it was just out of utter mayhem you’d have the singer just jumping from I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the metro Theatre in Sydney, but it’s sort of like you kind of 2000 capacity indoor venues so pretty intimate. Be like jumping from a stage smashing bottles cutting his arms, you know, drinking out of broken bottle. All the while the band in the background is just so tight and ust throwing themselves around as well.

Yeah, yeah, pretty much.

Aaron Sammut: Yeah. The bass player or the bass in particular was interesting for me on this one, because there was so many weird instrumentations here where there was an effect on that started most of the songs and it felt like it was on the bass, you know, more often for these songs.

Anthony Pollock: So in the sort of the organ bits, you hear the bassist plays that stuff live some sort of the alternates between the tubes

Aaron Sammut: Yeah, it seems like that, you know, I can’t really comment on where they were when they were writing it, but coming up with that to build like the base of the song. And then on top of it, you know, you’ve got your lyrics, but to start off every song with an interesting bass sound, because a lot of it was not just a straight bass noise. It was, augmented it was you know, high pitched squeals sometimes.

But yeah, some great stuff this band reminded me of, because I had never heard of them, but never heard them back. Yep. The punk elements made me remote. Remind me of the band less savvy five. Okay. And just the same space, he kind of arrangements as well, but the other chaos. And then when they were at their tightest and most experimented, I’ve got like an ad the driving vibe as well.

Anthony Pollock: Yeah. It’s a little bit relationship of commandish.

Aaron Sammut: Yeah, when they are full chaos and screaming and like, yes, because there was some talking vocals, they will some, I’m pissed off vocals, I’m seeing vocals, there is that chaos, which I can understand because if I play a guitar, I need to be focused. And still, that the fact that these guys are throwing themselves around, unless 75 was the same style as well. I remember watching them at a very small venue in Brisbane. And I was a photographer for a music magazine at the time.

And he walked all the way through the crowd and jumped up on the pool table that was at the back of the room and was just singing from there. I mean, these bands like and you can hear that kind of chaos in the studio album. I don’t know how they do it. I don’t really know how they do. I don’t know how you can post something that complex or that layered? But yeah, it was great stuff. Thanks for that recommendation as well.

Anthony Pollock: That’s right. I just kind of feel like if you’re gonna write anything with a punk rock aspect to it, it needs to walk like this live. And it needs to sound like this as an album. It needs to be just utter mayhem. It can’t just be you know the same sort of chord progression in every single offspring.

Aaron Sammut: Yeah. And I just like that about the mid 2000s. That those some really great experimentation on guitars. And I think we’ve kind of lost that at the moment. There are some bands out there that are doing it. But yeah, just that mid 2000 was like a breeding ground for some great stuff. And I think when a band or a piece of music is that complex, what it does is it separates out the wheat from the chaff. You know what I mean? Like you don’t understand it, or if you can’t sit time with this, then you’re not going to get it but if you do sit with this, and maybe give it that second or third listen, there are like some really complex rhythms in there. And you do start to see that you get rewarded for the time you put in for it.

Anthony Pollock: Yeah excellent All right, let’s do the third x. Now in terms of your something watch more I would say that definitely is my kind of weird obviously I haven’t seen any of the one division episodes yet but that’s something I’m definitely going to check out in terms of my something watchable. What did you think of momento? Is that you’re kind of weird.

Aaron Sammut: That is my kind of weird. Definitely, just the amount of risk they took with the storytelling, making it that complex but then still conducive, like Christopher Nolan’s a talent both behind a camera and you know with a pen is fantastic.

Anthony Pollock: Okay. In terms of something readable. I would definitely say that, A walk through hell by Garth Ennis is my kind of weird I’m a big fan of like I said w, his cultural commentary is I guess the extremes that he goes to with his storytelling, just kind of my amount of extreme it’s interesting. He always sort of, , gets right to the tip the precipice of what is too much but never goes too far over. And yeah, that would that was definitely my kind of read. What did you think of King of nowhere? Is that your kind of weird?

Aaron Sammut: Yeah, definitely.  The build up to it the unknown, but it was the art style that really got me especially the coloring using watercolors story out like a dream, that’s a masterstroke really.

Anthony Pollock: And it always almost felt a little graffitiish in terms of when you’ve finished spraying the can and then you allow sort of that effect for the sort of the ink to run down. Sort of it felt like that as well.

Aaron Sammut: Yeah. Yeah, good stuff.

Anthony Pollock: Now, in terms of something listenable, I would definitely check out more of Maserati. I feel like this album is good. It’s definitely gonna be on my playlist for whenever I’m writing,  I don’t make the mistake of listening to something that has lyrics. So I listen to a lot of instrumental stuff. And this is something I’m definitely going to put in the playlist. As far as these arms or snakes album oxen is or the lions sleeps, when its antelope goes home, is that your kind of weird?

Aaron Sammut: This is the type of album where if I have a really bad day, I’ll you know, I’ll get home and either all correct metal or oil crank those kind of sound punk bands that have just level out. And even though I’ve only listened to it twice now, but yeah, as soon as you know, maybe on my 10th run through I’ll be singing the lyrics and guitar. It’s really great stuff. And if you want to add something else to your playlist even just to go and check out that that bad list 75 it’s really good one to check out. But yeah, definitely things opposite snakes. So one I’ll have on my playlist as well. That was a really weird, excellent really weird list that we put together.

Anthony Pollock: It’s only going to get weirder as each episode goes as so, we’re gonna go on a quick sponsor break. And when we come back, I’m going to have a bit of a chat with Aaron about his comic book series, Maurice and the Metal.

All right, Aaron. So tell listeners a bit about Maurice and the Metal,so it’s pretty much like a homage to sort of classic, heavy metal but it also has a little bit of a superhero aspect to it, does it?

Aaron Sammut: It does. It’s set in the Bay Area in 1985. So at the height of thrash metal, like a really small community of kids that was just bored.  They had to wait too long to get the metal from Europe and the UK. So they just started making it themselves. So the story follows his kid called Paul Reese, and he unwittingly discovers that he gets superhero strength whenever he listens to heavy metal  So  if the song gets heavier than he gets stronger, and his grip, every character I think needs are the Achilles heel is every other genre of music. So when he was the pop music, he gets weakened, disorientated, which, you know, in a house where his, as we all know what happens to all yeah, it’s this is a story of like living with my sister when I was 15. But the character goes through this journey, even in just the first two issues where he is robbed of one of the pieces of his drum kit. And then in the second issue, he has to go and track it down.  I tried to make the comic for comic people, but also for the metal crowd and for the greater music, because it is a story about that feeling that goes through you, when you just do listen to a song that kind of, Jacks you up and you go, you know, if you will go into the gym, you would listen to Simon and Garfunkel, you would listen to Slayer, you know, and for some reason, you know, you would perform better in the gym. And this story kind of came out of it was really organic, a couple of like, seven years ago, I was, I was on my way to work, and I didn’t know how I was going to get through the day, and metallic as Master of Puppets comes on. And all of a sudden, I’m like stomping that pavement getting to work. And before I even got to the front door of the office, I kind of said, you know, why not this is the fuel for a superhero and in that first day, I kind of come up with 80% of the story. Even just having that creative inspiration, and then the creative, you know, aftermath of it. That was that’s what really has inspired me to just stick with it and launch issue too. And we’ll start working on an issue three, but I tried to squeeze in as many of these jokes that the metal crowd will get. And then the jokes that the comic crowd gets, it’s hard not to work on a comic and reference the infinite number of other superheroes and to try and separate this one using metal as the theme. Yeah, it’s a lot of fun. A lot of fun and some of the best feedback that I’ve been getting from the book is because I’ve never done this before. And I just, you know, you’re constantly learning when you create your first comic, and the first one was 28 pages, and I just didn’t know how to squeeze in so many stories, make sure I get the relevant stuff in. But the good feedback that I’ve been getting is people want to know what happens next. And I’ll take that as, as a really good sign

Anthony Pollock: Obviously, the art you sort of opted more for a black and white, I guess well as the final product. Now tell us about the artist who was part of the project.

Aaron Sammut: The artist is Jesse ham. He’s a US based artist. He’s worked for Dark Horse and boom and done his own books as well. That kind of connection came through the studio that he’s part of, which is a collaboration of different illustrators called Helio scope in Portland. And I sent them an email about three years ago. And I said, you know, I like the list of artists you’ve got, and interested in these ones. And Jesse was the first one to get back to me out of about 20 pitches that I did to artists around the world. And interesting when he first sent me the, you know, people did get back to me and say, you know, I’m busy. I don’t have any time in my schedule. But when Jesse did get back to me, and he said, I need to see your script first because if this is your first comic, you might be like a nightmare client. You know what I mean? Like that kind of commission? Yeah.

Aaron Sammut: Yeah, yeah and also not giving enough information for the look of a panel or the flow of the story or just a bad story, I guess. But yeah, I passed that first test. Yeah, Jesse liked what I did, even though you know, he said he wasn’t a comic fan. And so we had, this back and forth on the character development, character design, sorry, and what the characters were going to look like. And that first moment that I got to see Maurice, as Jesse ham imagined it, you know, that I knew we were on a winner there. But yeah, his style is, I think it suits the time that the comic is set. It’s kind of like the old Archie’s really traditional form of comic books. There’s no big arms, big legs and, you know, those patches that the 90s artists were doing everywhere, no big guns and, you know, just trying to make it t just an easier comic to get into rather than the over the top. And I think the black and white does add like a grittiness to it not to you know, obviously Sin City style, but you know, Jesse had just did an amazing job on that. He helped me out through the process. It’s a great guy and a great Illustrator. You know, I often tell people that he’s probably drawn more comics than I’ve actually read. You know, he’s been doing it for that long. He’s, fantastic.

Anthony Pollock: So as we speak, you just last night did a launch for issue two. And the launch was at a metal Giga essentially.

Aaron Sammut: Sorry, it’s a venue called the netherworld. It’s like a barcade. So they’ve got, like, just a whole room full of old arcade games and, and pinball, it’s a fantastic venue.

Anthony Pollock: Can you speak to what you’ve learned about approaching a comic book now that you’re in your second? Well, past your second issue? And because you about how to promote a comic book by thinking outside the square, because I mean, I’ve, you know, I see a lot of comic book creators, I don’t see any of them doing anything different, but at least this is sort of breaking the mold a little bit, what have you learnt? And how would you what is your experience there?

Aaron Sammut: Say, I am a graphic designer, and I predominantly do like marketing, most of my working life. This was different, though. It’s a lot harder to break in, I think. And, you know, putting a post up on social media, and then paying Mark Zuckerberg for it is not the best way to do it. It’s the laziest way to do it. It’s the quickest way to get probably naysayers commenting back without, you know, having ever had to read the book. And it’s a shame that, you know, 2020 was such a, like I said, just a strange year. But like I had planned to do all the Comic Cons and tour around. And like, that’s what I was looking forward to just getting that face to face. But yeah, like then there are Face book groups to link up with. Like, you have to be really active. And I learnt that the most when I was doing like Kick starter to fund issue too. So, yeah, you’re expecting your message in a bottle, and you’re throwing it into an ocean full of messages in bottles, you do have to get proactive and connect with people even on a one to one basis. And, you know, you do have to serve all those other bases as well, you do have to post on social media regularly. You do have to have engaging content, you do have to know a little bit about the algorithm for Instagram and Face book. So they constantly changes as well. But getting advice from that from people who are in the note was really good as well. And even just to give you like a rundown like Instagram, they don’t count likes anymore. So a lot of heart on the picture is not counted as engagement. And apparently you need to have a comment that’s worth more than three words. So if somebody just writes Oh, nice, that’s Instagram gonna post something that’s getting engagement. Make sure that whenever somebody does comment on one of your posts, you comment back within 10 minutes, like it’s getting that crazy. But yeah, that face to face, it’s so much better because it’s looking at a JPEG of the cover of my comics, not the same as flicking through it. And I think that’s the reason why that prints never ever gonna die.

Anthony Pollock: Excellent,  So Aaron, where can people find you and your comic book online?

Aaron Sammut: Online is my website Maurice and the metal.com. But you put a dash in between every word, I made it as long as possible, like these arms, the snakes. Also, issue one, issue two are on comixology as well.

Anthony Pollock:  Excellent

Aaron Sammut: But yeah, face book, Instagram. You know, if somebody wants to reach out and tell me what they thought of the book, you know, tell me what if they need help with anything as well, because I’m here to help anybody who you know, is part of the indie comic scene.

Anthony Pollock: Excellent and that’s it for another episode of my kind of weird if you guys enjoyed my discussion with Aaron today, by all means head on over to Apple podcasts and give us a rating and review. It really helps us out by getting the message out there. So for my kind of weird, my name is Anthony. My guest has been Aaron. Aaron. Thanks so much for your time today.

Aaron Sammut: Thanks for the chat, Anthony.

Anthony Pollock: No worries. A lot of fun. See you guys later. Bye.

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