Interview: 5 Questions with Shaun Katz

TMS: So, tell us about your upcoming project Underground Inc? What inspired you to make a film about the music of the 90s (my favorite era of music ever)?
SK: It takes a look at the major labels scooping up all the alternative rock bands of the 90's in search of the next big thing. This happened when Nirvana became huge, and it really caused some of the best bands of the 90's to just get criminally ignored, since the major labels didn't support them and as a result the music buying public were just never aware of them.
I'm very excited about this film, because too many of these great bands have gone overlooked for too long, and it's time for them to get some recognition for some of their amazing music.

TMS: I grew up on a steady diet of Helmet, Fugazi, Afghan Whigs, Pixies and many other genre bending bands that defined that generation of music. What bands can I look forward to seeing in Underground Inc and will we see some interviews?
SK: I'm a big fan of all those mentioned bands and we will be giving them their moment in the sun, in this film definitely. Some of the other bands that we'll be talking about include bands such as Jawbox, Sponge, Clutch, Jesus Lizard, The Melvins, Sunny Day Real Estate and a lot of others, there were so many good bands from that period of the early to mid 90's, we'll have interviews with band members, definitely, as well as interviews with people like record producers to get the full picture of this period.
We've actually interviewed Peter Mengede from Helmet already (who was the co-founder of the band), since I had already worked with him several times before, with him doing music for my previous film and some other things too.
TMS: Tell us how you're trying to get this project funded and what people can do to help get this made? I think if the word spreads, there will be some definite interest. I know my musician friends would love seeing something like this.
SK: We're running a KICKSTARTER campaign currently and we have less than a month to get the film launched, so to get this film made all people need to do is contribute $5 or $10 and then get all their music loving friends to do the same, because it's vital for everyone to hear about this film and get involved.
For higher pledge amounts there are some insane rewards on offer like rare vinyl, signed albums, tour memorabilia etc – and wait till you read about our VIP section – that's another reward on offer too.
I've got some fantastic things planned for this film, so if all the fans can come together and chuck in a pledge they'll be rewarded for it and they'll be responsible for making a great music film happen.
TMS:  As a person that makes documentaries, what are your favorite docs and what would you say drives you to make a quality film?
SK: I'm really amazed by how engaging Kevin Macdonald's documentaries are – man, some of his film's are intense (One Day In September, Touching The Void). As for music documentaries, I loved Paul Rachman's film about the 80's hardcore punk movement, that was the film that made me want to go out and make Underground Inc.
What drives me, is to constantly try and raise the standard of quality I expect from myself, which means that every film I do, I need to keep pushing myself and never be afraid to go outside my comfort zone. Actually, readers can find out about more information on my previous work on the Kickstarter campaign page for Underground Inc.
TMS: We can't wait to see Underground Inc. when it gets made. What can fans expect from this movie and when do you expect it to get released?

SK: They can expect to get a film that celebrates their favourite alternative 90's bands, a film that looks at the music industry, the purpose of music and art, a cautionary tale to musicians, a nostalgic time capsule, a digging up of some forgotten bands and hopefully they'll discover some new bands too, that they'll seriously enjoy getting into - but they HAVE TO be proactive and pledge, or it won't happen – they can do that here:

We thank Shaun for his time and hope you'll check out his Kickstarter page.