Bang Tango movie creator Drew Fortier explains film ending that Joe Lesté dislikes
Bang Tango frontman Joe Lesté was recently interviewed by LA Weekly where he expressed regret and a dislike over the release and particularly the ending of the movie documentary Attack Of Life: The Bang Tango Movie, which was created, produced and edited by Bang Tango/Zen From Mars guitarist Drew Fortier.
Speaking exclusively with Sleaze Roxx, Fortier offered his views today about how the movie documentary’s ending came to be and Lesté‘s recently expressed negative thoughts about it as he stated:
“It was a very long and rough four years putting that movie together. It’s a shame that Joe feels the way he does about the film, but I just wanted to keep it as brutally honest as humanly possible.
Originally, in the rough cut, I had it ending abruptly in a super depressing way. For those who have seen it, it originally ended right after Joe says “But that was then… who cares” then fade to black lol. Very depressing. When I showed it to the band they all agreed that I should shoot a new ending for it so they had me come out to a show they were doing in Michigan with Dio Disciples, Great White, and Queensrÿche. Thinking there would be a ton of people at the amphitheater, I thought it was a great idea. As it turned out, the doors opened for the show at 6:50 and Bang Tango went on at 7:00. That’s why there weren’t that many people there, and whether it was packed or empty, I planned on shooting the ending and went with it. The way I saw the ending, artistically, was no matter if it’s a packed arena or completely empty, Joe and the guys still give it their all and is a testament to their passion as musicians. That’s why the last shot of the movie cross fades from Joe performing to barely anybody at the amphitheater to a shot of Joe giving just as much of his all to a packed house from the height of their popularity.
On a funny note, when I had screened the movie in Chicago and had the whole band there to watch it, it was Joe‘s first time seeing it. I made sure to sit next to Joe so I could see his reaction to it. When it got closer to the end of the movie, Joe turns to me and goes “Dude are you some kind of asshole or something?!” Then he storms out and i’m chasing after him like he’s my girlfriend or something. I catch up to him and he goes “gotcha!” [laughs]. It was the perfect prank at the perfect moment.
But Joe has always expressed to me that he really enjoyed and appreciated the film, and I believe with him looking back on it through sober eyes he probably doesn’t feel comfortable with the particular point of the band’s career I had captured for the movie which is absolutely understandable. But at the same time it’s an amazing story and Joe‘s perseverance shines through in the film.
I absolutely love Joe like a brother and am so proud of him for his new life choices by quitting alcohol. As he said in the L.A. Weekly interview, I am still a member of Bang Tango but won’t be at the Whisky show this weekend. So you never know when or where I may pop up! It’ll definitely make things interesting! I’m like the Bun E. Carlos of Bang Tango, and i’m perfectly okay with that!”
Fortier also provided an update on how his new project Zen From Mars is coming along when he stated: “On another note, the Zen From Mars record is finally almost finished. Chip Z’Nuff finished up his remaining bass tracks last week right before he hits the road for his tour with Ace Frehley. We’re almost ready to have the whole thing mixed and mastered. Much like The Bang Tango Movie, this album has been a labor of love from the beginning and has taken a long time to finish, but the rest of the band and myself are insanely excited to show the world what we have to offer.”
Zen From Mars debuted to a lot of fanfare in early August 2016 and have released a few songs in advance of their debut full-length album.
Zen From Mars‘ “New Leaf” video:
https://www.facebook.com/ZenFromMars/ Directed & Shot by Joe Placzkowski & Frank Ritter Edited by Drew Fortier “New Leaf” Mixed by: Matt Wallace (Faith No More, Maroon 5) Mastered by: Maor Appelbaum at Maor Appelbaum Mastering – California – U.S.A http://www.maorappelbaum.com/ THC Music 2016 Zen From Mars (ZFM) are: Stephen Shareaux (Kik Tracee): Vocals Drew Fortier (Bang Tango): Guitar Chip Z’Nuff (Enuff Z’Nuff): Bass & Backing Vocals Mike Heller (Fear Factory/Malignancy): Drums Brynn Arens (Flipp): Guitar Kate Catalina (Showgirl of Rock): Keyboard