Gorman Bechard makes rock documentaries, but he hasn’t committed This Is Spinal Tap to memory and he doesn’t follow the Stones like Scorsese. Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements and Archers of Loaf: Live At Cat’s Cradle approach rock music from the eyes and ears of the fans in two totally different ways: one’s a cerebral conversation about a band’s emotional and cultural impact without a single bar of music, and one’s a visceral trek from the back of the room to the front row at a sold out show. Between the two, one thing’s clear:
Berchard’s inspired, he’s got a camera, and he wants to talk to you about rock and fucking roll.
What compelled you to make Color Me Obsessed?
Rock and roll was sort of dying in the mid ‘70s, and punk came along and gave it some new life, but then punk became New Wave—it sounded like someone took rock and roll and castrated it. The Replacements and Husker Dü, two bands out of Minneapolis, really redefined rock and roll for the next generation. There is no Seattle without The Replacements and Husker Dü. Basically, every rock guitar band you listen to today owes something to those two bands whether or not they even know it.
How’d you approach the interviews?
Every single interview started with the same question: Why The Replacements? From there, a lot of it had to do with who the person was, what their relationship with the band was, whether they worked with the band and also what era of the bands history they knew the most about. When you watch the film, many of the people are looking off-screen. I definitely had a lot of people that were uncomfortable in front of a camera,
so I would put it off to the side and it would just be me and them, having a beer and talking about The Replacements.
What surprised you the most about each film?
A guy named Robert Voedisch. He’s quite literally the star [of Color Me Obsessed]. He’s a 14-year-old living in Minnesota on a farm. He sent me an email saying, “I don’t know if this is too wacky for you, but I used to have imaginary conversations with The Replacements. They were sort of my only friends and I would talk to them like they were there.” We went to interview him, and he basically just laid himself naked on the table as if The Replacements pretty much saved his life. He redefined parts of the movie for me.
So much of the movie became about what a band means to you growing up and how they can stay with you forever, sort of like a family member.
And Archers of Loaf?
I feel that The Replacements were the best in terms of what they did for rock and roll, but when it comes to who made me happiest, Archers of Loaf made me happier than any other band. The pure joy I got out of making this movie makes it my favorite film. It completely achieved exactly what I wanted. In my 29 years of shooting, this was the most wonderful time I’ve ever had working.
What did Color Me Obsessed and Archers of Loaf teach you?
One of the things I learned about interviewing people: just completely shut up and let them talk. I started learning that the more you didn’t respond to the question—not even a “Mmhmmmm,” none of that—the more compelled the person is to keep going. That’s where you would get the great gems. Also, the idea of a 20, 30-person crew is so outdated. Find five, six people that know what they’re doing and are not afraid to work and that’s all you need as your crew. That’s how I’m moving forward from now on: small, tight crews.
COLOR ME OBSESSED: A FILM ABOUT THE REPLACEMENTS AND ARCHERS OF LOAF: LIVE AT CAT’S CRADLE
DOUBLE FEATURE FEAT. GORMAN BECHARD