Wednesday, 28 April 2010

INTERVIEW: Hayden Black on life, music and the LA club scene

Originally posted on 31 January 2009:

The man behind web TV sensations Goodnight Burbank and Abigails X-Rated Teen Diary took time out from his hectic schedule in LA to talk to Vainzine's CTZN V41N...

Hi Hayden, Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to us, what I think most of our readers really want to know is why does Abigail like F'in K-Fed so much?

Abigail doesn't get much love from her friends these days (well YOU grow a beard when you're a 13 year old girl and see how many besties you have around), so she finds a lot of adoration on the net. She loves it when people add her to their Facebook and MySpace pages and she REALLY loves it when her heroes add her too. That's what she means when she says "f'in", by the way - she means "Friendin'". Get your mind out of the f'in gutter.

Ha ha, I guess it must be tough at that age to have a clue about what music to like. What's floating your boat musically speaking right now Hayden?

My boat is currently being kept aloft by (in no particular order):
Mary Onettes Little Boots Hot Chip Divine Comedy Jim Noir The Bird & The Bee Ladyhawke Friendly Fires Calvin Harris Last Shadow Puppets Robert Plant & Alison Kraus

i could go on but you get the idea. perennial faves include Saint Etienne, Crowded House, Tears For Fears and the Pet Shop Boys.

That's quite a diverse range. How important is music to you, and have you always been into a lot of different stuff?

Music has always been very important to me and had the wind been blowing in a different direction when I was a teen I may have wound up in a band and not writing/acting. Everything comes full circle though, so I'm actually going to be mining that particular vein in a brand new series that I'm shooting a pilot for later this month. It's a sci-fi musical comedy - sort of like Hitchhikers Guide meets the Mighty Boosh - called the Cabonauts. It takes place in a spacecab and we're doing the whole thing on green screen and CGI. Each episode will have a unique song (that I've written) sung by professional singers like Monique Young and Norm Thoeming (I will most likely sing-speak my lines). We're also bringing in the uber-talented Ramie Becker who'll be choreographing each track along with her amazing dance troupe R.A.I.D. They perform at clubs here in LA, most notably BootieLA and are just amazing.

In terms of what I like musically, if it's got a melody I'm there. Great lyrics and a good production are icing on the cake. A track I can't get off my iPod at the moment is Ida Corr & Feddy Le Grande's "Let Me Think About It". Ramie turned me on to it and I can't play it enough (the video is amazing too - Check it here).

The Cabonauts sounds amazing - very excited to hear more about that when the pilot has been done. Speaking of clubs in LA. What's the club scene like over there? A lot of our readers, myself included - have yet to get over there so some insiders tip would be great!?

The club scene is alive and well. Bootie LA - which specializes in mashups, Dragstrip (which, i suppose, specializes in gender mashups), etc etc. So many places, so many scenes, so much music. There seems to be a circus theme invading at the moment; big, fuck-off, steampunk circuses that is. There's a mad Edwardian-themed bash coming up at the end of Jan that I'm looking forward to.

In general, there's an eye on the law at the moment because since the Rave Act was passed, police are coming down on hard on parties that don't have alcohol licenses. They can hit the hosts of the party (or whomever owns the place it's being held in) with fines in the tens of thousands so there's definitely a paranoia to get things done "properly".

Yeah the whole 'properly' thing blows! The music scene seems to just be getting bigger and bigger right now, it's hard to keep up! Going back to you and your career, how did you get into doing Goodnight Burbank and Abigails and do you have some serious financial backing?

To be honest, the whole Goodnight Burbank/Abigail/everything that's followed thing happened randomly. I'd always been a writer - I had been toiling away at the networks (ABC, WB, NBC, etc) producing their on-air promos but I never cared for it. In Jan 2006 I took an improv class when someone in the room said they had access to a green screen studio so we could shoot something for the internet if we wanted. And it all went from there. I'd never acted in my life, I didn't think I was creating a business, etc, etc - I just thought "ooh, fun".

Within weeks, I'd formed my own production company - Evil Global Corp - and then spent the next 3 years going into debt. I'm happy to say that 2009 looks like it's going to be a great year financially. We're about to produce 20 brand new episodes of Goodnight Burbank for a video-based website (until ink is dry, I can't say who), the aforementioned Cabonauts pilot for a different video-based website (again, when ink is dry, announcements will be made), and we've got tons of other stuff in development - so I can start paying my debt off! You can keep an eye via the main hub, which will link to new shows as they launch.

So I guess it's true what they say about hard work being the key to success, and you have it in abundance! Hayden thanks for your time and honesty. I've got an idea for a show based around a police dog and his cop who got injured on the job and both lost an eye which are then replaced by webcams so we can see their escapades from a POV shot. It's a bit like a modern day Turner and Hooch - any thoughts?

Love it! If you make the cop an outrageous queen you can call it "Web-camp".

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