The trailer for A24’s Green Room showed us a glimpse of a brutal, intense thriller set in the world of punk rock and hardcore music, and the scary, racist subset that exists within that culture. A compelling setting for a movie, and it’s also a world that really exists–and means a lot to a lot of people.
To capture the fact that Green Room is an authentic depiction of that subculture–with the villains made up of an extreme version of its worst elements–A24 is launching Green Room Radio today, a website that targets punk and hardcore fans by giving them a live radio show (later available as a podcast) and editorial content that talks to their heroes. Ted Leo of Ted Leo + The Pharmacists is the first guest, while former Black Flag/Circle Jerks frontman Keith Morris walks readers through one of the worst gigs he ever played (among what is surely hundreds of terrible shows). The site also digs deeper, with interviews that look at early ’80s DC punks like Chris Stover of Void, or Arthur Smilios of CIV and Gorilla Biscuits.
What makes the world of Green Room so compelling is the fact that it really exists–anybody who ever spent a few months of their early twenties on the road playing basement parties and community spaces with their crappy hardcore band probably has stories that are only about three degrees left of Green Room. But those who’ve never experienced that world may not have the background to understand it. To that end, A24 tapped author Steven Blush, whose American Hardcore: A Tribal History is one of the better books ever written about the scene (a 2006 companion film, American Hardcore, documented that same world), to pen an explanatory essay “What Is Hardcore?” for the uninitiated.
The content on Green Room Radio will continue to expand over the next 10 weeks, with new episodes of the radio show appearing every week until the film opens in April. It’s the latest neat idea from A24 (which won a nice set of Oscars last weekend for Amy, Room, and Ex Machina), who’ve been looking at innovative ways to tap existing audiences for their more challenging films–if you’re going to bring satanists to The Witch, you might as well up the punks for Green Room.