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Heavy Metal Clocks: a Chat With Video Director, Clockmaker Stephen J. Payne

Stephen J. Payne

Tick tock. Stephen J. Payne, who has directed videos for Kreator and shot live shows by Celtic Frost, Napalm Death and Sepultura, to name a precious few, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund his clockmaking enterprise. He makes Heavy Metal Clocks – timepieces fashioned out of chunks of metal rescued from a salvage yard. The metal gets a second lease on life, and not to mention, using them pieces for something functional and decorative decreases the junk footprint on the earth. Talk about making something out of nothing.

These are not heavy metal band-affiliated clocks, thought. They are structural, artistically- fashioned timepieces meant to hang in homes.

The campaign details are here.

The Kickstarter pledges will be used to help Payne build a small, safe production line in his Los Angeles loft and for the attainment of better equipment so Payne, who directed Sepultura’s Under Siege (Live in Barcelona) doc and Kreator’s “Betrayer” video, can speed the process up and make more clocks.

Hurry, the campaign ends in a few days and he’s just a few bucks shy of the goal at press time. So donate if you can, as there are incentives!

Noisecreep picked Payne’s brain about his work with metal musicians and more, sharing some trade secrets about his videos, history and clocks.

How did you get the Kreator music video gig back in the day?

I’d been shooting and directing a number of live concerts (Celtic Frost, Uriah Heep, Napalm Death) for a while, and their record company contacted our production company to shoot the video clip. hey wanted it to be different from the average metal clip, so my producer (Steve Malit) and I suggested we shoot in Greece as they were going to be playing a big gig there. We cut costs by renting an RV instead of expensive hotels and having a crew of just four people.

You have history in the London music scene – tell us some of your background with that.

I was working with Sounds, the music paper at the time, also NME and Melody Maker. The music was post-punk (Spandau Ballet, Gang of Four, New Model Army, The Chameleons, etc) some really good bands. It was kind of just before the whole rave scene started …. which was also fun.

Watch Sepultura’s ‘Mass Hypnosis’ from Under Siege (Live in Barcelona)

You have been on the road with Sepultura, too! How long was that?

Three weeks in Brazil, two weeks in Europe and one week in the U.K.

How many hours of footage did you edit down for that legendary concert film?

Probably about 10 hours of video from the concert in Barcelona and 20 hours from various other venues and places on tour. I only took a Super 8 camera with me to Brazil because of its portability and I also liked the look as well. Seemed to go well with the raw energy
of the band.

From your experience, was the metal scene as crazy and fast paced as your videos made it seem?

Dunno really. I’m not sure I was really part of ‘the scene.’ I mean, I understood what it was all about and appreciated the crazy energy of the shows, but I can’t honestly say I bought any metal albums or went to many gigs that I wasn’t shooting.

How did you develop such a “fast” aesthetic with your videos?

I guess it just ended up like that because that’s how my mind works. When I edit, I just put stuff on screen when I think it should be there. I’ve shot videos were there was no editing at all, just one big long shot. I never went to film school or anything like that. I also shoot most of my own stuff, not all the cameras at a live shoot, but when I’m shooting a music video I do. My background is still [photography], so it’s fun to operate on my video shoots as well. I still shoot my own stuff to this day.


Check Out Some of Payne’s Clocks

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Will you name some of the styles of clocks you’re making after metal artists or songs. That would seem to make sense!

I’ve thought about that and I like the idea. I’d need to sort out some copyright issues. I doubt Lars would be happy if he saw one of my clocks with a Metallica logo on. I should try contacting him.

What is your wildest heavy metal fantasy involving the clocks you’re making?

It involves a bunch of cheerleaders, some tequila and a large hot tub full of bubbles. The clock would be over there on the mantlepiece.

Head here for more information on Payne’s Heavy Metal Clocks.

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