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Suicidal Tendencies, Metal Mulisha produce crossover video in Temecula Wine Country

Friday, December 20th, 2013
Issue 51, Volume 17.
Alex Groves
Staff Writer

On a sunny day marked by clear blue skies, a modified ‘50s Chevy with bright gold paint descends on a wide swath of untamed land in the heart of Temecula Wine Country.

The car, dragging low on the ground, appears to arrive just as a group of thrash metal fans culminate around a stage and motocross riders begin to perform extraordinary feats of skill and daring. The group is energized if not ecstatic, waiting for the band about to come to the stage.

This chaotic scene is the making of a video for Suicidal Tendencies, a thrash metal band well-known in the action sports arena.

The video, "Smash It," perhaps plays on that existing kinship between action sports and punk rock, as it was filmed at Metal Mulisha Rider Larry "Link" Linkogle’s Temecula complex for several days in October before being released earlier this month on December 4, 2013.

The video, which was produced in support of an upcoming collaborative clothing line between Suicidal Tendencies and Metal Mulisha, features Linkogle and other members of his posse doing motocross jumps and flips off of an 18-foot ramp as members of Suicidal Tendencies play on a stage in the foreground of the video.

Linkogle, long known for his role in motocross and for creating Metal Mulisha, said this was his first time creating a video with the thrash metal band but not his first time meeting them.

That encounter happened in 1998 in the early days of freestyle motocross and the rider said meeting the band had been a special experience for one key reason.

"They had been a huge influence in my whole upbringing," Linkgogle said. "Pretty much for all of us Temecula kids, there were a select few bands that we listened to, but there’s a big (thrash metal) movement out here."

The MX rider said he was approached by the band approximately six months ago to do the video after Suicidal Tendencies

recorded the song with his fellow Metal Mulisha rider, Jimmy Fitzpatrick. However, the band had trouble reaching him prior to that.

"They actually had some difficulty tracking me down," he said. "We had lost contact for so long and there were a couple people trying to block our collaborative meeting."

Those individuals were making it difficult for Suicidal Tendencies to reach out to the motocross Advertisement
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riders because they weren’t relaying messages or providing the right contact information, he said.

Eventually, however, contact was made and the process for filming a video began.

Jay Schwitzer, a sports videographer with a background in filming music videos, was asked by Suicidal Tendencies to work as the video’s director.

The request actually came as a surprise to Schwitzer, who had wanted to use a portion of a Suicidal Tendencies song in one of his other video projects. He said he wasn’t expecting for Mike Muir, the lead vocalist of the band, to ask him to film a video of theirs.

"It’s weird; I wanted to use a different song for a different project I was working on," he said. "And Psycho Mike, Mike Muir, was like, ‘Hey do you want to do this music video for us in partnership with Metal Mulisha?’ and I said yeah. And so from that point I e-mailed the guys over at Metal Mulisha and got a group e-mail going."

Though the request to film a video came as a surprise, Schwitzer said he has worked on other projects with both Metal

Mulisha and Suicidal Tendencies in the past.

According to Schwitzer, the concept of the video was to show the crossover audience that exists between motocross fans and thrash metal fans by having both the band and motocross riders in one space.

"The concept for the video is really simple," he said. "(We’re) trying to show the merger and integration between suicidal tendencies and how that genre of music plays perfectly with motocross riding."

Schwitzer said there were some challenges to filming the video, but he enjoyed them.

"Possibly the hardest part and my favorite part was trying to choreograph all of the riders jumping different features simultaneously and specifically we tried to do that sometimes while the band was playing," he said.

The videographer said it was a great honor to film the video because like the motocross riders of Metal Mulisha, he has also grown up with the kind of music Suicidal Tendencies is famous for.

"I grew up as a skater in LA and punk rock music was just a way of life for me," he said. "I grew up with Suicidal in my high school years, so it was just a real privilege to work with them."



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