Life Let In: After eight years, Sam Black Church documentary nearing completion


[dropcap]H[/dropcap]aving already surprised the hell out of everyone with a reunion a few weeks back as part of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones three-night Hometown Throwdown at the House of Blues, things just got all the more real for Sam Black Church. Boston’s renaissance-man-about-town, Duncan Wilder Johnson, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a documentary he is working on about the hardcore veterans.

“I’ve been working on this project for eight years, while working on a number of other projects simultaneously,” says Johnson. “When they confirmed their show with the Bosstones, it seemed like it was the right time to declare it to the world and ask for help.”

Leave Behind a Groove in the Earth: The Story of Sam Black Church needs $15,000 to get off the ground, and with eight days to go is creeping steadily toward the goal, clocking in at $11,425 on 161 backers at press time.


When asked what inspired taking on a documentary like this, Johnson replied: “The amazing music of Sam Black Church, how intensely they performed, and their compelling story from no one knowing who they were to growing to huge popularity in New England to making an impact after they stopped playing on what are now considered top-tier metal bands.”

As if you needed any more convincing to donate some scrabble, Johnson has littered the fundraising with some pretty ridiculous incentives.

Drop $25 and there’s a DVD headed your way when it wraps up late this year. Donating $50, $75, $100 or $150 will get you all that plus a Sam Black Church t-shirt, hoodie, silk screened poster and the band’s logo stenciled on any article of clothing you own — those amounts are respectively of course. Dive in with $200 and there’s a song that’s exclusive to the Kickstarter along with a personalized voicemail from SBC frontman Jesse Jet Crandell. Tack on another $100 and it’s a hang out with the band on the evening of the documentary’s premiere, slated for December. Drop $400 and all that comes with a bound book of photography covering the band history; $500 and your name in lights — or at least the credits at the end of the film.

For the serious only, give a grand and there’s a private screening with Johnson and Jet; $2,000 and Johnson will make a video for your band; and $3,000 or more and Johnson will go all out, promoting your band for three months, giving a vocal lesson, consulting from making a record to getting shows, press et al. He’ll make a video for your band, do a pro photoshoot, build a website, get you on social media, help you book shows, and promote your record release party. The only caveat? The band “must be based in New England and have interest in promoting in the Boston and Greater New England scene.” That’s some hardcore dedication shit right there.

Following a spate of unrivaled productivity in the mid to late ’90s, Sam Black Church shut it down in 2000 returning for a gig in 2007 and waited until this past December, for what coincided with their 25th anniversary, to reconvene.

Here’s the Kickstarter video to spell it all out even more:

Photos by Duncan Wilder Johnson: