By DON CUDDY
New Bedford Standard-Times
September 15, 2008
NEW BEDFORD — The Orpheum Theater stage saw a lot of acts during its heyday from 1912 to 1958, when it closed its doors, but none like the band that took the stage on Sunday. The theater’s ambience went from historic to headbanger when Unearth, a Boston heavy metal band, blew the cobwebs away while filming a music video for the MTV2 show called “Headbanger’s Ball.”
Cameras, sound booms, lighting equipment and cables crowded the area in front of the stage as the old walls reverberated to the thunderous sounds. “It’s really cool here, it’s dusty and kind of dilapidated,” vocalist Trevor Phipps said as the band paused during filming. “We tour all the time but we’ve never been in New Bedford before.”
The band had been seeking a suitable location for the video of the song “My Will Be Done” to promote its upcoming album, “The March,” its fourth, on Metal Blade records. The album will be released next month.
For the past 10 years, the band has toured extensively both here and overseas, and has played throughout Europe, including in Russia, and in Australia and Japan, according to Mr. Phipps. The band’s video production company, MyGoodEye of Brooklyn, N.Y., initiated the search for a location. “The band is based in Boston, so first we called film commissions in all the Northeast states. The Massachusetts Film commission told us New Bedford was film-friendly,” video producer Allison Woest said. “We contacted the city and they were very helpful. They sent us some pictures and we really liked this location. “Actually, it’s even better than the pictures. This band has a huge sound and they needed a big space to match that visually. This place is massive and the way it looks fits right in with metal.”
City tourism director Anne Marie Lopes coordinated the band’s visit and obtained permission to use the theater. “They really liked all the features here that are original,” she said. “You really can’t find another venue this unique.”
The exposure will help the city in its efforts to promote itself as an attractive location for any type of production. “Just in the past year we’ve had a 19th century PBS special, the contemporary film shot at On a Roll recently, and now we have heavy metal. It’s all good news for New Bedford,” she said.