The Sadies Score Tales of Rat Fink
THE SADIES’ all-original instrumental soundtrack to hot rods and cool rides in Tales of the Rat Fink, Ron Mann’s animated do***entary on Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Kustom Car culture and the “anti Mickey Mouse,” Rat Fink
Street date October 17 - animated Sadies “monster” drag-racing video out soon!
If this music doesn't put you in the front seat of a hot rod and make your thighs quiver - nothing will. - Filmmaker Ron Mann, Tales of the Rat Fink
Greetings Finks and Finkettes,
When word leaked out that Canada’s “best live band,” The Sadies, were teaming up with Canada’s most distinctive do***entary filmmaker, Ron Mann, to create the sounds for a film about 1950s/60s Kustom car maven Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and Roth’s most beloved creation, a bug-eyed, fanged rodent known as Rat Fink (the “anti-Mickey Mouse”), both music and pop culture fans alike knew to expect something special. Mann has described his vision for Tales of the Rat Fink, which is largely animated, as “Fantasia meets She-Devils on Wheels,” and not just any band would have the finesse and flair to pull off that vision. But the Sadies were up to the challenge.
Fueled by the twin guitars of the Good brothers, Dallas and Travis, along with drummer Mike Belitsky and upright bassist Sean Dean, The Sadies own any genre they touch and have, over the past decade, created their own instantly identifiable blend of surf, cosmic country and Ennio Morricone-esque spaghetti Western originals, all imbued with the band’s distinct feel and appreciation for psychedelia and garage punk. Versatile enough to back everyone from Neko Case (they’re the live band on The Tigers Have Spoken and frequently co-write with Case), Heavy Trash (Jon Spencer’s raunchabilly side project) and cult R&B artist Andre Williams, The Sadies were more than ready to collaborate on a film score.
Mann, the award-winning director of Comic Book Confidential and Grass, was familiar with the Toronto four-piece and discovered that, as well as sharing his enthusiasm for pop culture, The Sadies were already fans of Ed Roth and had the musical goods to create an audio tour through the film’s animated joyride of hot rod history and Ed Roth’s life.
The Sadies’ Dallas Good explained in an interview: "Ron gave us complete freedom. We just write what we saw as appropriate for the film, and to have that trust from the filmmaker is great. The film is going to be a chronology of not only his career but the hot rod, as well. Some of the songs are barely five seconds long, but even that requires an element of creativity. At the same time, we can't just reinvent the wheel. This type of thing has a specific sound.”
The Sadies were involved in the collaboration from the beginning, and were told that Tales of the Rat Rink would be a history not only of Roth and his monster creations but the history of American Hot Rod culture. Of course, the Sadies were touring, organizing guests for a double live album (In Concert: Vol. 1 out August 2006), and recording bits and pieces for the soundtrack at studios here and abroad. Says Mann: “Over the next year or so they would mail me a CD from Amsterdam, or Tucson or wherever they'd be on the road and those songs would in turn inspire the movie. They so got it. What amazed me was their versatility as musicians. They could sound like Dick Dale and Jimmy Page, quite often in the very same song!”
Also fueling the process was the list of voice-over celebrities who agreed to be involved: John Goodman, Ann-Margret, The Smothers Brothers, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Jay Leno, Robert Williams, Billy F. Gibbons, Tom Wolfe, Brian Wilson and Matt Groening. By completion of the film, The Sadies had submitted over 80 pieces of music. Fifty pieces were used in the movie and the best are featured here. (The songs titles all correspond to clubs the Sadies have played over their extensive, never-ending North American treks.)
Including sound affects and a groovy beatnik spoken word piece by Ed Roth himself on the nature of “art,” Tales of the Rat Fink’s 26 tracks - think early surf instrumentals, Link Wray and Joe Meek – stand alone as a rockin’ CD guaranteed to put a tiger in your tank and some extra muscle under your hood. The Sadies’ homage to Cali mid-20th century Kustom car culture, hot rods, cool rides and Roth’s bug-eyed monster creations manages to evoke the feel of a bygone era while capturing the excitement of burning rubber, revving engines and good, greasy – and, of course, dangerous - fun.
"It's important for all of us to achieve this side of what we set out to do," says Good. "Who knows, it could be exactly the thing that gets us inside your living room."