Welcome to the Mod Scenes podcast. This is your host, Stephen, and I’m thrilled to chat with you today about stage backdrop and creating the best stage backdrops in the country. So, uh, today I want to actually talk a little bit more, a little bit less about monsoons and a little bit more about, uh, backdrops for rock and roll shows. Uh, this is a really interesting, uh, really interesting kind of subset of stage backdrop design. Uh, there’s a lot of really good companies that make really good things and it’s not our focal point. Um, but there’s a lot we can learn from, uh, the processes there. So one of those companies is a company called Tate towers. Uh, they make a lot of really cool staging and even scenic elements. Uh, another company as atomic designs, they make some, uh, stuff that’s really made to be toward really custom stuff.

Uh, and pretty much all the, if you’re doing a big tour, like a like small anti-Semite tour with huge amounts of CNN, they’re typically the ones that do it. Uh, they do a great job and it costs crazy insane amounts of money. So, uh, if you ever want help with that, let us know we’ll help you. Uh, um, but further onto that. So, uh, I want to talk about a couple ideas that I’ve seen used that work really well in designs for specifically metal rock bands. So these are stage backdrops that, uh, I’ve seen either, uh, I’ve seen either companies use, or I’ve seen like, uh, say it’s a lighting company that’s putting together or the band themselves and put it together, or they’ve hired an artistic designer. Who’s had somebody fabricated. Uh, so there’s a couple of good options. Uh, and, uh, so let’s start with some of the simple ones.

So one of the simplest ones is, uh, this isn’t necessarily a stage backdrop, but it does play into staging is ego risers. So these are typically, uh, like 2012 inch, 18 inch tall boxes that the band can stand on. Typically, uh, the guy will hide a white underneath, uh, and I’ve seen it made out of, uh, plexiglass, which we can make our pluses glass, which they’re really cool or out of like aluminum grading. Um, and you shoot, uh, so you shoot light up from the, from the floor up. And it gives us a really, really, uh, diff diff uh, defining uplight on the band member, especially in metal. You want those really, uh, really edgy and drastic, uh, light combinations. So, uh, that’s a great way to get it and really con pull some more emotion into the actual performance. Uh, so those are cool thing.

That’s used a lot in, uh, uh, metal stage design for a stage backdrops for a metal design. Uh, another thing that’s used a lot is, um, I am not sure why this is, but, uh, fencing panels. So like chain link fencing, I’ve seen multiple bands that have toured with it just literally have a roll of shingling fence. They zip tied up to the trust, um, next, like between their backdrop or like around their backdrop or whatnot. And then they just throw tons of light on it. And it seems like it’d be kind of weird. Like it wouldn’t actually work well, but honestly it works pretty great because aluminum is a very reflective material. Uh, so it works great as a stage backdrops. So, uh, your next church stage design you, if you guys are tearing down a baseball field and you’re getting rid of a lot of aluminum fencing, there’s your next stage that, uh, okay.

And, uh, let’s talk about some other things. So large format printed drops are another thing that’s super common. Uh, so these are great because you can throw them into a hamper at the end of the night. They’re really quick to stop and take down. Um, and you can make it look to some extent, like whatever you want. Uh, obviously you’re not going to have, um, you’re not going to be able to have every type of reflectivity you’re going to be limited on, uh, more of a matte finish, uh, either a man or a super gloss. You’re not really going to be able to get a good like middle ground. Uh, so it’s either going to re reflect all the light or none of the light, uh, but if you’re on a budget and you want to have a really cool stage backdrops and you want to load it in 10 minutes, that’s your deal.

That’s a good one to, that’s a good way to go. Uh, another thing I’ve seen that works well is aluminum window screening. Uh, and this has been used pretty extensively in a lot of different places, but it’s a great option. If you’re looking for something that’s lightweight that you can set up pretty quickly, um, again, just like a stage backdrops, you can set it up quick for a light on it, and it looks amazing even if you don’t take good care of it. Uh, so further onto the stage design for, uh, metal bands, I’ve seen a ton of them with just massive amounts of light. So that’s kind of a, that’s kind of a go-to with live music is throwing massive amounts of light onstage, uh, which I’m all for. Cause I’m a lighting geek at heart. Uh, if every square inch could be light, um, I would probably go for it.

Uh, uh, but the only thing that, that lacks in that is you don’t have a, you don’t have anything hard, like light is lights cool, but it’s hard to make a ceiling with light unless you’re using something, uh, something with a adjustable 3d, like whether that be like our DMX voiced or can, uh, you know, a kinetic type fixture, uh, like a Connecticut light type fixture or potentially like a, uh, a consist system that’s going to bring down up and down your trusses. It’s really hard to create a space in inside of, uh, inside of a smaller space without something physical to actually use to light and limit the light on. So, um, but it’s still a great way to do it. Uh, that’s why a ton of bands do it. It’s a great right way. It is pretty expensive, but, uh, in toric situations, a lot of people spend a lot of money that I, uh, I’ve seen a ton that people have spent tons of money on, you know, creating a stage backdrops out of just so, uh, okay.

What else? Uh, so another thing that I’ve seen a lot is flame cannons. Uh, I know that sounds crazy, but it is serious. They put some serious money behind flame hands. I’ve seen guitars with giant flame machines on their guitars, uh, flame pianos all over the place, lots and lots of pyro. Uh, one of the things that in the metal band world is that a lot of times they’re trying to outdo each other. Uh, so if this metal band has 10 flames, the next one’s going to have, try and have 20. Uh, so yeah, you see a lot of flames, a lot of pyro. So pyro is like fireworks for stage design. Uh, and a lot of these places are outdoor venue. So there’s a little bit more leniency or arenas where they can actually shoot south. They have a little bit more space, obviously that’s something that you would want to stay with and stay away from if you’re in a place where there could be, uh, you know, flammable material, whether that be wood or a ceiling installation or whatever that might be.

Um, let’s see, what else. Um, CO2 is another, uh, another, uh, product that’s used quite a bit in stage designs for metal bands. So CO2 is a, uh, uh, it’s uh, oh gosh, carbon. Uh, uh, I am like having a, like a brain CO2 would be, uh, one part carbon, two parts oxygen, uh, which I believe, I don’t remember what it’s called. There’s I guess CO2 is the right name for it, but, uh, there’s probably a more proper name that I’m forgetting. So my apologies feel free to email me and tell me I was wrong. Um, uh, so anyway, CO2 is a, uh, it’s a, uh, it starts as a, it’s a liquid in a keynotes, or as it shoots out, it turns to a gas. Uh, actually I may be wrong about that. It’s an errand, I’m sorry. It is just a gas, but as it shoots out, it’s super cold.

Um, and it, uh, makes like a cloud of fog as it shoots out. Uh, I, I am not a physicist or anything like that, or I’m not a physicist or a, uh, uh, what’s the other word? Uh, oh, goodness. Chemical engineer. I am, I’m just, I do scenic, uh, and occasionally, uh, talk about safety science. So, um, there is, there is some sort of a chemical reaction going on there, uh, by not biologist. I’m not a biologist either. What’s the word? Chemist chemist, not a chemist. Yes. So there are chemical reactions going on there whenever the CO2 comes out. I don’t have enough knowledge at the moment to tell you about them. Actually, I probably do. I just woke up at like 3:00 AM this morning. So, uh, that I do not have in front of me, but enough of me rambling about CO2. Let’s talk about other stuff that you find on stage designs for metal bands.

Um, I’ve seen some really cool part sets. So these are sets that are, you know, physical, uh, pieces that, uh, that are lit that are normally customized. Uh, one of my favorites I’ve seen is, uh, want to say it was Evanescence that did it. I may be incorrect though. Uh, it might’ve been stain. They did this giant, uh, cathedral looking set that looked like a postmodern cathedral. Like it was like this old, like cathedral probably made the 1980s is what it looked like, had all these stained glass windows, and a lot of more broken. And the entire exterior of the building was really smoky and kind of grungy and dingy. Uh, it looked incredible. I it’s saved on my like someday. I want to make something cool that, uh, that looks maybe not similar to this, but it takes inspiration from this list. So, um, so yeah, it’s a super cool one.

Uh, I’ve also seen lots and lots and lots of bands who will tour with what looks like 500 amplifiers. When all actuality, it’s just a, a bunch of empty cabinets, uh, on a cart that they light up and they make it look like they have lots and lots of amplifiers on their stage so that they sound louder. Uh, typically, uh, sound reinforcement. It’s done through the PA anyway. So having that many cabinets, the only thing it does make your trailer heavier, it makes it harder to, to meet weight whenever you go through a waystation. So a lot of people don’t do that simply for that reason, uh, that and, uh, a cabinet for like a Marshall cabinet is not cheap. So it’s much easier just to have an empty cabinet made, uh, and save on all the electronics components. So, so, yeah, so that’s a stage backdrops for metal bands and rock and rolls stuff. So, uh, I hope that’s at that was a eye opening, insightful, amazing, uh, podcast that you want to listen to over and over again. Uh, you have any other questions? Let me know, shoot us an email at modscenes.com or call us at (530) 723-6421. And I’m looking forward to serving you on your next stages on it. Thanks so much for tuning in.