Don’t Fall in Love with Yourself is a new documentary by Jon Nix which is about the life and music of Justin Pearson (The Locust, Dead Cross, Deaf Club and more), an enigmatic underground musician and owner of Three One G records. In order to get some more attention focused on the documentary (and you should definitely watch it, especially if you’re a fan of The Locust) we asked Justin about three documentaries that have influenced him in some shape or form.
Justin comments: “I live in a bizarre world. It’s been bizarre since I was a child and still is to this day. As I type this I’m on my way to play the Indianapolis State Capitol with a project I’m involved with called Satanic Planet. I’m sure by the time this is published, I will be fine, but there is an actual threat of Christian Nationalists protestors and the threat of violence against the band. So much of a threat, a drummer that the band hired backed out at the last minute due to the fear of both being doxxed and losing his job, and also the possibility of violence from locals. I get it, but I have been accustomed to violence for most of my life. If not from alcoholic parents beating each other, to my mother’s boyfriend beating me after my dad was murdered, to the threat in Southern California of Neo Nazi Skinheads in the 90s due to the proximity of Tom Metzger’s bullshit White Aryan Resistance. But I’m going off on a tangent right out of the gates here. I’m supposed to list three influential albums in this article. But I thought I would choose three documentaries that center on music that I feel are relevant to me and the way my brain is wired, pertaining to music in general. I also get that music, like all art, is not only subjective, but there is the fact that an artist can be influenced by everything in their life, which is filtered out and comes out in what they create. I was always captivated by the quote from Marshall McLuhan, “Art is anything you can get away with”, and I think I have successfully applied that to most of the musical projects I have been part of.”
The Filth and the Fury
As any reasonable ten or eleven year old who grew up in the 80’s and was into skateboarding, there was the avenue that would essentially lead them to the Sex Pistols. I do feel that they now are easily chalked up to be a pop band in the context of modern music. But I am well aware of the relevance to what they did, how they did it, and when they did it, I see the ripple effect of their output into the world. And as much as a kid would see someone like Sid Vicious and think he’s cool, even ignorantly wearing a swastika t-shirt and becoming the nihilistic poster boy for punk who’d die of a heroin overdose, they paved the way for so much that was to come after them. As a kid, Steve Jones was my least favorite Pistol, for reasons that were beyond me. But it wasn’t until the invention of Instagram that I realized he was probably the coolest member of the band. I’ve run into him a couple times here and there and he’s always been really cool to me. But I’ll go ahead and admit it, that it was Lydon who was the one that resonated with me over them all. Sure, I have cringed a gazillion times at his attitude towards so many things, his arrogant and often pathetic ego, and his lack of giving credit to those who he has worked with which have essentially made him who and what he is as far as an artist. But this documentary was very well put together. It obviously captured the story and had an effective narrative as to the depth of the band. But the way that it was laid out, especially with Lydon, who at one point opens up and even breaks down about the passing of Vicious. The interviews, which were conducted much later into the member’s lives, were also filmed in a way that was so unique, which had them in shadows, so you wouldn’t see a few old dudes reminiscing about the past. The way they were presented kept them in the time that the band was most relevant, But specifically for me, the film detailed a lot of what I needed to have explained to me. Yes, I was so drawn to Jamie Reid’s artwork, and the band’s very relevant influence from the Situationist International. So when I really started to understand where Lydon went with his post-Pistol work, and later on becoming friends with Martin Atkins and hearing some of the wildest stories first hand about his time with Lyon, it really made The Filth and the Fury have that much more of an impact on me. Think what you want about the Pistols’ music, but it was more so the aesthetic of the band that lands on my list here.
Now here is where the real depth comes in. I really love Fugazi. Not all of their material, but a lot of it. And with the band, similar to the Pistols, it was the aesthetics of the band, and also the ethics, the style, the functionality, and intellect in how and why they were a band. I saw Fugazi when I was fourteen and learned a lot of important stuff that night. There was some butthole in the audience yelling for Ian to play a Minor Threat song, which made sense to San Diego’s punk population in the late 80’s. I assumed it was just something he’d have to put up with, your run of the mill punk rocker in a crowd wanting the lowest common denominator. Yup, I will go ahead and say that Fugazi is better than Minor Threat in so many ways. But that is just my opinion, and as the old saying goes, “Opinions are like assholes… even one has one”. But that night, hearing the person who paid his five bucks to see the show disrespect the artists on the stage, Ian, without hesitation, instructed the attendee to go home and listen to Minor Threat on his record player and for him to leave and be given a refund on his way out. I don’t think Ian said for the guy to go fuck himself, but he certainly laid it out in that tone. I watched the guy huff and puff and walk out as he collected his five dollars. But this documentary came out, post Red Medicine, which I feel is the band’s best record, and it explained everything very clearly, as to why I was so intrigued and drawn to the band. The film provided a fine tuning of how I was supposed to run my record label, Three One G, and also how my band at the time the film came out, The Locust, was supposed to function on the business side of things. And it was only a matter of time till we’d cross paths with Ian and Guy and have them be respectful towards us and treat us as peers. I have said it before, I think Instrument may be the best music documentary ever made, and when I say that it’s not even the musical parts of the film that are the most important. However, seeing Ian and Guy perform is one of the bands that has set the bar as far as what you should give in a live performance. Those two are absolutely brilliant in every way, and in ways that they may not even have been remotely aware of, which is brilliant in itself. The way the film was put together was done artistically, and interestingly, which keeps things seeming unique, very much like the band’s musical output. The film mirrored the band’s musical output.
This is an odd choice for me to list here. Please let me preface this by saying I’m not trying to suck my own dick here. This film has me in it, and details some of my musical projects throughout parts of it. But the real reason I chose this was because when this film was made, I was starting to realize that there were plenty of documentaries about The Clash, or the Ramones. With this film, I felt that the people who were presented in this film, aside from me, but not to disqualify my band mates, had so many of my friends, and people who also influenced me in so many ways, But it also managed to link my comrades to artists like Fugazi and Swans. With this film, timelines blurred, but also created a new way of looking at art. Having someone like Weasel Walter explain how music doesn’t need to be “fun” to create it, and to have women who I have toured with and worked with, such as Valentine Falcon and Jenny Hoyston, who have been part of some of the most innovative and punctual bands of my time, really made so much sense to me. This film seemed to have similarities of how both The Filth and the Fury and Instrument explained the many layers of art, and not just a few dudes in a band. But this film featured a community, and one that was not specific to the things one would initially assume such as bands from one decade, or with one similar sound, or from one scene. It was an entire spectrum, and showed depth to people who defied genres, or had a vision to create something that wasn’t limited to standards and parameters created by the music industry. I really wish this film had a bigger release and was available to watch. It’s out there, but you have to dig around for it, which is unfortunate. But that in itself reminds me of how I grew up, discovering stuff that was not easily accessible, so it was then more special to come across.