WORKING CLASS ROCK STAR is basically a documentary that addresses the ugly side of the music business. The side that not a lot of people see... most of the bands you look up to who seem larger than life are actually broke, tour with little or no support from record labels, and are used merely as tools to make money. Not that the musicians in this DVD are complaining about how hard their lives are by any means. They actually love what they do, but just emphasize the sacrifices that one has to make in order to break into the music business, especially in the overpopulated world of Metal.
A majority of the documentary follows the lives of three struggling bands: 3 Mile Scream (a Metalcore band from Quebec, Canada), Tub Ring (an Experimental Alternative metal band from Chicago), and Bloodshoteye (a Metalcore band from Canada). The rest of the documentary features interviews from musicians who are established and others who are still struggling to be heard. You hear from the likes of Devin Townsend of Strapping Young Lad, Randy Blythe of Lamb Of God, Dave Brockie (Oderus Urungus) of GWAR, Peter Dolving of The Haunted, Sharlee D'Angelo of Arch Enemy, and others, including some bands that I (and probably you) have never heard of.
I found this documentary to be pretty good but not as great as I was expecting. To me, the highlight of WORKING CLASS ROCK STAR was the glimpses into the lives of the three struggling bands, especially the two Canadian Metalcore powerhouses 3 Mile Scream and Bloodshoteye. The stories behind both of those bands, as well as the band members themselves, were really interesting. Bloodshoteye's guitarist and unofficial leader Shane and vocalist Jessica are in a relationship and have a child together and ultimately sacrifice spending quality time with their daughter just to get a chance to tour and get their name out there. They also have to deal with the fact that their drummer (a last minute replacement for their previous drummer who abruptly quit) isn't even old enough to get into bars and has to get permission from his parents to tour and record with the band. The segments featuring 3 Mile Scream mainly address their struggle to get signed and frustrations with being rejected by labels. Their (now former) bassist handles the business side of the band and acts as their spokesperson. Their vocalist Matt (who now does vocals for both 3 Mile Scream AND Cryptopsy) is one of the most interesting characters in the documentary and I would love to see a documentary just on this guy alone. He's a soft spoken guy who seems wise in his young age and works with children as his day job, all the while screaming his head off in a Metal band at night.
Overall I thought WORKING CLASS ROCK STAR was pretty good. The lack of two things really made the documentary a bit disappointing: narration and more established artists to be interviewed. It's just a bunch of interviews with bands mixed with footage of the daily lives of the three featured bands. I can understand WHY they wanted to get a lot of smaller bands to be interviewed and it was probably done to show BOTH sides of the struggle, but I feel that there are SO many Metal bands out there who would be willing to share stories. Chimaira, for example, had a MAJOR fallout with their record label which they address on their own DVDs, but I would have loved to hear from them nonetheless. But for what it was, WORKING CLASS ROCK STAR gets the point across and is entertaining. Recommended for fans of Metal and people wanting to get educated in what it takes and the sacrifices you have to make in order to just even make a SMALL mark on the music industry.