Dark Secrets: The Stories of Rubberneck
Director, Clark Vogeler’s Commentary:
In the discussions leading up to the 20th anniversary of my band’s first album, Rubberneck — an album that was recorded and released before I joined the band — it came to light that there existed eight hours of footage that our former bassist Lisa Umbarger had filmed while recording the album in 1993. I wanted to contribute something to the reissue and figured I could cut a five-minute video from the old tapes.
When I looked at them, I found that some great performances were captured and decided to do some interviews with the two remaining band members from that time and try to answer some of the questions that fans always seem to have about the songs from that album, such as: “What does this song mean? Is it about murder, rape, etc.?”
Previously, the band has maintained an ambiguous front regarding the meanings/inspirations of these songs. To paraphrase Vaden Todd Lewis, songwriter for the band: What people infer from these songs is often more interesting than what they actually mean, so let them think what they want. Hell, I didn’t even know what some of the songs were about, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to investigate what was going on in Vaden’s mind when he wrote them.
When I interviewed him for the documentary, he was incredibly forthcoming, and what I found surprised me. Of course there is religion, but there are also metaphysical themes, characters that carry through multiple songs, and I actually found out what “Possum Kingdom” is about — 16 years after I joined the band!
I think it’s fair to say that Rubberneck changed my life — not so much as a listener, though me and my bandmates in Funland at the time were briefly depressed when we heard how good the album was, but years later, when I was asked to join the band as guitar player. I had given up playing music when they brought me in, and due largely to the popularity of this album; I am still playing music with the band and have been able to perform in front of amazing rowdy crowds all over the country. Rubberneck and its success has afforded me countless great experiences in my, and I feel fortunate to give something back.