Bad Brains are one of the most important and influential American bands still working today. They melded punk and reggae into an innovative style that has yet to be copied. Their impact and influence can be heard in groups like Beastie Boys, No Doubt, Nirvana, Jane’s Addiction and countless more. Despite the troubles of an eccentric front man they have stayed together for 30 years without ever reaching the level of success so many think they deserve. Using rare archival footage and original comic illustrations the film re-constructs Bad Brains’ rich and complicated history.
The post-70’s explosion of independent music in America has many traceable roots, each with a compelling story. One of its most significant has never been told until now. Drawing on never-before-seen archival footage, in-depth-interviews with musicians and producers, and a mighty soundtrack, THE SMART STUDIOS STORY reveals the pivotal Midwest link to the global rise of 1990’s Alternative Rock and the unassuming Madison, Wisconsin recording studio at its center. If you’ve ever been touched by the music of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Garbage, L7 or their peers, you’ve been touched by the music created at Smart Studios, the legendary recording facility founded by Butch Vig and Steve Marker. [Synopsis courtesy of SXSW]