Video director Phil Mucci has made a big name for himself very quickly over the past few years—and he owes a lot of it to an association with Roadrunner. As he reveals in this Loudwire interview, one of his earliest videos was for Korn's "Oildale," from Korn III: Remember Who You Are (he also shot clips for Dommin and Hail the Villain), but it wasn't until Opeth's clip for "The Devil's Orchard," from 2011's Heritage, that things really took off for him. Last year, he shot Stone Sour's video for "Do Me A Favor," which ended up on multiple year-end lists, and since then he's done impressive work for non-Roadrunner acts High On Fire, Huntress and Pig Destroyer.
Says Mucci, "It’s very difficult to break through, so whatever works; what really did it for me was developing a strong relationship with Rick Ernst at Roadrunner Records. He was one of the first people to take a chance on me as an unknown director. Roadrunner really breathed down my neck on the first couple projects, but by the time we got to Opeth, Rick basically offered me the gig if I could come up with a concept that Mikael [Åkerfeldt] liked...The concept I got approved was one that I wasn’t even sure how I was going to pull off! But that’s how you grow—you take on new challenges—and when you’re given creative freedom, the money doesn’t matter so much. You just jump off the deep end and try to figure it out before you drown! And I almost drowned on that one—it was stressful as hell, since I was learning on the job. But it was totally worth it; I learned so much on that gig that my work grew by leaps and bounds from that point onwards."
Regarding Stone Sour's "Do Me A Favor" clip, which forced him to adapt a section of Corey Taylor's House of Gold & Bones story, he says, "Corey Taylor is basically a super-prolific, multitalented genius, so it’s hard to compare him to other acts, to be honest. My work for him was like none of my other projects in that he basically entrusted me with HIS story. My treatment for ‘Do Me a Favor’ was just the Cliff Notes to his larger story. He was working on the graphic novel at the same time, so I didn’t have a lot of that to go off, but Corey was super cool about it...I’d say what Corey brings to the table is the confidence of a guy who’s making stuff all the time. He hires the right people to interpret his ideas, and let’s them do their thing. That’s a total badass where I come from. Not a lot of people have the strength not to micromanage. In that regard, he was one of the easiest, most supportive guys I’ve ever had the privilege to work with."
Read the whole thing—Mucci talks about his cinematic influences, gives insights into the video director's job, and much more.