- 22 February 2013
- 25 January 2013
West of Memphis: Voices for Justice, which is not quite a soundtrack to the new documentary about the West Memphis 3, opens with Henry Rollins reading a letter he received from Damien Echols about 10 years ago. Echols had been convicted along with two other Arkansas teenagers of the murder and mutilation of three young boys, despite little hard evidence linking them to the crime. For nearly 20 years, they languished in state prisons, their appeals ignored by the very courts that railroaded them. Describing the inhumane conditions of a new jail cell and the disappointment of yet another legal roadblock, Rollins’s voice never boils over with anger or rage. Instead, he trusts Echols’s words to convey all the fear and misery of a falsely accused man who has spent most of his life in prison.
It’s a harrowing introduction to West of Memphis, which surprisingly turns out to be a celebratory compilation defined by the relief of their freedom (all three were finally released) than by the grief of their wrongful incarceration.
Read more at eMusic.com.
- 25 January 2013
Most fledgling movie producers are eager to discuss their new project. Not Damien Echols, one of the producers of the new documentary West of Memphis. He’s more than half an hour late for an interview because, a publicist explains, he’s steeling himself to talk about the subject.
“This isn’t fun for me,” says Echols once he arrives at a Georgetown hotel suite, flanked by director Amy Berg and his wife, Lorri Davis, both also producers of the movie. “In fact, it’s pretty [expletive] miserable a lot of times. I hate it.”
That’s because West of Memphis isn’t just a movie Echols helped make. It’s the story he lived for 20 years, most of them spent behind bars.
Read more at The Washington Post.
- 16 January 2013
With so many musicians invested in the West Memphis Three, it’s no surprise that the soundtrack to West of Memphis -- which just hit store shelves yesterday -- has a pretty tremendous lineup, including Eddie Vedder, Johnny Depp, Bob Dylan, Nick Cave, Natalie Maines, and Henry Rollins. EW spoke with Rollins recently about the film, the soundtrack, and the ongoing saga of the West Memphis Three.
EW: Considering how long this process has been and the stakes involved, is it a little surreal to be talking about the West Memphis Three in terms of the subject of a film soundtrack?
Rollins: I never thought we’d be having this conversation—the soundtrack, the movie, all of that. There were a lot of dark months, even dark years. You burn so many emotional calories thinking about these guys in cages. Then the thing goes to the judge, the thing you’ve been working on for 15 months, and the judge just goes “Nah.” And you’re back at the bottom of the hill, covered in mud, with no tools. So you have to go back and get the tools again. This would be for three years at a time. The entire thing became abstract. The trippiest thing is now me hanging with Damien in New York at a packed theater with a bunch of people clapping. It borders on the surreal.
Read more at Entertainment Weekly.