How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba - We Are The Mighty
MIGHTY MOVIES

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba

Norberto Barba is a well-established TV producer, director and writer, and he’s a U.S. Army veteran. His career began directing independent films which led him to breaking into the TV industry on the show “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” He is proud of his Cuban heritage and family’s cultural influence on his life.


How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba

WATM: Can you share about your family and your life growing up?

I grew up in the Bronx, NY, where I am first generation as my parents came from Cuba in 1960. We grew up very humbly with six of us in an apartment. We had been evicted from a couple of apartments growing up. Although we did not have much in material possessions, my parents instilled a drive for excellence in us. There was a love of education and discipline in our family. My siblings are all highly educated with master’s degrees, which is a testament to my parents as we have all become successful.

The neighborhood was an interesting place and we lived in the Bronx during the “Bronx is Burning” period where it was rough. I went to Regis High School in NYC, which is one of the top five high schools in the country, where upon acceptance I got a free ride I was accepted into Columbia where I had an interest in pursuing medicine. I had done a lot of theater in high school which weighed in on the decision for me to study film instead. I studied film at Columbia for two years, mostly graduate courses and transferred to USC where it was all “hands on.” My next stop was at AFI where it was all story and character.

WATM: What is your most distinct memory of your mother and your father?

My mother worked hard as a seamstress and embroidery work. She did that for over 30 years. My father had a strong work ethic as well. They got to see all three of us succeed. They started from scratch and sacrificed for the next generation. They were highly successful in sacrificing so we as children could succeed in the US.

I went to Cuba in 1992 for a film festival and then went back in 2000 to take my mom who hadn’t been back since she had left. It was a heartfelt experience with her.

WATM: What values were stressed at home?

Self-sufficiency and that we were capable of anything if we set our minds to it. Education was the driving factor as well. With the little they had they made sure I had piano lessons, the latest encyclopedia and we were reading at an early age. They knew the power of our future would be based on education, discipline, self-belief, hard work, and determination. They taught us not to give up. The bar was set very high and there was an expectation of excellence. Having a “drive” is a very Cuban culture trait. Cubans are one of the most successful immigrant groups based on a solid value system. Family was stressed and important in life.

WATM: What influenced you to join the US Army, what was your experience and what lessons did you take away from your service?

Through college I worked consistently where I bar tended and worked at a Broadway theater on weekends while at Columbia. Between USC and AFI I recognized my need for help with my student loans where the military had a program to help pay them back. I enlisted in the Army Reserve and did Basic Training at Fort Sill, OK. I placed into the advanced courses and was a 25P for my specialty. I did my weekend a month at Los Alamitos by Long Beach. They would ask me if I was available to film a conference or a documentary which sometimes, I was. I did Basic Training right after the Panama conflict and then was in the Reserves during Desert Storm and Kosovo.

I met a lifelong friend while in the service and I do not regret having joined. They did make it difficult to get the Army to pay back my student loans where I never got what was owed to me. There was a lot of red tape in the student loan repayment process. They only were paying back the federal loans I had taken out. It seemed the Army was not used to paying back Ivy league types of expenditures. The expense of education is one of the drawbacks of going for higher degrees and training in the US.

I thought back to my time before entering the Army and what I was experiencing when I joined. There were no prospects where my dream was to be a director. I was burnt out of the part time jobs, temping and driving a taxi. I had the desire to do the Army and liked the idea of the discipline. I wanted a life experience and so I went. I liked the group of guys we put together out of the 306th Psychological Operations Company. We would mount radio stations and do propaganda work. I met actors and filmmakers in that unit where it was an interesting group.

AFI was a tough school to get into where only 23 candidates were selected per year. At that same time Desert Shield was starting as the lead up to Desert Storm. There was talk about putting boots on the ground where it came to January of 1991 and my unit asked me about if I wanted to deploy to the Gulf War. I told them I couldn’t do it as I was in the middle of production for my school. A week later they called me back asking me again to go to Kuwait. I told them again all my chips were up to AFI. They called a third time and said we need your MOS where you are being called up. I packed my TA-50 and picked up my weapon to head to Fort Bragg for deployment to Kuwait. I was ready to go even though I was in the middle of production. A day later or so the news came out that they had boots on the ground in the Gulf War and Desert Storm began. The war lasted about 100 hours where they stood me down before leaving. I was on the brink of going.

I finished AFI and was on the verge of my first feature film just a few years post my Desert Storm call up, and I get a call about me being needed to go to Kosovo. The Army did call me up, but my enlistment had just ended the day before and I didn’t go. My best friend in the unit took my place and left for Kosovo. It changed his life and he had a rough time. He came back to the states and was an actor where he decided to get a master’s in clinical psychology where he focused on PTSD. He then worked in Long Beach with the veterans with PTSD and returned to St. Louis to run a nonprofit support group for veterans that are homeless and that have difficulties. He is now the director of this program. Things are meant to happen where now he is doing this incredible work in St. Louis.

WATM: What values have you carried over from the Army into directing?

I brought esprit de corps over into directing. The way I run shows is a lot of the same camaraderie and mutual respect as you would have in a unit. The best producers delegate where I believe in the chain of command. As an EP I work in tandem with the writers where my primary goal is to protect the show and execute the writer’s vision. I have to run a production machine that is creative but at the same time it is pragmatic and a logistical effort. It is M an episode with a certain amount of time to shoot it and prep it. I have heads of departments and confirm with the writers what we are looking for. This runs down the chain of command to the different departments. I empower those department heads as captains and lieutenants where they have NCOs within the department to empower.

I remember an early comparison with the Soviet and US military where it was said the US would likely win. The Soviet military if they lost a captain or senior officer no one below them could run the unit. In the US military if the captain is taken out, the next person in line runs the thing and so on. If you are taking out the top guy you are not taking out the group. I think this is true because you are empowering through the chain of command where I don’t have to dictate everything and creative people in the chain of command can come up with new things. It allows for creativity and leadership that is inherent.

One morning while directing an episode on the set of “CSI:NY” Gary Sinise comes up to me and shakes my hand while saying “thank you for your service.” He found out the day before that I had served in the Army. I told Gary I am not some super patriot where I joined because I was broke and needed to pay back student loans. He said, “That doesn’t matter where folks join the military for different reasons. You shouldn’t feel ashamed or that you are not patriotic where your initial reason was financial. You didn’t have to join the Army where you could be sent somewhere and might be killed for serving your country.” His comments really stuck with me.

One thing I have noticed is that the majority of accomplished people have the most humility and gratitude.

WATM: What is the most fulfilling project you have done and why?

Martin Scorsese said this on revisiting films he had done before where he answered, “We grow as people and humans. The stories we want to tell fifteen years ago are not the stories we want to tell now. We grow and change.” Stories that make a humanistic difference are the most moving to me.

On “CSI:NY” I did an episode called “Yahrzeit” where Ed Asner plays an Orthodox Jew through the story, we see he was actually part of the Nazi Youth during WWII. He escaped Germany after the war, changed and embraced Judaism so as to not be discovered. For the show we interviewed Holocaust survivors as part of a documentary for the behind the scenes of that episode. It was a rare experience on “CSI:NY” where every time I watch that episode, I feel sad. It was also a powerful episode, where Gary Sinise’s character’s father in the show was part of liberating camps in WWII. I thought that episode made a difference.

I loved my experiences on “Better Call Saul” and “Lights Out.” “Lights Out” had a lot of heart. I loved working on “Grimm” and it was so fulfilling on a visual level, storytelling level and the audience we reached. It was the first series where my boys got what I did for a living because they were fans of the show. To this day I am very close to the actors and filmmakers of the show.

I have made some stinkers in my lifetime as well. Let’s not talk about them.

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba

The cast of “CSI NY”. Photo credit tvseriesfinale.com.

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba

Barba with the cast of “Mayans M.C.”. Photo credit Zimbio.

WATM: What was your experience like on projects such as “New York Undercover,” “CSI,” “Grimm,””Law Order,” “Mayans M.C.” and “FBI”?

When you look at a career, people tend to get pigeonholed for the things you do. I tailored my career from action to police procedurals and moved into more dramatic shows to avoid being pigeonholed. It is a journey through a career and it also reflects where I am in life at the time. I had a slow period in the early 2000s where it was just an inconsistent time. I remember thinking if I got “Law and Order”, that would really change things. Then I got an offer to direct “Law and Order: CI”, where one of the best things I did was the first episode I directed for the show. They asked me back for “Law and Order CI”, then I directed “Law Order: SVU” and even got to direct the original “Law and Order”. I did so well they asked me back to be an EP on “Criminal Intent.” I got very close to the Dick Wolf family and owe them a lot where it has become a somewhat symbiotic relationship.

I came back to “SVU” as a producer/director last season (2019) and am back this season (2020). You can be in a lot of producer camps where I have been in the Bruckheimer camp and Wolf camp.

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba

The cast from “Law Order: SVU”. Photo credit tvinsider.com.

WATM: What leadership lessons in life and from the Army have helped you most in your career?

Looking at the group you are meeting as equals and sharing the same goals. I don’t look at a leadership position where people are under me, but we are in this together. We are equal compatriots in reaching the same goal. We had to put up a radio tower in the Army where we are all in this together. Basic things as night watch in the Army where you are all supporting each other stick in my mind. It is a leadership quality that goes back to humility and gratitude.

Supporting each other going back to humility. I try to engender a cohesive group mentality, where they work out of desire to make the whole better and not out of fear. You want team members to desire to make the whole better. It all starts at the top and you can set the tone from there for the project.

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba

Barba on the set of Solo. Photo credit IMDB.com.

WATM: As a veteran, how do we get more veteran stories told in the Hollywood and stage arena?

It all goes down to a story where we shouldn’t be result oriented. We should not just want to tell more veteran stories we should have a veteran story that is really going to be impactful not just because it has veterans in it. An organic and true story as opposed to results-oriented veteran story. We will have more of those stories if we come from truth and from the heart.

WATM: What are you most proud of in life and your career?

I am most proud of my family, my boys and my wife. I am proud of my work as a director although it took a while for me to make it. I am proud that I hung in there.


MIGHTY MOVIES

This is how you can get your hands on the Army’s new combat video game

A brand new Army-designed multiplayer combat simulator will be opening up Beta testing on Oct. 10, 2017. The new game, Operation Overmatch, will focus on tank versus tank combat.


The player can operate a wide range of vehicles — currently existing, concept, or player created — as they fight over objectives in either single or multiplayer modes.

Creation of the game is a joint effort between U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s Army Capabilities Integration Center, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command and the Army Game Studio.

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba
And judging by the user reviews of their last game, America’s Army: Proving Ground, it could actually be fun! (Image via Steam)

Army Game Studio developer, TheTots, explained on the forum for America’s Army that the new game be used by both players and developers to test out the new capabilities for the Army. The game will feature new concept vehicles ranging from tanks to deployable UAVs.

Players can also customize new vehicles and test them in a no-stress situation that could one day be developed into actual combat vehicles.

The Army Capabilities Integration Center’s Lt. Col. Brian Vogt said, “Gaming is a tremendous medium to connect soldiers to the concept. Gaming is not just for entertainment anymore, now it is for experimenting.”

There is a precedent for gamers being used to improve complex research and development projects like this.

Back in 2008, scientists were trying to figure out the detailed molecular structure of a protein-cutting enzyme from an AIDS-like virus found on monkeys. It stumped molecular biologists for years.

After the game Foldit (a collaborative online game to solve this exact issue) came out, gamers solved it in just 10 days.

The best ideas from the game will likely be adopted by Army RDECOM for new weapons platforms, tactics and specs based on the game’s detailed analytics.

If the game wanted to be more entertaining, there could be many comparisons to games like Kerbal Space Program or Pimp My Gun in terms of silly designs.

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba
Haters will say it won’t work (Image via Imgur)

To apply for Beta Access, click on this link and sign up using your .mil email address.

MIGHTY MOVIES

Ex-CIA agent and ‘Red Sparrow’ writer on Russian threats

Red Sparrow is an unapologetically adult, complicated, and ambitious spy thriller based on the Edgar Award-winning novel by former CIA agent, Jason Matthews. Set in current times, it’s a throwback to the darkest Cold War spy thrillers and earns its R rating with a mix of sex and violence that hearkens back to the best 70s spy movies.


Jason Matthews talked to us about his own experiences in the CIA and why post-Soviet Russia is still a threat to democracy.

 

In the movie, Jennifer Lawrence plays Dominika Egorova, a Bolshoi ballerina who’s recruited to Russian intelligence after an on-stage injury ends her dancing career. Her uncle happens to be deputy director of the SVR and he sends her to Sparrow School, where she’s trained to use her sexuality as a weapon against Russian enemies.

Also read: 6 military movies you need to watch in 2018

Dominika pursues her own agenda as she’s tasked with seducing an American CIA agent (Joel Edgerton) and finding the identity of a mole in Russian intelligence. There’s a lot of methodical tradecraft punctuated by bursts of violence and sex. Red Sparrow isn’t aimed at the Hunger Games audience and makes no apologies about being a movie for adults.

Jason is a CIA veteran who doesn’t hedge his thoughts about Russia. The good news for fans of the movie is that the two additional novels in his trilogy might make even better films.

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba
Novelist and former CIA agent, Jason Matthews.

You left the CIA in 2010. How did you become a novelist?

I left after 33 years. In the clandestine service part of the agency, our careers were very experiential, 24/7. You were always on, you were always looking for surveillance, you’re always wondering about rooms being bugged.

When that lifestyle ended, it ends with the crash. One of the familiar Hollywood tropes of retired spies is the big black car pulls up to your house and they recruit you back into service. In reality, that never happens. When you’re out, you’re out.

I started writing fictionalized little snippets of accounts of people that we’ve known, fictionalized mosaics of places we’ve been and things we’ve done. Before I knew it, I had a novel together.

The novel Red Sparrow is a throwback to the old-school spy novels that emphasize tradecraft, as opposed to a lot of the contemporary books that are action novels with spy plots grafted onto them.

Absolutely. There are lots of great thriller writers out there, but they mostly write about counterterrorism and catching the briefcase nuke. I wanted to write a classic, old spy yarn with the Russians as the main opponents.

Related: 7 movie quotes that perfectly apply to military life

You were born in the 50s. Did you grow up on that kind of fiction and those movies?

Sure. There were a lot of great spy movies in the 60’s and 70’s, really iconic sort of film-noir kinds of things. But I think my worldview was formulated by 33 years in the service.

My wife was also in the service, we were a tandem couple. We lived in ten foreign capitals and we worked on a lot of different human targets, but we also kept our eye out for the Russians because that was the gold ring.

You wrote these novels and then this film got developed at a time when Americans probably weren’t thinking as much about the Russians. Here we are in 2018 and the Russians are at the front of everyone’s mind again.

I wake up every morning and I thank Vladimir Putin for providing endless content for books and movies. He’s doing a great job as a PR director for us.

Russia is always gonna be sort of a conundrum, they’re always gonna be meddling. They love those active measures, political influence campaigns. They’ve been doing them since the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. Vladimir Putin’s singular goal is to stay in power. That will take a weakened America, a weakened NATO, and a weakened Atlantic Alliance. He just wants to stay in power.

If he can fuss with the American democracy – and I don’t care whether you’re Democrat or Republican — all the partisanship, all the squabbling just plays into the Russian hands. They’re rubbing their hands in delight in the Kremlin.

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba
Vladimir Putin. (Photo from The Russian Presidential Press and Information Office)

There’s a school of thought that the Russian love of espionage is a trait that goes back centuries and that it’s not something that started with the Soviets.

I think that’s absolutely right on. You hesitate to generalize, but Russians are xenophobic. The only people they hate more than foreigners are themselves. They don’t like to be ignored, they don’t like to be belittled. They want a seat around the table. Russia is always caught between the European elegance of Catherine the Great and the Slavic beastliness of Ivan the Terrible.

As an expert, what do you think the United States should be doing right now to deal with this current wave of Russian influence, or can we say, interference?

I think that we have to show resolve, we have to show solidarity, we’ve got to stop our partisan squabbling, and create a unified front. Russia, historically, stops what they’re doing when the cost of it becomes more than the profits that they imagine they’re getting.

Putin has got elections coming up this year and, if you have any doubt what he considers the vulnerable spots in any election process, he has unplugged his internet, he controls state television and radio, he has disqualified his major opponents from running, and he makes demonstrations in the streets illegal. That’s the Russian playbook and, if we could find the cracks in the cement between all those elements and give him a headache, he’ll be too busy to start messing around with our process.

More reading: 4 reasons why it’s impossible to make movies about the military

Obviously, people with an interest in Russian spy tales are going to line up to see Red Sparrow. Do you think the movie can act as a wakeup call for the broader Hollywood audience, the Jennifer Lawrence fans who don’t think about our current situation with Russia?

Using a broad brush, maybe audiences will take back home the fact that the Cold War never ended, we’re going through a second Cold War, and the Russians mean to do us harm. The movie itself, you know it’s sexy, it’s violent, it’s got a tremendous cast and terrific characters, but I don’t know how much American theatergoers will bring home besides the realization that Russia is not our ally.

You created a spy character who’s a woman. I don’t think there’s been a woman this prominent in spy fiction before. Was that a conscious choice or something that just happened based on the stories you knew from your career?

Yes and no. I thought it would be interesting and evocative to make the main character the heroine. I had read a little bit about the famous Sparrow Schools in the 60s and the 70s in the Soviet Union and how horrible they were. It was almost like slavery, making women go to those kinds of schools.

Apart from the sexpionage, Dominika falls in love with the CIA officer who recruits her. So, there’s mortal danger and a love affair and Sparrow School. I thought it was an interesting combination.

Related: 4 military movies whose hero should be dead

Is that sexpionage something that’s still in the playbook?

Western intel services never got into sexpionage because they thought that anyone recruited by sexual blackmail would be a not trustworthy source. I think the old Sparrow School in the Soviet City of Kazan is probably closed. But if a human target with access to classified information went to Moscow, he’d probably see a modern-day Sparrow at one of the bars of the five-star hotels in Moscow. They would be there ready and waiting.

What are you working on now? What’s next?

This year, the third book in the Sparrow trilogy came out, Kremlin’s Candidate. I told myself I was going to take a little break, but the next morning I found myself staring at my computer screen trying to figure out a new plot. I don’t have anything yet, but I can’t stop.

MIGHTY MOVIES

How you can be cast in Tom Hanks’ new film as a Navy Crewman

To be a great actor, one must be able to pull from their real-life experiences. Moments they’ve lived become the actor’s mask. When it comes to military films, there is nobody better suited to play a troop than a veteran. This is that opportunity. The new film, Greyhound, is looking for extras to play Navy crewmen.


Greyhound is an adaptation of the C. S. Forester novel, The Good Shepherd. The screenplay is written by and will star the legendary Tom Hanks. Aaron Schneider, director of Get Low and the Academy Award-winning short Two Soldiers, will be directing. Gary Goetzman, a five-time Emmy winner for works like The Pacific and Band of Brothers, will produce the film.

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba
That pedigree and care for WWII stories will now tell the Navy’s tale in the Atlantic. (Image via Wikicommons)

The novel follows the fictional Commander Krause as he assumes command of the escort protecting the Atlantic force in the Battle of the Atlantic as America enters the Second World War. Krause is a career Navy officer who must hide his fears, self-doubt, and fatigue to prove he belongs and can inspire his men as the war begins.

The story also happens to spotlight the hell of the Naval battles in the Atlantic, the cruelties of the sea, and the exhaustion of remaining at constant alert for an ever-lurking enemy.

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba
The Battle of the Atlantic would end up being the longest continuous military campaign of WWII. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

The studio prefers people with military experience. Male actors from ages 19 to 49 who are clean-shaven and have a 1940’s Navy style crewman haircut (or willing to be styled this way) are needed to play background extras. They would be needed throughout principal photography, from mid-February to early April, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

You need to apply through Backstage, found here. The role is paid and available to non-Screen Actors Guild actors.

Act fast! The deadline to apply is Feb. 18.

MIGHTY MOVIES

6 cringe-inducing weapon fails from ‘The Walking Dead’

Without Rick and Morty, Westworld, or Game of Thrones, Sunday nights are getting fairly thinned out with regards to binge worthy TV shows. Luckily we still have The Walking Dead, a great show that keeps fans watching every week because of the fantastic cast of characters living out the zombie apocalypse fantasy we all think about.


How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba

One of the key components of the show is the over indulgence of firearms. Makes sense, right? Zombie apocalypse would need plenty of nobodies to pack some heat to survive. Not everyone can be a bad ass with a crossbow or katana.

However, people who have actually seen a firearm cringe when they see how the weapons are actually portrayed.

Some things can be hand-waved away by the user being a idiot and no one correcting them in the apocalypse (I’m looking at you, everyone with sh*tty trigger discipline!).

Other times the writers throw in a spotlight piece of dialogue, such as when someone gets a headshot on a walker from maybe 500 yards and someone else says, “Wow! That’s impressive!” and they respond with “I wasn’t aiming for that one.”

This is called “hanging a lantern” on stretches of the imagination (but it still doesn’t explain the max effective range on a 9mm Glock).

This list is ranked from “Okay, I guess the show creators are taking some creative freedom with that” to “Wait… what? But why… what?”

Minor non-specific spoilers ahead if you care about spoiler tags.

#6. Cocking your weapon multiple times

This one isn’t specific to just The Walking Dead. If you’ve never picked up a weapon before, you might think guns are ready to jump into bang-bang mode at any moment. This doesn’t happen in reality. A weapon won’t fire a round if there’s no round in the chamber. And it is possible that they did chamber their weapon off-screen — not everything in life is cinematic enough to make good cinema/television.

But this isn’t like weapon maintenance and cleaning. Even more egregious is when they show the same weapon being cocked when they’re about to start fighting. And then again when they’re seconds away from a fire fight. Possible? Totally. But we’d see that round that was chambered a few minutes ago fly out. Just going to gloss right over the manual cocking sound of a revolver being applied to semi-auto pistols, but you catch the drift.

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba
I won’t bore you with my rant on how there’s never any brass on the ground, unless it’s for a cool low-angle “after battle” shot  (Television Series “The Walking Dead” by AMC)

#5. Who needs a rear sight post anyways?

Quick run down on how aiming works: Think of when you were looking at the stars. If you line up a tree with, say, a fence post and sit in the same spot days later. You can observe the movement in the sky. You lined up the object at four points. The star, the tree, fence post, and your eye. You need two points between your eye and the star to keep positioning just right in a straight line.

In the case of a firearm, that straight line is also the barrel. Take away a sight post, that straight line is skewed. All of this means that it won’t hit jacksh*t, and the characters wasted their time zeroing their weapons.

Or maybe no one needs to zero their weapon in the zombie apocalypse…

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba
Don’t worry, I’m not done with the Governor just yet…

#4. Who needs an eye to look through the scope anyways?

Okay. Maybe they’re so intertwined with their weapon that it becomes second nature. Like previously mentioned, everyone is an expert as shooting walkers from god knows how far. The rifle being brought up to the shoulder may just be out of second nature.

What about our characters that don’t have their dominant firing eye? What the hell are they even aiming at?

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba
You’d think at least the actor with the eye patch would notice this and say something… (Television Series The Walking Dead by AMC)

#3. Infinite Ammo Cheat Codes

L1, R1, SQUARE, R1, LEFT, R2, R1, LEFT, SQUARE, DOWN, L1, L1.

Apparently everyone types this in before every episode of the show, because unless it’s for dramatic tension, no one runs out of ammunition. The world is ending. It’s a constant worry in the show to find food. But ammo? Nah. We got it covered.

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba

#2. Misunderstanding what certain bullets do

Last science rundown: Newton’s Third Law of Motion. All forces between two objects exist in equal magnitude and opposite direction. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

In firearm science, this means that the kickback from firing a weapon will hit the target with a similar kick, accounting for minor air resistance and many other factors. So if you were to shoot a handgun at someone, they are hit with the same force. It’d hurt like a b*tch, but no one is flying through a window.

Same works the other way around to. If you shoot a M2 .50 Caliber machine gun into the engine block of a civilian jeep, it won’t just ding off like some dirt.

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba

#1. Head shots for days against zombies, but no one can seem to hit a human for some reason

Why why WHY can no one hit a single living person? Plot armor must be a hell of a thing. At least the Stormtroopers have a reason for why their aim ‘sucks’.

Related: 6 reasons why it would suck to be a Stormtrooper in Star Wars

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba
At least Shiva was consistent about her killing ability. If you didn’t want spoilers, don’t look too deep into the use of past tense. (Television Series The Walking Dead by AMC)

*Bonus*  Just. No. That’s not how that works…

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba

MIGHTY MOVIES

Ranking ‘Jurassic Park’ movies by the best Velociraptor scenes

Tyrannosaurus Rexes may get all the hype but velociraptors are every bit as essential to the success of the Jurassic film franchise. These vicious, brilliant carnivores are always around to cause a little mischief and eat an unsuspecting human using some advanced hunting tactics. But which of the films make the best use of these infamous dinosaurs? Here is our official ranking of the Jurassic Park films, purely based on their velociraptor scenes.

4. The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

There is a fairly obvious reason the first sequel places last on the list: Velociraptors are mostly missing from this movie. The raptors are unsurprisingly badass and slightly terrifying in the film despite their limited presence – fucking up the InGen team of mercenaries – but the bar for this list is simply too high for this maligned sequel to land any higher.

3. TIE: Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

If Jurassic Park III set the stage for the raptor redemption, the Jurassic World films are where they completed their transformation from villain to hero. And that transformation was mostly… fine. In the first Jurassic World, Owen Grady had been able to develop a rapport with a pack of raptors, to the point where they are able to follow his orders.


Sure, it undeniably rules to get to watch a pack of raptors run side-by-side with Chris Pratt on a motorcycle but watching the raptors bow to the will of a human trainer feels fundamentally wrong (not to mention a far cry from their brilliant tactical skills on display the rest of the franchise).

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Even their brief team up with the Indominus Rex doesn’t feel nearly as thrilling as it should, as it was fairly obvious they would eventually end up back on Team Owen. We won’t spoil Fallen Kingdom by getting into details but Blue’s role is basically the same as it was in the first Jurassic World, albeit the ending suggests an exciting future for this hyper-intelligent raptor.

2. Jurassic Park III (2001)

The worst movie in the Jurassic franchise? Maybe, but if you’re just looking for some sweet raptor content, Jurassic Park III is right near the top. Raptors are the best part of this otherwise mediocre movie, as the raptors’ remarkable level of intelligence and killer instincts are on full display in this third chapter.

The biggest reveal from the movie revolves entirely around velociraptors, as Dr. Alan Grant is shocked to discover that the pack of raptors are able to communicate in a way that is far more advanced than any other species other than humans. It’s also the beginning of the raptor rebrand, as it is the first time they don’t play the villain role. And while it’s technically just a dream, Grant waking up to a raptor calling his name literally never gets old.

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1. Jurassic Park (1993)

Was there ever any doubt? Whether they are outsmarting Robert Muldoon or hunting for Dr. Hammond’s grandkids in the kitchen, nearly every moment of raptor screentime in Jurassic Park is iconic. Hell, even their offscreen moments – who can forget when the group discovers Samuel L. Jackson’s arm – only helped establish the mythos of these vicious creatures.

And with all do respect to the other films, raptors are just more compelling when they are using their intelligence to hunt down humans, as opposed to helping them. And in this movie, they are in full baddie mode. In fact, they likely would have won the movie if it wasn’t for that pesky T-Rex conveniently showing up at the perfect moment.

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Twenty-five years later, it can be easy for all of us to take the popularity of raptors for granted but so much of what we now know about these vicious carnivores stems from this classic blockbuster. Without Jurassic Park, it’s highly unlikely that these clever girls would be a sure-fire first-ballot member of the Dinosaur Hall of Fame.

This article originally appeared on Fatherly. Follow @FatherlyHQ on Twitter.

MIGHTY MOVIES

What ‘Game of Thrones’ – and Nagasaki – taught us about war

Warning: Contains spoilers from the series finale of Game of Thrones

In the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones, Daenerys Targaryen unleashed her weapon of mass destruction dragon on the army of her enemy — as well as thousands of civilians in King’s Landing. She deliberately and extensively burned thousands of innocent women, children, and elderly civilians alive.

In the series finale, she justified her actions by saying that Cersei Lannister had intended to use those innocent lives as a shield. Instead, Daenerys Stormborn turned that shield to ash.

And then…all was well in the realm?


How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba

A few people closest to Daenerys decided not that she must be held accountable for her actions, but that she must actually be put down for them — so Jon Snow murdered her. We could spend a lot of time discussing the merits to bringing a war criminal to trial, but let’s just accept that Jon felt the only way he could truly end Dany’s war was to literally stab her in the heart after telling her he’d be loyal and kissing her and how could you do that to Khaleesi Jon she needed a therapist.

And then…it really was done.

Everyone left standing was so weary of bloodshed that they calmly gathered together, laid down their arms, and invented a new form of government.

Which, honestly, is the only way men actually end their wars (maybe not the new government part — although…sometimes that works too — and actually while we’re here can we re-examine Plato’s philosopher king theory it could be cool maybe?).

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba

“Democracy is nothing more than mob rule.”

In war, we butcher the enemy until someone can’t take it anymore. It is unimaginable to comprehend the casualties from conflicts like the World Wars (in World War I alone, the estimate is around 40 million civilian and military personnel injured or killed — 40 million). In World War II, the estimate is double.

Millions and millions (and millions) of people were dying horrific deaths and yet the fighting continued.

The United States dropped an atomic bomb on a city of innocents and yet the fighting continued.

It wasn’t until the U.S. dropped a second bomb that Japan finally surrendered.

Also read: Was this ‘Game of Thrones’ episode a metaphor for the Iraq War?

Eventually, men do lose their taste for war, which is the only way it can truly end. Unfortunately, humanity’s collective threshold for egregious harm, torture, and suffering is so high that it takes something like two atomic bombs — or a metaphorical dragon — to put an end to it all.

Which could explain why, after 17+ years, the United States is still fiddle f***ing around in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s a mercy that no one is going nuclear in those AORs, but unfortunately, our own wheel keeps turning, delivering death by a thousand cuts.

Anyway, congratulations to Bran Stark.

MIGHTY CULTURE

‘Mayans MC’ star Vincent Vargas ‘didn’t think it was fair’ that Adam Driver was bullied for serving in the war

Lockdown measures have meant that almost everyone is spending nearly all their time on Twitter. Those familiar with the social media platform would know that every new day during these difficult times sees a new celebrity being canceled. One of those celebrities was Adam Driver, for his supposed Islamophobic sentiments for enlisting.

On April 20, the hashtag #adamdriverisoverparty started trending on Twitter after a 2019 interview of the actor resurfaced. In the interview, Driver spoke about how he joined the Marines after 9/11 because he felt a deep desire for retribution against an invisible and unknown enemy.


“It wasn’t against Muslims,” he said. “It was: We were attacked. I want to fight for my country against whoever that is.”

What followed was a horde of Twitter users using Driver’s comments to accuse him of being Islamophobic and launching the hashtag. “#AdamDriverIsOverParty forget that ugly Islamophobic troll stream my amy adams fancam,” said one.

‘Mayans M.C.’ actor Vincent Vargas spoke to MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) on what he thought about Driver being subjected to the cancel culture. He said, “I think right now, people are completely polarized and completely divided on opinions on everything in the world. I believe they took Adam Driver’s quotes on what he talked about, why he wanted to serve our country and turned it against him as if he [were] an Islamophobe.”

He added, “I just didn’t think it was fair to someone who [served] our country, someone who decided to join for whatever reasons that might be and then to turn around and try and damage his career because of unpopular opinions of other people. It’s a small demographic of individuals that use social media to essentially bully someone on their own opinion.”

Vargas also said that Driver’s 2019 interview might have resurfaced as people are bored of being on quarantine and stuck indoors. He added that Driver is “a brilliant actor,” and that he did not think “any kind of assumption of his character is going to ruin his career.” Vargas said, “Whatever they took out of context, that’s on them.”

He said, “For it to kind of blow-up again was kind of weird. I was almost amazed by it and kind of blown away that someone who serves in America, who [makes] the kind of entertainment that we enjoy that is mostly made in America — the land of opportunity that actors from other countries come to — was [bashed].”

Vargas believes that it’s “honorable and commendable” that Driver chose to serve in the war, whether “people believe in the [purpose of the] war or not.” He said, “[Driver] was trying to serve a greater purpose than himself.”

Vargas himself is a veteran. The actor enlisted for the military and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan between 2003 and 2007 and did three tours. At the time, Vargas enlisted partly for financial reasons. He had a child he needed to support, but also because he wanted to do his part to help. He said, “I wanted to try and do it the right way and try and do special operations.”

The actor was part of both Operation Iraqi Freedom (the United States’ invasion of Iraq from 2003 to 2011) and Operation Enduring Freedom (what the Global War on Terrorism was called by the United States government).

Vargas was sent to learn Pashtu for several months so he could communicate with the Afghani population in the hills. He said he would check on them to see how things were going as well as to establish that “we’re here looking for terrorist fighters.”

Vargas said there was an interesting dynamic between the soldiers and the civilians of those countries. He told MEAWW, “Are we there for the right reasons? That’s a question to answer, but I’m here to do [the] job that has been asked of me by the military.”

On being asked his opinions on the civilian casualties during the United States’ operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Vargas said, “I think we all know and [have] seen that there are civilian casualties in war all the time and it’s a super unfortunate thing to happen.”

He added, “It’s obviously not something I condone or support but I also know that there’s this crazy thing that happens in the fog of war and it’s unfortunate. It’s unfortunate that a lot of terrorist acts happened in our country and some civilians, innocent people, and bystanders get hurt in those as well. When you have a country at war, those things are to be expected and it’s not a good thing. It’s not something to be proud of, but it is something that we have to acknowledge exists.”

Vargas plays the role of Gilberto “Gilly” Lopez on FX’s ‘Mayans M.C.’. Crucially, he also serves as a technical advisor on the show. Vargas tells us that it is just him and Tyler Grey (of ‘SEAL Team’) who are veterans who served in active combat duty who work as actors on mainstream television today.

Vargas said, “I believe it’s kind of my place to make sure that veterans are represented in the right light and not to be bashed on for serving our country. Think about Hollywood. In the 50s and 60s, it was [run] by veterans who served in Vietnam and before that in World War 2.”

As the technical advisor, Vargas helps make sure that everything done on the show regarding law enforcement, military, and border patrol are authentic. When the writers want to include material on those aspects, Vargas, makes sure that it is something that is correct and “valid toward the truth.”

While it may seem that veteran representation in Hollywood is aplenty, veterans often lament that their on-screen counterparts are often portrayed in extremes. Veteran Chris Marvin told the New York Times that veterans were being stereotyped by what he believes has become the dominant image on television and in Hollywood today: the “broken hero,” as he puts it, “who once did incredible things but is now forever damaged and in need of help.”

“The truth is, 99 percent of us are neither heroic nor broken,” Marvin said. “We are people — people the public has invested in who have a lot of potential. And it’s time to get over the pity party.”

Marvin believed that the portrayals may color the public’s perceptions, causing people to think that veterans are more likely to be unemployed and to commit suicide than their civilian peers, which he insisted is not true.

This article originally appeared on Meaww. Follow @MeawwOfficial on Twitter.

Articles

This is what happens when a Navy SEAL becomes an actor

Bravery is a thing you see every day in the military. In all branches, in moments great and small, it’s an expression of the fundamental courage it takes to put your life on the line for love of country and to serve those you swore to protect.

Former Navy SEAL David Meadows proved exemplary in this capacity, serving 11 years in some of the harshest theaters of war throughout the Middle East.


But unlike many of his fellow Oscar Mike alumni, Meadows chose, upon reentry, to translate his habituated bravery into a civilian arena that would, honestly, make most servicemen and women want to crawl out of their natural born skins…

Yeah, he became an actor.

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba
On the set of Banshee (2016) (Photo from IMDB)

And we can tell you from experience that there are few professions that require a more constant personal brokerage with public shame, mortal embarrassment, insecurity, and rejection — in short, all of the types of feelings that normal people avoid like their lives depend on it.

Being the Special Ops-trained bad ass that he is, though, Meadows surveyed this new theater of war and then dove in head first. Acting for a living takes guts.

“I think that if there is a magic left in the world…it’s really for a person to be affected, to be changed — by one human being actually affecting somebody else on a really human, natural, soulful level. Does that make sense? And performing artists have that power. And I thought…that’s absolutely amazing. And I want to be a part of that.”

To get a taste of the kind of courage an actor has to muster every day, Oscar Mike host Ryan Curtis visited Meadows at his acting studio in Los Angeles and submitted himself to a battery of drills that actors employ to help them behave truthfully under imaginary circumstances.

Each exercise is designed to increase physical sensitivity, dial up emotional availability, and to inure actors to the fear of ridicule that can shut them down at crucial moments. Like all high-stakes training, it’s effective — but it ain’t pretty.

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba

Today’s lesson is clear: in a successful civilian life, emotional bravery matters. But you don’t have to take our word for it, you can just watch as Curtis cracks under the pressure and and begs to postpone the big payoff in the video embedded at the top.

Watch more Oscar Mike:

This Green Beret will make you a mental commando

The Marine Rapper will make you shake your Citizen Rump

This is why the future of motocross is female

This Iraq vet kayaker will make you rethink PTSD

This is what happens when a SEAL helps you with your lady problems

MIGHTY MOVIES

Behold: ‘The Mandalorian’ Season 2 trailer just dropped

Our favorite baby daddy Mandalorian is back! Pedro Pascal’s Din Djarin stoically appears in the new trailer for season two of The Mandalorian — and he’s got his little sidekick with him. The trailer makes it clear that this next season will be taking us deeper into the Force.


The Mandalorian: Season 2 Official Trailer (2020)

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“The songs of eons past tell of battles between Mandalore The Great and an order of sorcerers called Jedi,” intones the Armorer.

“You expect me to search the galaxy and deliver this creature to a race of enemy sorcerers?” asks a dubious Djarin.

“This is the way.”

Remember, The Mandalorian takes place in the years after the events of Return of the Jedi (about thirty years after Order 66 resulted in the purge of most of the Jedi Order); and as we know from The Force Awakens, most of the galaxy thinks of the Jedi and the Force as stories or legends — if they know about them at all.

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba

Meanwhile, the Mandalorian-Jedi Wars ended thousands of years earlier. The Force is still a misunderstood phenomenon for Djarin, who understandably thinks of the Jedi as “enemy sorcerers.” It’s a clever approach to The Force, allowing the audience to delight in Djarin’s discoveries into mysteries that have dominated pop culture since 1977.

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba

I just hope they don’t still use elephants to make banthas… (Disney+)

It also makes for fun easter egg searches in every Star Wars release. Some of the highlights from the season two trailer include a Bantha-riding Tusken Raider (why is everyone obsessed with going back to Tatooine???), Rebel Alliance (slash New Republic?) X-Wings, and Sasha Banks’ rumor-stirring appearance (will the WWE star play a Jedi? A Sith? A Nightsister?).

Disney is deftly saving big cast reveals for the episodes, which means neither Rosario Dawson (who is rumored to play The Clone Wars’ Ahsoka Tano) nor Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackhoff were to be seen. Instead, fans wonder about who Banks will play — and is it Sabine Wren, a Mandalorian warrior and rebel combatant?

The trailer illustrates the scope of Djarin and the Yoda Baby’s travels, from Tatooine to snowy worlds, to cloud-filled skies, to a water world (is it Mon Cala??). We also get the playfulness that Star Wars fans know and love when the pair are attacked during an alien MMA match. Check out the trailer above for the full effect!

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba

Gotta love that new logo. (Disney+)

The Mandalorian returns to Disney+ on Oct. 30, 2020.

Don’t forget to check out the season one recaps to refresh your memory before you dive into season two this fall!

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MIGHTY MOVIES

Kevin Nash says ‘Magic Mike XXL’ cast reminds him of his Army squad


Kevin Nash went to the University of Tennessee for one reason: to play basketball, and for three years that’s pretty much what he did. Nash played center, and as a junior he helped the team advance to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament. But one physical altercation with legendary coach Don Devoe later, he was gone. Who knew he would end up in Magic Mike?

Nash made his way to Europe to play professionally, but during a game in Germany he injured his anterior cruciate ligament, which immediately ended his basketball career. Out of any better ideas, he decided to try something he’d always wanted to do: He joined the Army.

After going through basic at Fort McClellan, Nash wound up assigned to the 202nd Military Police Company in Giessen, Germany and served in a secure NATO facility for two years.

“I enjoyed the life,” Nash said. “I was forced to be disciplined, and that was something I’d lacked to that point to a certain degree.”

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba
Nash hanging with Army buds in Germany circa ’82.

During his three years of military service, Kevin Nash rose to the rank of specialist.

“I liked it so much I thought about going to be a drill instructor,” he said. But ultimately he decided not to reenlist. Family matters – including his father’s failing health – took him back to his hometown of Detroit. After working on the assembly line at Ford Motor Company for a while, he decided to enter the world of professional wrestling.

Nash debuted in WCW as the orange-mohawked “Steel”, one half of the tag team known as the “Master Blasters.” His success right out of the gate was followed by more, adopting different personas and adjusting to changes in the organizations around him. He went from “Steel” to “Oz” to “Vinne Vegas” to “Diesel” before going back to his real name.

“The secret to being a pro wrestler, besides having physical abilities, is to pick a good personality,” Nash said. “The closer it is to you the better.”

And as he changed names he went from WCW to WWF and back again a few times before joining the WWE and, finally, signing on with Global Force Wrestling as a “legend” to help promote events and tours.  In the process he became one of the industry’s most popular wrestlers. His career culminated with him being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2015.

Nash also has a host of acting credits on his resume. Beside appearing in movies and on TV, his voice has been used in video games and cartoons. Last year he appeared in “John Wick” with Keanu Reeves, and this year he reprises his role as Tarzan in “Magic Mike XXL.”

“Of all the things I’ve done, the ‘Magic Mike’ series most resembles the comradery of Army life,” Nash said. “Working with the other guys reminds me of being in a squad.” The producers even had the cast do weapons training together as a team-building exercise.

“Magic Mike XXL” was filmed in Savannah, Georgia, which worked out well for Nash as he now makes his home in Daytona, Florida. “Besides, I like to spend as little time as possible in L.A.,” he added.

Nash is happy with the results in the sequel. “It’s better than the first one,” Kevin Nash said. “There’s a lot more going on. It’s more of a road trip and not just hanging in the club.”

“Magic Mike XXL”  is available to rent here: 

Now: This 1970 training video shows how the Army used to be like ‘Mad Men’

Articles

Star Wars’ connection to WWII-era military aviation

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba
YouTube


The long-awaited seventh movie in the Star Wars saga is close to hitting theaters, and nerds everywhere are beside themselves. While most young males in North America grow up with a love of Star Wars (or Star Trek, if you have poor taste), I didn’t really find myself catching onto the movies in the same way as most of my peers did… In fact, what really lured me to Star Wars was the space battles between sleek and mean-looking X-Wing fighters and the various spaceships of the Empire (the bad guys). That interest was further cemented by something I found out about Star Wars’ connection to aviation of the Second World War, which I’m far more a fan of, if we’re being honest.

If you’ve ever seen the original trilogy (Return of the Jedi, The Empire Strikes Back and A New Hope), you’ve probably seen the infamous Millennium Falcon spaceship in action, piloted by the gruff, sarcastic Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford, a huge aviation buff), and co-piloted by his massive furry beer buddy, Chewbacca. The cockpit of the Falcon, if you pay close attention, actually seems to resemble another flying vehicle, though one from a very long time ago.

I’m talking about the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, one of the US Army Air Force’s strategic bomber workhorses of the Second World War, and the aircraft most famously associated with dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, decisively ending the war in the Pacific Theater.

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba
Spartan7W | Public Domain

George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, apparently developed an affection for the B-29 during the time he spent researching aerial dogfights of WWII to enhance the realism of the space battles fought between X-Wings and TIE Fighters of the Rebels and the Empire respectively. He had set engineers design the cockpit of the Falcon such that it matched the view facing forward from the cockpit of a B-29 (peering over the pilots’ shoulders). After viewing over 25 hours of combat footage and gun camera imagery, Lucas included gunner stations aboard the Millennium Falcon, similar to those you’d find on a B-29 or a B-17 Flying Fortress. A few of the characters used such gun (or laser) turrets to good effect against marauding TIE Fighters in a similar manner to how gunners aboard bombers during WWII would engage enemy interceptor fighters sent up to shoot them down.

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba
YouTube

Lucas needed his spaceships to possess unique sounds that were fitting of their futuristic nature, so he once again turned to WWII-era aviation to help with meeting his goals. As sounds couldn’t easily be synthesized in the same way that studios can today, Lucas’ sound engineers needed to record other noises and modify them to get what they were after. One engineer was sent out to the Reno Air Races in Nevada, where he was allowed to lay down near a pylon (something you most certainly cannot do today) and record the noise of P-51 Mustang racers screaming overhead. After slowing down the recorded track, they mated it to movie scenes, and thus, the Millennium Falcon was given its unique and ominous sounds.

More from Tactical Air Network:

Articles

Navy vet Sturgill Simpson’s country music breakthrough

How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba
Atlantic Records


On his fantastic new album A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, Sturgill Simpson uses life at sea to inspire songs about separation from family and a longing for home. Simpson himself grew up in Kentucky and claims he joined the Navy on a whim when driving past a recruiting station.

After three years which included service in Japan and Southeast Asia, he left the service. “I wasn’t very good at taking orders,” he told Garden and Gun in 2014.

After he came home and started a music career, it turned out he wasn’t very good at taking orders from Nashville, either. Simpson wasn’t cut out for the kind of trucks-and-beer pop country that’s dominated the charts over the last decade and made his name on independently-released albums. He had a breakthrough with 2014’s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, produced by Dave Cobb (who’s made a name for himself producing fellow Nashville rebels Chris Stapleton and Jason Isbell).

Atlantic Records signed Simpson and gave him total freedom to make Sailor’s Guide, which he produced himself. What he made is a compact album (39 minutes, just like the old days!) that combines ’70s Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson with Stax Records-style horns, Al Green keyboard grooves and a Elvis in Memphis vibe.

On the track “Sea Stories,” he talks about joining the Navy:

Basically it’s just like papaw says:

“Keep your mouth shut and you’ll be fine”

Just another enlisted egg

In the bowl for Uncle Sam’s beater

When you get to Dam Neck

Hear a voice in your head

Saying, “my life’s no longer mine”

He also includes a cover of Nirvana’s “In Bloom,” where he adds a new lyric. After the line “You don’t know what it means” (where there’s a howling guitar squall on the original version), Simpson sings “to love someone,” a line he says he imagined was there for years after he first heard the Nirvana version. Fans of the BeeGees (and the innumerable soul covers of the song) will appreciate the “To Love Someone” reference.

There’s zero Autotune on the vocals, so this kind of gritty, soulful music may sound a bit weird to fans of Little Big Town or Florida-Georgia Line. None of the songs sound like truck commercials, so you’re probably not going to hear this music on commercial country radio. If Chris Stapleton got your attention last year, though, Simpson’s album is a logical next step into the world of traditional country.

The album’s for sale in all the digital music stores, CDs are really cheap at Amazon and you can stream it on Spotify or Apple Music before you buy. Check out the first two videos from the album below.

Sturgill’s daring cover of Nirvana’s “In Bloom” 
The album’s first single is “Brace for Impact (Live a Little)”     
How to tell your story from the heart: An interview with Norberto Barba
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