The Sound of Scars (2022) Movie Script

If you don't walk with me
I will walk alone
Yeah, yeah
I always felt a bit different,
kinda in my own brain,
and not in a good way.
This kind of sadness that I
have underneath the surface,
it can get the best of you
when you least expect it,
even when good
things are going on.
Life of Agony
hail from Brooklyn in New York,
and last year, released
their acclaimed debut album,
"River Runs Red."
It was a
very important record.
"River Runs Red"
connected in a way
through the messages of suicide
that intense raw emotion
that was put into that music
and into the making
of that record.
We needed that
record at the time
and I think people
obviously felt it.
It just really seemed like
everything was moving in this
great direction for the band.
All the signs were there that
we could have seen them become
a successful rock band that
got songs on the radio.
The band was absolutely
ready for that level of success
but I absolutely wasn't.
I didn't know back
then the lesson was
put a bullet in your head
and fucking go Cobain.
They had come
full circle and successfully
transformed into like an
active rock radio band.
"Soul Searching Sun"
was catching on at radio
and the band was starting
to establish themselves
in this new world.
Keith left the band.
There is no
Keith, Keith was a lie,
Keith was just a
social construct.
Keith was an idea
to get me out of the abusive
home situation that
I was in at the time.
So Keith was just
pretty much a lie.
Let's see all you
guys get in the middle,
one last New York fucking
'92 pit, right here,
Let's see it! River
runs fucking red
I got the razor at my
wrist 'cause I can't resist
I've got this fever burnin'
fist that does as I wish
But when I get downtown
and see what's around
I just know there's got to
be a better place to be found
Ooh, God help me
The river runs red
and I think I'm dyin'
All right, yeah
you're coming with mom.
Who's that, the cameraman?
Who's that Princess? What's
he doing, he's filming Toni?
I'm about 11 years
into hormone therapy.
You know, biologically
medically as well.
Six or seven years
ago I was absolutely
way more unstable than I am now.
my doggy
taught me everything
there is to know
about unconditionally
loving myself.
It's so confusing,
it confuses me.
Yeah, I guess my
name is Mina Caputo,
born Keith Caputo
by my parents and doctors.
But was always
really Mina Caputo.
The transition started
a very, very long time ago
and being her cousin and
living in the same home,
I've seen her transition slowly
and there was a lot of signs that
something was
different about Mina.
She hated the concept of Keith.
Keep it rolling man.
Keith Caputo was a very angry,
closed up,
introverted type of person.
What's the matter, Keith?
Fucking asshole.
This is as sick of
shit, I love it, wow.
The mirror, what's
going on with the mirror?
That's a great
shot right there.
Yeah, I have a better
way to go up that way.
So you're really saying
that this house hosts?
Some past lives?
Oh, we read the
whole thing about it,
it's the most haunted
house in Jersey.
- That's not right?
- I was like,
"No, I don't wanna
go in."
Oh man, this is wild.
Oh, I got the chills.
Oh my god, with the
fucking dolls in the cases,
did you guys set that up?
Did you set it up or
Leigh, that piece of shit?
One of my first dolls
was a Princess Leia doll;
I had to have it,
loved the buns.
I just loved all
things feminine.
I used to watch my grandmother
at a very young age,
put on her makeup.
I used to watch her all the time
and she used to put lipstick
on me and eye shadow
and be like, "Don't tell
grandpa, he'll kill us."
I'm like, "I know I won't."
And even back then I
was struggling with
what I was feeling as
a human being like,
yeah, I would look in the
mirror and I would see
this little boy's body,
but I knew this
femininity was raging.
I know deep down
inside, I'm a woman
but born without the parts.
It's such a confusing
thing, people have no idea.
We all get really
pumped up for the shows.
It's where you get to
release all that pent up energy.
Come on!
Come on!
It's been a deep
passion of mine,
getting on stage, performing
in front of all those people
who love the band.
I can not wait to hit the stage
and go absolutely ape shit.
And this isn't ego talking.
I know I am where I belong,
and I'll always be here,
I'm not going anywhere.
Whether I have to suffer,
eat less, live differently,
I'll be doing
music, I don't care.
I met Joey
first; people love Joe.
They gave him a nickname,
they called him Skinny Joey Z.
I think Life
of Agony just has become
such a big part of
all of our lives
individually and collectively,
that you almost can't
imagine your life without it.
You can't erase my words,
you can't erase my mind
You can't wipe
out my thoughts
Can't shake this
blood from these eyes
So, so, so don't even try
Just give me one
good reason to live
I'll give you three to die
Let's leave this
world behind
Oh, phew, pumped!
I'm ready to do it again.
Ready to fucking do it
again and again, and again.
30 Years together,
the family bond
that the three of
us have, you know,
Mina, Alan and I,
we're inseparable.
Mina, Keith back then,
was more on the quiet side,
kind of detached.
It was hard to tell if he was
having a good time or not.
You know, we really didn't
think past next week,
let alone 30 years.
What time is it there?
I think it's
close to 11:30 at night.
I'm in England.
You look very tired,
you look like your
eyes are little slits,
where are you going tomorrow?
We're in Birmingham, England.
- England, yeah, okay.
- I love you.
Right, well have a great
show, I love you so much.
- Love you guys.
- I do miss you like crazy.
Check this out.
This is October 31st, 1989.
This is just a few months
after "Life of Agony" started
and that's Michelle and me,
we were just little teenagers.
I see your
little head peeking up.
What are you gonna be
for Halloween, Mishy?
Who are you gonna be?
- Me!
- She's gonna be Smokey
You're gonna be you?!
Gonna be you.
- Are you gonna be me?
- Yeah.
That's gonna be hard
for you to pull off.
- Joey Z
- You gonna be Joey Z?
When I'm home I'm the
protector, you know,
that's just how it is.
And you know, they
feel my absence.
And you're gonna miss my
speech for student council
Oh, I'm so sorry, sweetheart.
And Halloween.
That's the hardest
thing about being out here.
I can't imagine
having the situation
with them that I had when
I was young, you know,
it's a completely different,
completely different vibe.
My dad, he struggled
with alcohol.
He needed it to get through the
day, whether it was his job,
whether it was his in-laws
or whatever it was,
there was an excuse
why he had to drink.
But the alcohol had a very
bad effect on my father,
he got very angry.
And everybody was violent.
My grandfather was violent
against my grandmother,
against Keith at the time.
So it was everywhere.
And then I became violent
and nobody wanted me around
because I'd always make a scene.
I had psychological
problems, emotional problems.
I was verbally abused.
I was physically
abused by my dad's dad.
You know, I was
constantly pushed away.
I was made to feel
guilty because
they were taking care of me.
But all is not forgiven
As my grandfather was
beat the shit out of me,
then you'd have Joey's drunk dad
start beating him up
for no reason at all.
It was like, it
was fucking chaos.
So when we gonna
get together
Remember the
raging bull scene?
"Oh, bring it over, it's
like a piece of charcoal."
She brings it over, "Hey,
you want your fucking steak?"
She puts the stake on. "Ergh!"
Then fucking De Niro
turns the table upside.
I Kid you not, every
other fucking night,
the food was all
over the kitchen.
My grandmother was in the corner
getting kicked and
punched and beaten.
And then there was me, this
little fucking 12 year old kid
jumping in front of my
grandmother to take the beating,
to deflect the beating that
he was giving to my...
This was my life,
this was my life.
And people wonder why I
don't bother with anybody.
One, two, three
Got time, but
you aint got time
Got time but you're
never gonna make time
Got time, but you
got no time for me
This time
This time
This time
Both my parents
worked in the school system
and my dad had a second job
and he was always
working, my dad,
they were just very
busy and you know,
me and my sister were
latchkey kids in a way.
Why did you have that knife?
That was pretty scary.
I was into Rambo.
I know, but that you
were allowed to have,
look at that knife!
It's terrible.
Alan graduating, so proud.
I pretty much grew
up in this room.
My friends would come here
late at night sometimes,
we had the side entrance.
So once my folks were
asleep for the night,
we'd just come down here,
play music, all that stuff.
It was like the hangout spot,
because there was
no supervision.
We definitely like
extreme music growing up.
That aggression that was
boiling up inside of us
because of whatever
was going on at home.
You know, you got it
out through the music.
You know, in the neighborhood,
we were the ones being punks.
Not proud of it.
Breaking windows, destroying
other people's property.
This is the way we, this
is just who we were.
I wanna see this ceiling
fucking come down...
You see that fucking
ceiling torn down?
We tore this place apart
We were bad kids.
Whatever was inflicted on us,
we kind of inflicted
it on other people.
We've been best
friends our whole lives.
I've loved Mina the same
from when we were kids.
We did everything together.
And to the point where I
almost feel like I've hurt,
not intentionally,
someone like my brother
and not gave him or them
I should say, my brothers
enough attention because of
how much attention I gave Mina.
We hung out, we fought,
there was a lot of violence.
I carried a hammer or a
screwdriver or a butcher knife.
Okay, don't get too close!
If I had to walk my friend
home, two blocks away,
I carried a frigging,
I carried a butcher
knife man, in my pants.
I think every aspect
of my life was violent.
The hardcore scene
and the metal scene saved us.
You know, it was a place to
exorcise all these
demons in a sense,
and in a way it still is.
Take a walk down 62nd Street
where heavy metal lives.
First of all, L'Amour's
was like in the kind of
industrial part of town.
Welcome to L'Amour.
Kids would
rob you on the corner
as you're trying
to get in the show.
Well, tonight
Tony, they're packing it in here
at the L'Amour dance club
and the police have been here
to make sure everyone behaves.
Will they be moshing?
That's the dance where
you get on the stage
and just jump off into
the hands of strangers
and hope they catch
you, would you do that?
L'Amour's is where we grew up.
The scene was very segregated.
It was the skinheads, there
was the Nazi skinheads,
there was the metal heads.
Hard enough to
believe in myself
When I know they
don't believe in me
If you were different,
you were pointed out.
Unwilling to
change for society
We'll be who the
fuck we wanna be
If you were in a hardcore club,
there was a good chance
you're gonna get beat down.
I want to tear it
up, tear it out
Let my aggression out
Mina And I, and I believe
Alan was there too,
went to go see
Slayer at L'Amour's,
and I remember there
was such brutality
in that room that night.
So when will it end,
when will it end
The rules were,
if somebody falls down,
you pick them up
unless they're asshole
and then you stomp their face.
The pit was the
excuse to hurt somebody.
You were getting hit
and you were hitting back.
I saw someone with
a little billy club
knocking people out in
the back of the head.
I wasn't dancing,
I was just beating kids
up with Blackjacks.
That's how brutal it was;
there was blood teeth,
broken bones, broken faces
and we were a part of it.
My first concert was going to
L'Amour's to see Biohazard.
I never saw anything like it.
It was just bodies flying
everywhere, big pits breaking out.
Loud, dirty, it was great.
It was an eye-opening
I got hooked on live
music from that.
Alan and Joey, they came to
our rehearsal spot.
They wanted to be our roadies.
Joey showed up and he was wearing
a shirt, a Biohazard shirt
that he bedazzled at the
back with skinny Joey Z.
I was like, "This
kid's fucking awesome!"
The two of us
roadied for Biohazard.
You know, we were fans deep down
and we would stage dive
in the middle of the set
and climb back up
and help them out
with the next guitar
change, you know,
it was just that
kind of environment.
Mina was too
young to get in CB's.
We would put her in a drum
case, roll her backstage
and hide her in like, you know,
put the drum case around
a bunch of other cases.
And then when we got
ready to go on stage,
five minutes, like
the intro was on
and we were ready to fucking
blow the place up at CB's
and we'd open up the
case, Mina would jump out
and then stage dive and then
wreak havoc during the show.
That's what the scene was
all about in New York,
it was about getting together
and then letting out that
aggression on each other,
but yet walking away
and shaking hands
and giving each other a hug
after you just knocked
some guy's teeth out.
Some of the very
first comics I used to draw
were very violent.
Mostly revenge
stories that ended
in a bloody massacre of sorts.
It kind of helped me come out
of my shell in a lot of ways.
Kids would crowd
around me and see
what kind of crazy
monsters I would draw.
And I made a lot of
friends like that
without having to say a word.
There's the school we were
at, on fire.
South Shore High School.
Demented Retribution was a
band that I sang for back then.
He was cutting off his willy.
That helped me a lot,
not be so isolated
because I guess
that's my nature.
Even now, you know,
I draw my books
for eight, nine hours
straight, alone in this room.
And you just get lost
in your own thoughts
and go to dark places.
I think my folks
were not in tune
with what I was going
through emotionally.
They didn't think too
much of it, you know,
I wasn't doing anything
damaging to anybody,
I wasn't being
violent around them.
I feel like I've always
had some sort of depression
and it just comes in waves,
and just something you fight.
I don't know why both
kids are depressed.
We are not the depressed people.
You know, of course,
some days you feel down,
but in general we're pretty up.
- Yeah, we've had a good life.
- Yeah.
It's something you're born
with, I guess, you know.
Environmentally, I don't think
that's what caused
their depression.
We used this concept
for "River Runs Red".
I don't know, these
images come to my mind
and then I draw them.
But this ties into the
whole "River Runs Red" theme
of slitting wrists and suicide.
To me like, suicidal thoughts
is normal
in my mind, because I have
the same kind of thoughts.
It's like, doesn't everyone
think that way, you know,
it isn't that how everyone
thinks, that's not normal?
I came up with this
logo trying to represent
the pieces of the puzzle
that made Life of Agony
as like four people.
I guess that's Mina.
My father
has never been around,
but he taught me the world.
He taught me what not to do.
There's heroin, there's
coke, there's ecstasy,
there's drugs all over
the place, you know?
And it's like, I think if I
was brought up with my father,
then I would've probably
been dead already.
- We had two
houses: my house,
right next door was my
grandparents, my mother's parents
and which they
were raising Mina.
Well we were always together.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
He's a good, good kid.
Why was I living
with my grandparents?
Because my dad was a
junkie and my mom was dead
and there was no other
way to take care of me.
My aunt Marilyn, Mina's mom,
she passed away from
a heroin overdose.
She was doing heroin with
Mina's dad, Tony, at the time.
My mom, she
found my uncle Tony
and my aunt Marilyn.
OD'd basically, with Keith
in the playpen crying.
And my mother was pregnant
with me at the time,
and then I guess Marilyn
didn't make it and Tony did.
It was horrific.
I feel like her mother
died to save her life.
If Marilyn didn't die,
Mina would've died.
When Keith, Mina was
brought into our lives,
17 months old, all
he said was, "Un."
I remember that, "Un, Un,"
but he didn't even
know how to talk;
they didn't talk to him.
I don't think he was fed,
I don't think he was
cared for at all.
She didn't know that her
mother overdosed on the couch
and she didn't know that her
father was a drug addict.
We just tried to give her
a good life as a little boy
with my two boys.
I've written
so many songs here,
I've come here to like
really find peace and harmony
and I go out to the boardwalk,
look at the ocean for
hours on end, read,
come here at nighttime
with lovers, have sex.
Smoke blunts, drink 40's
back in the day.
This was our summer
place to go to really,
and it's quite sentimental.
This is the only...
This is the only part
of my mother's life
that I've actually,
like ever seen
or could actually touch,
like her hair, haven't
touched her hair in so long.
Yeah, oh ma, my poor mother,
she didn't even get to live.
The poor thing.
Part of her is
living through me,
and that's why I'm
the way I am too.
There's probably several
reasons why I'm the way I am.
I don't think there's
just one reason
why people like me exist,
that are pushing
the envelope with
the fluidity of consciousness
and the genderlesness of life.
I grew up thinking that my
grandmother was my mother,
and at some point in
my life, I was like,
"Mom, why are you
living with grandpa?"
And why does daddy
come to see me
only when I'm sick?
"And why does he come to
see you just to grab money?"
And they like, they
delayed the truth,
thinking that they
would be protecting me,
but instead they created
more damage for me
and more confusion.
And I think that's why also
I have a lot of trust issues
in my life these days,
because I didn't trust
the nest I came from.
In fact, I had no
real secure nest.
I blame my brother.
I blame my brother
for all this because
he was the drug
addict, the bad seed.
Remember the bad seed?
My brother was the bad seed.
Well maybe I'm
just a bad seed
I think people
connect to their story.
I think the lyrics and the songs
have such raw emotion to them. I think
their whole lives and their experiences,
the blood, sweat, tears, the pain, the
love, the beauty, it's all in there.
There's a vibration that they're
giving off on those records
that just connect with people.
I know I feel it too,
'cause I was a fan
before I was in the band.
Well maybe I'm
just a bad seed
Of the family
All we wanted to
do was play great music
and Alan's brilliant
brain and how he put
our stories of our lives
into the lyrics of the songs,
I mean that brilliance
right there is
what really connected
us to our fans
and made Life of Agony
such a cult type of band.
We were so close
and confiding in one another
about our feelings;
those stories and those
things that Joey and Mina
were going through affected me
personally, because we were so close.
Those stories would
come out in my lyrics.
"Enough of this world,
enough blood in these eyes.
So, so, so sick of this life.
It's about time that I
realized this hate from inside.
Enough blood in my eyes,
call it what you will,
call it suicide.
Disregard how you feel,
I'm just feeling my mind.
Clench my teeth as I sleep.
"So, so sick of this life."
Mina's always the
voice I have in my head
when I'm writing songs and
I'm thinking about melodies.
She brings my lyrics to
life in a way that I can't,
I wouldn't even try to.
She has an uncanny ability
to take lyrics that I
write and make 'em her own.
And I think by the time
it comes out of her lips,
they're hers.
And I remember
the day that I asked Mina
to come down the
block with me to sing.
I was an introvert.
I didn't want people
looking at me.
I didn't want to
look at anybody.
Mina said,
"No, I can't sing."
And I said, "I heard
you sing many times"
in front of that piano;
"come down the block with
me and give it a shot."
She says, "Okay."
Carries my amp with
me down the block,
plugs into the microphone.
That was the beginning
of Life of Agony.
I didn't really want
to be in a rock and roll band.
I wanted to emulate Nina Simone.
Mina ended up picking
up an insect repellent can
and sang in the garage
off the insect can.
I was playing
in a little garage band
and Joey and Mina
were in another band.
That's the way to do it, man.
And then Alan, you know,
he was jamming across the
street and come join our band.
And then we finally
had a bass player
and that's when it
became Life of Agony,
when Alan brought
the name and said,
"I have a great
name, I had a dream."
We are Life of Agony and we're
here to make you
motherfuckers move tonight!
Was it me, honestly
The Life of Agony name itself
was probably the most dark thing
that I could think
of at the time.
Never look back
We started
in the hardcore scene.
But I have to tell you that
we really never fit in.
We were looked at like,
what the hell is this?
Till you see
the only remains
Like, what the heck is this?
People did not get it.
Although we had
these heavy riffs,
and we were very influenced
by hardcore bands
and we kind of stuck out.
We got a lot of flack
in the beginning
from a lot of the other bands.
But the funny thing was is that
the crowds really liked us.
Well, we had played L'Amour's
mostly on Sunday nights.
It took probably two years
until we were able to pack
that place by ourselves.
I don't know if it was
just because we were different.
Whatever it was, we were drawing
a lot of people to our shows.
I think that kind of
anger and angst and you know,
broken homes and violence
at home that all, you know,
it all fueled everything.
It fueled the bands that were
writing that kind of music,
it would fuel the people coming
to see that type of music.
You could feel the
momentum of the band
just growing and growing
and national acts
would put us on just to make
sure the place was filled.
That's when Roadrunner
started to have an interest.
It took a while to convince
Monte Conner, the ANR guy
that he should sign us.
He had a lot of reservations;
he wasn't sold on the sound.
Keith's voice was
very different and unique.
When I had heard him
sing for the first time,
it was like nothing
I'd ever heard,
there was nobody that
sounded like Keith back then.
I couldn't really wrap
my head around it.
And then the light bulb
went off and I realized that
that is what made
the band unique.
So once I realized that,
I just embraced it.
We signed the deal and
we recorded "River Runs Red"
and it came out
October 12th, 1993.
And it really made an impact.
I mean, that record basically
exploded out of the gate
and put the band on
the map overnight.
When Life of
Agony came up, they injected
a lot more melody into a genre
that wasn't too accepting.
Can't it wait, can't
it wait, can't it wait
Just a minute now, just
a minute now, come on
So they created something new
in a very close-minded
hardcore genre.
'Cause I'm colder than
ever, colder than ever
I said I'm colder
than ever, I'm empty
When it comes
to Life of Agony,
how we write has a lot to
do with personal values,
personal feelings, and...
It's like a personal diary,
opened up to the public.
The band style is rooted
in the hardcore scene
of their home city,
but in vocalist, Keith Caputo,
they possess a man capable
of breaking the
boundaries of the genre.
I mean the album,
it's been said,
is loosely based on
the concept of suicide.
You know, it's a
rough thing to talk about.
a brave subject to tackle.
We had to go out
there and we survived.
We did it with no help, we
really did it on our own.
Our first tour,
we were sent to Europe.
Fucking Hamburg, man.
Years ago, I had a calling card
in a phone booth somewhere;
whether it was snowing
in the middle of Germany,
you know, you're in Poland
and you've got to
find a phone booth
and use this calling card and
hope you could get through.
And I remember freezing,
you know, shaking, cold,
trying to use the phone.
And it was almost
impossible to connect
with the person at home.
It was like scary.
It was frightening,
overwhelming, insane.
It just took on its own
life form, this whole thing.
Just put it this way,
you gotta be careful
for what you wish for.
A lot of things
were over my head.
Knowing how stressful and how,
I mean it is rewarding and
it does have its rewards,
but man, it's just like,
it's a nightmare
sometimes, you know.
All throughout the
nineties, even in the beginning,
she felt out of place.
She wasn't really the
true front person.
I remember getting
upset after some of the shows,
when I didn't see
the crowd reacting,
maybe the crowd
was so focused on
what's going on with the singer,
what's wrong with the singer?
The singer's had his back
faced to us for three songs.
I would feel the need to
step up my game constantly
and go even harder.
When the band
became successful,
I was definitely
not prepared for it.
In a very alpha male situation.
I knew that she
would go out to clubs
and dress like a woman;
I knew that she had
that side to her,
but I didn't know
to what extreme.
I hung out with transsexuals
even before I was out.
In fact, that's how I learned
even more about myself
through these trans women that
were clubbing and escorting
and I was selling dope and
drugs to people at the clubs
and I was like crazy.
You know, all the girls knew me,
they didn't know that
I was trans myself.
We didn't even know the
word transgender back then.
Even though I was living
out my boy masculinity,
it was apparently
and abundantly clear
that I was a very feminine,
you know, guy to people.
- Yeah, this is a dildo.
- Uh-oh.
This is my brother, Zamp.
And I even actually
went with her
to one of the clubs just
to be the bodyguard,
with all the freaks
all over the place.
And I was just kind of
letting people know that,
you know, don't fuck with her
because I'll turn that
place upside down.
I could feel this self in me.
I didn't want anyone
else to see it.
It was very sacred to me.
I didn't want to let
her out in a sense,
being very over-protective.
One, two, three, four
This is like the first
giant festival we did.
I don't know what possessed
me to jump into the crowd
of 100,000 people here.
They tried to steal my sneakers.
This is the beginning
of the tour,
and I was thinking,
"I can't survive the
tour without my sneakers.
I gotta get outta here."
Growing up, all I
did was watch VHS tapes
of my favorite bands playing
these gigantic festivals
in these gigantic stadiums,
and then getting to step
on the stage at Dynamo 1994
in front of 92,000 people
and they go
absolutely ballistic.
I had tears rolling down
my face at that show.
I'd never felt anything
like it in my life.
I didn't want to
get off the stage;
at that moment, I knew we
belonged on stages like that.
And it was like, this is
what we're made to do.
It scared me a lot.
There would be chaos for us.
I was just hoping people
wouldn't get hurt.
And then their kid
died at our show,
and then I wanted to
quit right after that
because it was like all
of my fears in a sense
kind of came true.
Now that update on that exclusive
story we told you about,
a young man who died in
a Brooklyn nightclub.
Last night, we told you of
the 18 year old's final night
when he went to this
Brooklyn dance club, L'Amour,
to see the band Life of Agony,
tragically, this turned out
to be his ticket to death.
Chris was allegedly
pushed by bouncers;
hitting his head on the
floor, he died the next day.
So this is the
story of Chris Mitchell
who lost his life at
our show at L'Amour's.
Basically they were
accusing this bouncer
of throwing the
kid off the stage,
which, found out that
didn't actually happen.
There was a whole court case
and we were actually brought in
to be witnesses
on a grand jury.
Apparently the bouncer
didn't push him.
The band was leaving
the stage after the show
and that the audience
was leaving the club.
And because he was intoxicated,
he did one last stage dive
and fell on his head
and no one caught him.
So that's apparently
what happened.
After that, we
said, "We gotta stop."
We can't have anyone getting
hurt anymore like this.
"You know, we can't have
anyone dying at our show."
Well, it's still
something that sticks with us.
And that's top of mind when
our crowds get too wild.
We had some pretty
awesome pits going on,
but what I feel like happens
at a Life of Agony show,
you know, someone falls,
they get picked up
and Mina enforces
that from the stage.
Guys listen, this guy
cracked his fucking head open
or whatever the fuck.
Just no stage
diving, all right.
Well bring a fucking helmet
to the fucking show, then.
If I knew what
to do I'd do it
If I knew where to go
I'd get there someday
If I knew where to
fly I'd fly away
Forget about
life for a while
But it never is that easy
To just pick up and go
and do as you're told like
'Cause life never
works out that way
If it were true the skies
would be full everyday
The "Ugly" record
is probably my least favorite
because it just, I remember
everything that happened
during that era of
the band and my life.
And that was probably
my lowest point.
Touring at that time for
me, it was very difficult
because I was sober.
what are you drinking, man?
No beer, right?
You know it, you know it kids,
straight at you all the way.
No drugs, no alcohol, '94.
I've never tried drugs.
And on the road, everyone was
all fucked up all the time and
I felt very isolated
and trapped.
Sometimes I felt
like the odd man out.
I was in college,
so my brother was
like around 22,
this is 1995.
I have lots of
letters like this,
but this was just one that
I happened to pick up.
"I feel lost."
I feel like I'm everywhere
I don't want to be,
but at the same time, I
can't imagine where I'd go.
I have turned inward in the
past instead of reaching out
and that made my problems worse.
The problems within my own
band have made me miserable,
"suicidal at times
and numb at others."
I felt bad about myself
and I didn't want
to be here anymore.
Nothing would have
made me happier
than to see them find me
hanging in a hotel room,
as dark as that seems,
that's where I was at.
These are images that
I would fantasize about
at my lowest point.
That was actually something I
thought about, you know, why?
I don't know, what was so bad
that was going on in my head
that that was
actually an option?
I didn't even
know him yet at that point
when he was going through that,
so by the time we met, you know,
it was kind of in
the rear view mirror.
I could be myself with her.
She was the only person that
I could be completely myself
and it just never felt
like I had a partner in this
life until I met Crissy.
We both
struggle, it is what it is.
We have to keep
ourselves in check.
We have to keep it
together all the time.
My daughter brings a lot of
joy that we didn't have before,
so that makes it
easier, it does.
We were over
the moon, you know,
when she came into our
lives and she has such
a happiness to her naturally,
she's a happy kid.
I guess that's a self portrait.
I knew all of
them for a very long time.
Joey, super friendly;
Mina and I were like,
we just instantly
became friends.
And I would say, I
knew Alan the least,
I really didn't
know him back then.
Mina was my buddy.
She came to my apartment
and said she needed to talk.
She said, "I'm leaving
Life of Agony,"
and I screamed at her and
I ripped her head off,
and I said, "Are you out
of your effin' mind?"
I look in the mirror
And guess what I see
You know they just had
the third album out
and I said, "You
cannot do that."
- I was heavily doing
drugs: cocaine and OxyContins.
I was on a death
mission and I thought,
"Oh, I'm never gonna come out.
I'm never going to be able
to live my full, full life."
Like the older you get,
the more I find myself
looking out my window,
wondering what
I'm gonna be doing
and where I'm really going.
My mind is chaotic
She was just miserable,
and she just couldn't go on.
I bought a gun, 'cause
I was shooting bullets
in the roof of our
apartment, you know,
on eight balls, till
our noses were bleeding.
I just can't help myself
Putting the gun, the barrel
of the gun in our mouth
and pulling the trigger.
And my mind is dangerous
And that's who
I'll always be
Things were not right,
and the label could
never understand that,
the band didn't understand that.
We played Irving Plaza.
Sold-out show, the very
next morning, she called me.
She goes, "Al, I
can't do it anymore."
I said, "Okay."
It was the shortest
phone call we ever had.
I didn't yell at
her, I didn't...
I wasn't, you can't force
someone to do something.
I knew something was going
on with her back then.
She kept describing it
as, "I'm in too much pain."
I can't do this anymore."
That was the hardest
time of my life,
when Mina left, just after
"Soul Searching Sun" came out.
Oh, it was just the
worst timing possible.
We had everything lining up
to be something really big
and really special
and that all went
away in one day.
We had this amazing record,
people were reacting to it.
"Weeds" was getting
played on the radio.
Well, it just really
seemed like everything
was moving in this great
direction for the band.
And they had
successfully transitioned
into a different sound.
All the signs were there that
we could have potentially
seen them become a
successful rock band
that got songs on the radio.
It was so hard to accept.
I remember crying my eyes
out in bed; I cried for days.
I went into such
a deep depression.
I love my cousin no matter what
and I tried to be understanding,
you know, at the time,
although I had some
anger, you know,
there was some anger in there.
When Joe gets overwhelmed,
like when Life of
Agony, would somehow
just get pulled from under
him, he'll stare at the wall.
He won't take it out on anyone.
He'll just kind of go
silent for a little while,
but he's built such
amazing coping skills
as he's gotten older.
I've never seen
anybody fall down
and pick themselves
up more than Joey.
He's able to just shut it off
and turn something else on
and pick himself up and
look at the bright side.
Inherently we're survivors,
you never wanna give up.
I remember there was a magazine
where we were on the cover
presenting our new
album, as Life of Agony,
and in the back, we
had an ad for a singer,
in the same magazine.
I think at that
point, we were kind of
scratching at anything
we can grab onto
to hold onto Life of Agony.
We did a damn good job of it
when we got Whitfield
Crane on vocals.
I was in a band
called Life of Agony in 1998.
And it was a very important
experience for me.
Well, it was a challenge, it
was a challenge every day.
It was warranted challenge.
They'd adopted an
Ugly Kid Joe singer,
that was known
for two pop songs,
and joined a legendary
hardcore band.
You know, those fans are
loyal and all of a sudden
there I was, you know,
fronting that band.
Every show would start
off with some folded arms
being all "prove
yourself Whit Crane"
and prove myself, I did.
This song is called,
"River Runs Red".
I got the razor at my
wrist 'cause I can't resist
I've got this fever burnin'
fist that does as I wish
But when I get downtown,
and see what's around
I just know there's got to
be a better place to be found
Ever since those guys,
I was like, "Fuck it."
If I can do this,
I can do anything."
We started
to get our legs again.
We did the Oz Fest, theater
tours with Megadeath.
We played huge festivals
and it's almost like
we didn't miss a beat.
On the surface, it worked,
but the feeling of
doing it without Mina
was not the same;
personally, I missed her.
Although Whitfield
is an amazing talent,
it just wasn't Life
of Agony to me.
Life of Agony to me
is Mina's emotions
coming out of her
soul when she sings.
We had to go on
our own journeys.
I had lost my
friends, lost my band
I moved back to my
parents' house in Brooklyn.
I mean, I was a mess.
For me, it started all
with Mina leaving LOA.
- Mm-hmm.
- It was never really
LOA to me after that, it
just was this slow decline
that was ripping my
fucking guts out.
- Yeah.
- And
it affected our friendship,
and that really sucks, you know,
because we ended up having
to do things separately
to find ourselves
back here one day.
Well, the whole situation
was just fucked for me.
We weren't close for a
little bit, you know,
it was a couple of
years there that
I don't know if we had
a lot of contact at all.
Oh, look at this
lyrics that I've written on.
"I'm all numb."
Don't know what I'm
doing here, it's no fun.
On my own, everyone
around me is glass.
I can't love, I don't
know what it really means.
"My dick is my lethal
weapon, it's my suicide."
I remember when I
was living as a guy,
it was subscribing
to the marriage
and the white picket fence
and the dog and the kid
and the this and the that,
like that was never
my life really.
Living in the feminine and
expressing thee feminine
the way I do it, there
is no other way for me.
A lot of people that I have met,
they wanna be with
someone like me.
They wanna use and
feel this body,
but they want it to be hidden
or they can't take me
home to the family,
or it's a secretive thing
and that gets very tiring
after a few years, you know,
been there, done that.
"Help me find a better
place, I could grow,
mother I need to crawl
back into your womb."
Probably scattered
drug thoughts.
Estrogen and estradiol
distributes blood in all the
desirable areas in the body.
It is a pretty powerful drug.
I've had moments where
I had the needle,
partly in my leg and I
just, I couldn't get it in
because I was thinking of how
my mother and father
were suffering.
The relationship
I had with my dad,
I didn't really have one.
Watching him fall down
flights of stairs,
calling the ambulance, you know,
pulling needles out of his hand,
wrapping up his hand
that was blown up
like a half a grapefruit
because he had gangrene
in the fucking hand.
I didn't wanna talk to him.
He came to me one
day and was like,
"When I die, I want
you to cremate me."
And a week later,
like they found him in a hotel.
I had to identify the body.
I laid down with his body
and I watched the medic
straighten him out.
That was the most empirical,
most empowering experience
I've ever been through
as a human being.
Just, wow, my dad,
I knew he'd found peace
because he was tortured, but
like it all just made sense,
and when I laid down with him,
all the fluids started coming
out of his nose, his mouth,
'cause he was like literally,
he must've been on his knees.
His whole face was smashed,
'cause his body was laying
there for six to eight hours.
So he had no face, basically.
And when I laid
down next to him,
I felt like that's when
his soul left his body
and I felt it.
I wanted to live, I
didn't wanna die anymore.
At the wake, Alan
showed up and we had a talk
and we literally
bonded immediately
as soon as the
three of us were in
the same room again together;
we missed each other so much.
It was really emotional,
and I think that was
the moment right there
that Life of Agony
was once a band again.
It was almost
like an unspoken thing,
how much it meant to all
of us to have each other.
And why wouldn't we wanna do
some great things
together again?
Most of the songs
on "The Broken Valley"
were related to the
death of my father.
We poured it all
into that record.
Watching Mina lose
my uncle Tony like that,
it was very sad, very
painful for a lot of people.
It got me thinking about
my situation with my dad
and how I really needed to
get things back on track.
Please return
to the security
checkpoint to retrieve...
There were a lot of
short fuses growing up.
I would actually hate to see
that doorknob sometimes turn.
I remember it was a very
sad and scary feeling
when he would come
home at night.
You know, most of the time
he was already
drinking from work.
It made him very
angry and violent.
You know, we all have that
limit that we can hit.
You go into the red and
that's a different story.
He doesn't remember
much of what happened,
it's sometime became a big blur,
but I can see the
sincerity in his eyes
and how sorry he was, that
he felt like he lost us.
Hey, hey Pop, hi.
I don't wanna call on my feet.
Well, you gotta
come in, come on.
You sure?
You're sure?
Don't worry about it.
I was born
in '45, 1945 in Brooklyn.
And my father was a drinker,
a baker, a hard worker,
and he'd be in the bar all day.
He would take me, put me
on the stool next to him,
call the bar tender
over and the bartender
would give me a shot glass
with a little bit of
whiskey inside of it.
Yeah, this is what they did
back then, this is the truth.
And they gave me the shot glass,
and here I am sipping Scotch.
How old were you?
He had to put me on
the chair, I don't know.
I was just old enough where
I could cross Broad Street
without getting hit
by a trolley car.
My father, when he did
drink, there were times
where he had a bad temper.
Something in his life went
wrong for him to be like that,
something had to happen.
Back then in Brooklyn,
there were a lot of gangs.
You cross into their
territory, you could get hurt.
One day I was confronted, and
they backed me into the wall.
I went into a rage,
and I beat all of them,
one at a time into a pulp.
I couldn't believe
that I had so much
of that anger inside of
me, unleashed like that.
It was the surroundings, the
neighborhoods, the times,
it just press on you.
There's some deep down rooted
bad feelings, I guess.
His uncontrollable
violent emotions
that he would go through.
The rage never felt good.
It never, never,
never, ever felt good.
At the time, it was something
that couldn't be controlled.
And I tried so hard
to grasp
I couldn't get... can't get
your hands on it and say,
shake me, "Wake up!"
- Yeah.
- You know.
I couldn't do it.
These are all lost years,
you can't get them back,
they're gone, that hurts.
He just got out of control
to the point where
there was a family brawl
and a lot of people were
involved in this brawl.
And my grandfather
had hit my father
with a bicycle over the head
and actually
fractured his skull.
And my father fell and
then broke his face
and then the pool of
blood and the ambulances.
And I saw this and you know,
and that was the last day
my father was allowed
to live at home.
I never wanted
to leave you guys.
I know.
It was the hardest thing
in my life to leave you guys.
He felt like he lost us.
And that would be the...
to lose your children?
I'm sorry, man.
I'm not a kid
anymore, I'm 74 years old.
I know.
And now when the new
year comes in, I'm 75.
So, I gotta act like a
man, and man up to it.
I tell him
everything is okay now,
and I mean it, I mean
it, 'cause I love him.
And you know what?
I wanna tell you this
while you're alive.
I don't wanna tell you this,
staring at your
lifeless body in a box.
Yeah, I know.
I want to tell
you that I love you
and I always loved you.
That American dream
of family and home, I lost it.
I remember the first
time my dad met my children.
He broke down
hysterical, crying.
I cried, everyone cried, I mean,
the kids were confused
because they were young,
but they were like,
"Hey, this Grandpa Z?"
"this is your
grandpa," you know?
And he was beyond
blown away, my father,
with the joy and the happiness
to meet his grandchildren,
that I brought them
up there to meet him.
And it was a very
joyous moment, it was,
it was wonderful, actually.
They are the love of my life.
I would do anything for
them; if I could, I would.
And having this brings that
dream back to life again,
and I wish them a life
that I didn't have,
and I'm gonna help
them achieve that.
You never forget,
but at the same time,
I think in life,
you have to find
that place of peace
within yourself
and you have to let things go.
He's a healed man now,
he's been great, he's an artist.
He's finally found his
passion that his parents,
long time ago in the
old days in Brooklyn,
wouldn't let them do art,
they ripped up all his art.
That kind of stuff molds
you into who you become.
We are changing things, we
are making a conscious change,
you know, to stop
that type of abuse,
stop these types of things
from happening
because all it's gonna produce
is negative, bad people.
You need something to allow
those emotions to come out,
whether it's art,
whether it's music.
When are you
gonna go away again?
I actually
gotta leave this Tuesday.
When are you coming back?
I will be quick, I promise.
What is this
love fest going on?
I wanna get in this love fest.
Ooh, are you all right?
- Yeah.
- Tough luck.
Hey Moms!
- Brown sugar.
- Brown sugar?
- Or honey.
- All right, okay.
That's it.
- This much.
- - Oh, the finale right?
This much coffee.
This much coffee.
This much penis.
- No, no, no, no.
- Oh.
Course I gotta go
there with my aunt Ro.
Right, censor that.
First of all, wait, you
think I'm fucking bad?
All my crazy shit comes
from this one, okay.
That is not true.
All the penis jokes.
I have been
witness to that though
Oh you do?
- All the libido jokes.
- Wait!
- Her fault.
- I'm old now,
you can't say that.
Grab your ass and
your boobs? Her fault!
foot fetish?
Her fault.
Wait a minute, wait a minute.
So I always did
my toe nails and-
- She has beautiful feet.
- Nice feet,
Can I see them?
And then, no, not now
- No, I didn't do my toes.
- But anyway...
I refuse to show my feet, today.
She crippled me
for life, like ergh.
Oh, and when you watched TV,
I used to rub you
with my foot, right?
- It was over.
- On the floor?
She used to molest me.
No, I didn't!
- I was in heaven
- Oh my God!
I was in molested heaven.
Oh my God, that's not true.
It was the good
kind of molestation,
it wasn't the bad kind.
Oh my god,
I'm not even
gonna, I'm out of this.
He's telling me.
Bye aunt Ro.
The moment
I found out that Mina
wanted to be addressed as Mina,
we were in my car
heading to rehearsal
to a Life of Agony rehearsal.
I remember her looking
over to me saying,
"I officially changed my name."
"I have a new birth certificate,
I'm now Mina Caputo."
I knew that there was
no more, "Hey Keith,"
you know, that was it.
That's Mina, you know,
she's Mina now.
Make sure you edit
all the he's that
my Aunt spits out.
I know, I know, I said.
She was really good before-
- I said, I said that
you're gonna get mad at me.
I don't get mad, but
it's just annoying.
I know, I know
that, I know that.
What do you know,
with your red frames?
That a lot of...
With my red frames?
I miss my cousin,
you know what I mean?
I feel like the changes
separated her from the family,
which it didn't have to.
That's on her part, not our
part because we accept her 100%.
I don't really like
policing people anyway.
You just did, you policed me
because you heard me
saying in the background.
Yeah, 'cause I had to
let the creepers know.
They know, he
knows, I told him.
- It's okay.
- I'm sorry.
Don't be sorry,
I'm both and neither.
I'm confused, I'm confused
more than you are,
so it's like...
No, you're not.
A big part of your life
to me, you were a he,
so there's a big transition
there in my demented head
that you're a her, but I accept
you and I love you so much
and that doesn't take away
from how I feel about you.
So if I make a mistake,
that means I'm 68 years old
and I'm screwed up.
You know what I think?
I think if I spent
more time with you.
I think I'm really confused.
You know what I think?
I think if I spent more time
with you, I would say him less.
I love Mina's soul, I
love what she stands for.
At that rehearsal Mina
didn't come in and say,
"Hey, everyone I'm Mina,"
or anything like that.
Alan, I think found
out in a unique way.
How did I hear
that she came out?
I was on the side of
the stage waiting to go
perform with her in Europe.
I think it was the last
show of a European tour
and the promoter, who was
going to introduce the band,
comes over to me and says,
"Should I say, 'This is
your last show ever?'"
"And why would you do that?"
"Because, oh you didn't know?"
"I didn't know what?"
He showed me his
phone and apparently
on all the metal news sites,
the news had broke
that Mina had come out
and we were on tour
together for two weeks.
I mean, our bunks are
feet away from each other,
never one conversation about it.
When I was
on Facebook years ago,
I started trickling more
of my feminine self.
And the more I did it,
the more hate I got.
And one day it
just got to a point
where some kid said some
really nasty things to me.
And that's when I basically
outed myself online.
"Like, you know,
I'm transsexual,"
completely proud of it.
"You could all go
fuck yourselves."
I was ready to give
up my musical career.
I was ready to give up my
family, all of my friends.
We played the show.
I was just trying to
piece it all together
and like certain things that
maybe I sensed along the
way were making sense.
And so when we got off stage,
I asked to talk to
her alone on the bus.
It wasn't easy to tell
mates of yours that,
yeah, I'm going full on,
mother fucker, you know.
I'm letting her out.
That's it, "I can't
take it anymore."
It's either I put a
bullet in my head or...
because I can't live another day
"the way they want me to."
My first reaction
was, I was hurt
that after all these years
and everything that
we've gone through,
that I had to find out that
way that she wouldn't...
Why wouldn't she feel
comfortable enough to
talk to me about it?
For the people who don't go
through what we go through,
they can't even
imagine the discomfort
at the time,
the pain, the fear.
"I was afraid of
what you might say."
I said, "Why, when have
I ever judged you?"
I got to tell her, honestly,
that I wish I knew before.
We got over that at that moment.
Al like, you
know, we come from
very different blood lines,
but like that's family
Alan's like real family.
I have people in
my own bloodline
that haven't shown me
a cell of unconditional love
the way my boys
and girls do now.
When she came
out, first of all,
we didn't know if the
band was gonna continue
or if it could continue,
but at least I knew
that she was happy.
It was more
scary, the first few years,
than it was empowering.
Now I'm feeling that empowerment
because I have the courage
to be hated and disliked.
What is your fucking
story tonight?
I don't fear someone
else's mindless opinion
of how I'm living my life.
Just stop looking at
me like I'm a freak
because I'm gonna
take my tits out
and put 'em in your face.
I think the best thing
to do for the people
who are being attacked by
this type of personality
is to ignore it.
Because as time goes on,
these people are gonna
disappear, you wanna know why?
Because like everything else
on the earth, things evolve.
I tell Mina all the
time, just don't listen.
It doesn't matter, their
voices don't even matter.
I didn't let it bother me,
but she was just looking
at me all night long.
Like I'm like, what is your
story, what do you want?
Why are you staring
at me all night long?
If you don't like me, fuck off,
don't ruin my fucking night.
There's a lot of
people that will never get it.
We really didn't think that
the band was going to continue.
I think I got a call
from our booking agent
who said that there was an
offer for us to play in Belgium
and just started calling
around to everybody
and seeing if everyone was game,
everyone was on board.
No one knew how it was gonna go.
We put our hearts on
our sleeve and we said,
"This is our friend, this
is what she chose to do
and no matter what happens,
we're doing it together."
In that live moment,
that hour and change,
I felt like I
understood the songs
more than I ever did in my life.
It was such a wave of emotions
and the crowd was so
receptive to that energy.
It was a fantastic show
and it gave us hope that,
wow, we can still do this.
Mina came out of her shell.
Here's this incredible
front person,
here is someone that
wants to be there.
I never saw her
like that before.
And from that point on,
I've been going up and
up and up and up and up.
I won't have it any other way.
It's great, it's great
to see, not just as a band mate,
but as a friend.
Regardless of what I went
through with my grandfather,
really doesn't matter to me now.
He did the best
with what he knew.
There was a lot of forgiveness,
there was a lot of love there
before he actually
left the planet.
If it doesn't kill you,
it makes you stronger
and Mina is a strong human.
Seeing Mina
happy is beautiful.
I mean, now she's who she is,
you know, and it's awesome.
There's a lot of people that
are in similar situations
that I would think that she
gives hope to, you know.
And now they're back together
as a fucking bad-ass band.
What more do you want than that?
And it's hard to be like
truly, you know, innately,
you know, rock and
roll, you know,
rock and roll has been
pretty much played out.
And so where are the edges?
Where are the boundaries?
And these are some boundaries
and they're beautiful boundaries
and they need to be pushed.
So, you know, kudos to
those guys, they rule.
I can't imagine
that being an easy thing,
especially in that
genre of music,
you don't see that
happening a lot.
You know, I really got to
give her credit for that.
We always had
drummer problems from day one.
I think we went through
like 10, 11 drummers.
We finally found the ideal,
it's like, she
fits like a glove.
Hey Veronica, this is Joey.
Welcome to the fucking family.
We don't even want
to look at anyone else,
we love you.
You were our
one and only choice.
Mina, Joe, and Alan,
I could just see it in them.
They'll do this to
the day they drop dead
and I will too, I will too,
I'm right there with them.
We've accomplished so much in
one year, it's unbelievable.
And the vibe and the love,
the unconditional love
for one another, for the music,
for the creative process,
for everything that
we're doing together,
it's almost like we will make
he myths together now,
as a band, like the
way The Doors was,
all for one and one for all.
When we set out
to create "Sound of Scars",
we really wanted to
get back to the feeling
of what inspired us
in the first place.
This is us now, this is
the music we wanna play.
These are the stories
we wanna tell.
Lay down, lay down
Lay down and die
Won't lay down, lay down
Lay down and die
The music we create is like
the ayahuasca vine in a sense,
you know, it allows
you to confront demons.
I'm so sorry
about your buddy man.
So sorry about the pain.
Hey, this band saved my life;
sober 14 years, 14 years.
This album is not about
giving up on life,
it's about fighting for it.
You've always been that band
that when I've gone through
the relationship break
up, the friend's suicide,
the job loss, all
that fucking stuff
that's on "River Runs Red".
We're still here
because of how it resonated
and because it
saved so many lives
and continues to help
people who are struggling.
That's what keeps us doing it,
that's what keeps us
tied to our fan base.
I'm hoping that we can
do this for as long
as we possibly can.
My life is not sad now.
I'm very happy to have my life,
but we are here, always...
- Okay, uh-uh.
- Oh.
Always for me,
all you do for me during
times and times and times,
sister of me.
It's more than just friends,
it's more than just being
in a band, it's lives.
Our lives are intertwined
and I think we all realize
that what we've done
together is bigger
and almost more important than
anything we've done separately.
These get togethers are more
important than we realize.
This is about our family,
the LOA family.
I would have
never thought like,
even like today would happen.
I can't believe we've
arrived at this point.
It's pretty fucking
mind-blowing to me.
Sometimes I
get a call from Joey
and his name comes
up on my phone
and it just dawns on me like,
we've been talking to each other
more or less about
this band for 30 years.
Hearing my cousin
Mina sing those words,
stories about our lives,
stories about what
we went through.
It's been about
connecting with people.
It's been about reaching out.
That's the reward, I
mean, that connection
is what Life of
Agony is all about
and has been about
since day one.
We have big dreams,
very big fucking dreams,
and they'll all be
met in due time.