Doomtree: Team The Best Team
Capturing the energy and personality of a musical group on film is a difficult proposition. The inner workings of a band are often littered with drama and unchecked egos, making a clear look at its essence very difficult. With Team the Best Team, Doomtree and Picture Machines Productions have created a substantial look behind the scenes of one of the most hard working and collaborative independent groups touring today.
Doomtree is a family of artists. They care for one another, they build each other up, and they work together for a common goal while successfully allowing their individual aspects to impact the narrative. After releasing their second full length all-crew record, No Kings, Doomtree embarked on an ambitious three month-long tour across North America to promote their new work. The documentary largely covers this journey, including live footage from various performances and highlights of the bands’ inner workings.
The film opens with something of an origin story, bringing us up to speed on Doomtree’s recent accomplishments and their current lineup. Doomtree is rappers Sims, Cecil Otter, P.O.S., Dessa, and Mike Mictlan supported by beatmakers Lazerbeak and Paper Tiger. Following introductions, we come to the development of their new album which marked their first truly collaborative effort in which they all came together to create. During a radio interview we are treated to the story of their sequestration in a cabin in Wisconsin that allowed them to leave their full adult lives and just focus on the music.
From here we move into the tour highlights of live shows, meanderings around various cities, and the marked exhaustion of the groups members. While it may have been painful for them, these shots of the group in their unenthusiastic states is rather hilarious and is far more real than just seeing their shows. During this section we are also treated to several members’ interpretations of the group. The general view of it is summed up by Sims: “It’s a bit like applied socialism rather than socialism in theory. Not everyone gets a voice all the time.” This view is given credence with Paper Tiger’s efforts to develop set lists for their shows. The challenge with their set lists is that they must change from show to show to satisfy every member’s representative input while providing strong cohesion.
Moving on, we are shown various challenges of the road: car trouble, change of venue, and poor attendance. On film the group appears to handle these problems with maturity and grace, often talking themselves through negativity and into the positive energy of their unquenchable thirst to please fans. Dessa talks about the fluctuation of show attendance from city to city as a difficulty that the group has become accustomed to and that they address by trying to make every show, even those with small audiences, special in some way. When the band is forced to change venues, their group ethic comes into play as they each work through social networks to communicate to their fans, effectively blanketing the potential audience with the new information.
The next segment looks more into their personal challenges. Each member takes a turn expressing their reservations with touring for an extended period. As working adults, they deal with the challenge of leaving their families for months at a time in different ways, while trying to keep each other in good spirits. A truly heartwarming moment comes when Lazerbeak is called back home for the birth of his daughter and the group works as hard as they can to find him the soonest flight possible. Another point finds the band standing up with Paper Tiger at his wedding, providing another powerful picture of just how close these individuals are as friends and business partners.
The success of a group like Doomtree must be attributed to the love found in the group’s core. Without the backing of a big label they are the agents of their own success, working as hard as they can to provide for their individual selves and each other. Team the Best Team is a heartfelt examination of Doomtree’s spirit, friendship, and artistry that should satisfy their fans and astound newcomers to their story and music.
MP3: Doomtree “Team The Best Team”
Buy: Doomtree Store