Lucian Piane, AKA RevoLucian
by Clive Young.
What was the biggest song in the land during the first week of February, 2009? According to Billboard, it was Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You," which moved 280,000 digital downloads. It was hardly the top tune, however; that honor went to a spur-of-the-moment creation, "Bale Out," by emerging producer/engineer RevoLucian.
Debuting on YouTube and MySpace that week, the song was downloaded over 2.5 million times, trouncing Clarkson's single in the process. On top of that, it garnered major news channel coverage and Entertainment Weekly declared it The Bullseye of the week. Unquestionably, the track was hot--but the inspiration behind it was even more incendiary.
On February 2, 2009, gossip website TMZ.com posted an MP3 of a nearly four-minute, expletive-laden tirade by actor Christian Bale, caught losing his temper (and then some) at a crewmember on the set of the then-upcoming sci-fi war film, Terminator: Salvation. By turns amusing and appalling, the R-rated rant instantly made headlines, but to Los Angeles-based Lucian Piane, AKA RevoLucian, the eruption was something else entirely: It was a dance track waiting to happen.
"The clip of Christian Bale was so rich with musicality, I couldn't resist!" he said. "You have to act fast on these internet things, because they become old news very quickly." Accordingly, Piane used Apple Logic Studio to slice up the MP3 and marry choice comments to a thumping techno track; after adding a few Bale photographs for visuals, he popped the results on YouTube. Total time, start to finish--three hours. "I couldn't afford to spend more because I was finishing up work on the next RuPaul album, Champion. I also used Logic Studio to produce all of the album."
While viral videos and mashup media like "Bale Out" are typically the realm of amateurs, Piane is a working professional with numerous credits, including a RIAA platinum album award under his belt for production work on the Hairspray soundtrack. Will taking advantage of viral videos become the new way for emerging engineers to make a name for themselves? That remains to be seen, but it's worth noting that Piane created the track for fun, with no professional aspirations whatsoever.
"It was a surprise; I never really expected it to blow up like it did," he said. "There's no gauging the viral-ity of something like this. It was fun though--I particularly enjoyed that Anderson Cooper featured it on AC360 two nights in a row!"