Triumph Documentary Expected From Director Sam Dunn Next Year
Celebrated rock-doc director Sam Dunn's next project will focus on Triumph, who he hails as an "unsung Canadian rock trio."
"We're about 60 to 70 percent shot, all of that footage," Dunn tells UCR. "We’ve started the edit. It’s not going to be ready until the fall of next year. But yeah, that story is coming together."
Formed in 1975, Triumph rose to fame with songs like "Hold On" and "Lay It on the Line" from a core trio of Rik Emmett, Mike Levine and Gil Moore. Emmett left in the late '80s, however, and Triumph only recorded one more album before going on an indefinite hiatus.
"I think that they were a band that was really well known for a moment there in the '80s, but I’m really interested in the story because it’s one of the few cases where you have a band that broke up almost at the peak of their powers," Dunn said. "When Triumph called it quits in 1988, there wasn’t really any explanation for it. They didn’t really talk about it. So, I think this is the opportunity for the fans to know what happened to that band."
Moore, Levine and Emmett eventually reunited for a pair of shows in 2008, then appeared together on "Grand Parade," from Emmett's 2016 solo album RES9. But there hasn't been any talk of a larger reunion, leaving a group that's sold millions of albums in the U.S. alone somehow lost to history.
"They’ve always kind of lived under the shadow of Rush, I think – in the sense that Rush was obviously Canada’s biggest rock band," Dunn laments. "But from a story perspective, I think that people are going to be surprised. I think it’s kind of a dynamic heartfelt story with Triumph."
Dunn has previously directed films focusing on Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden and Rush. His most recent project was ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band From Texas, though Dunn didn't find the always-iconoclastic group particularly impressed with his earlier work.
“Billy [Gibbons] exclaimed 'We're not Rush!'," Dunn recalled, "and described – in rather frank terms – how ZZ Top should not be compared with any other band." The documentary ended up taking three years to complete. "After the meeting, I left the room worried that I had somehow offended Billy," Dunn added. "Building trust with ZZ Top would clearly take time."
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