“When Future Death sent me ‘Basements’ I heard something shambolic, dirty and aggressive. A sticky, off-brand soda pop, that fizzes in your face and gives you a sugar rush,” Eugene Kotlyarenko tells us of the Austin band. The director wanted to match those qualities in his concept for the video. “It needed to feel “lo-fi” with a bit of playful rough-housing, something that could give a sense of danger intruding on life.”
“A few years back when everyone was shooting music videos on VHS cameras it felt immediately stale to me. Okay, I get it guys — it looks ‘cool.’ But where it might have once been a visual signifier of the personal, now it simply conjures up nostalgia for a bygone look.”
The contemporary equivalent of what that VHS style meant in the 80s and 90s, he says, in movies like Gummo, or Sex Lies and Videotape, would probably come in the form of cellphone video.
“For a long time I’ve been making diary films with my cellphone footage. This seemed like a great opportunity for me to extend that into the realm of a fictional narrative. However, to make that work you have to acknowledge the phone or the person using the phone as a participant in the storyline. To justify the use of ‘lower quality’ footage, there would have to be a meta-filmic element to what was being shot.”
Future Death singer Angie Kang’s vocals inspired a Richard Kern vibe, he says. “He is a master of the dangerous-alluring-banal trifecta and celebrates women who emit those qualities. Here too, I thought the cellphone fit perfectly in trying figure out a new way to capture his intimate spirit from the mid-80s to early-90s.”
As luck would have it, he saw his friends Alison Peery and Dasha Nekrasova shooting bb guns on a hill near their house, and the idea took off from there.
“I’m lucky that they’re great performers, cool as hell, live by this hill, enjoy shooting this gun and DTH (down to help) make some art.”
“The idea of objectification through the camera has never been more omnipresent, with cameras basically in everyone’s hands all the time. And while that ubiquity may make our latent voyeurism feel mundane, we can’t be surprised when it still causes the occasional extreme reactions. For this situation, I felt like misogynist enthusiasm should be met with psychosexual power and threw a sprinkle of gun violence and Instagram for good measure,” he explains, adding, “I hope the vid gets 7213 likes.”
Check out Future Death on tour.