Willy Vanderperre Strips Bare the Belgian Rockers
“It was the first time really that we did something that was out of our hands,” says Colin H van Eeckhout, the lead vocalist of post-metal band Amenra, of working with Willy Vanderperre on today’s arresting video for their 13-minute track. “Normally I'm all over anything we do, so it was quite scary for us to just let go and trust someone, blindly.” “A Mon Âme” marks the second music video outing of the fashion photographer, who’s stark, uncanny style has graced campaigns for the likes of Christian Dior, Jil Sander and Raf Simons. The fellow Belgian approached the band after seeing them play live in Paris, and wanted to distill the intensity and power of their performance. “For the video, I wanted to be almost on their skin, very close in a hypnotic way,” says Vanderperre. Below he talks to NOWNESS about his foray into music.
What comes to mind when you listen to Amenra’s music?
Willy Vanderperre: The flat lands, my hometown, skin.
What was the starting point for the video?
WV: Growing up in the same area of Belgium as the band members—no one captures the vibe and the spirit of South West Flanders in music as they do. The sound transports me back there instantly.
What was it like working with These New Puritans for your first music video?
WV: What is great about These New Puritans is that they are a band not afraid of experimentation, they're constantly evolving. When we worked together on the artwork for the brilliant Fields of Reed album, we decided to shoot a video together.
Which artists are on constant rotation on your playlist?
WV: Amenra, Depeche Mode, Balthazar (another genius Belgian band) and Lubomyr Melnyk.
Vincent Haycock Casts Three Brothers From Compton for the London Producer’s Stirring New Release
“Everything in the video is their real life,” says director Vincent Haycock of the Mays boys, who he cast for this magic realist visual accompaniment to London composer and producer Raffertie’s new track “Build Me Up,” after meeting the youngest brother Demantre while location scouting in South Central, Los Angeles. “Every cast member is their friend, son, or cousin, and all the locations are their houses and neighborhood,” explains the filmmaker, whose previous work includes videos for Florence and the Machine, Spiritualized and Calvin Harris. “Most of the scenes were based on what they wanted to do as opposed to me giving them too much direction. The only thing I made up was the idea of death—all the brothers are alive and well.” The occasional special effect adds a surreal, poetic element to Haycock’s fictionalized rendition of the Mays’ intense lives in the video produced by Somesuch & Co, rendering a portrait of the cyclical nature of life while forming a narrative mirror of the looping, primal track, taken from Raffertie’s album due out on Ninja Tune later this year. “One of the aspects I liked most was the idea of turning the breaks in the song’s structure into natural pauses for the voice-overs,” he says. “A musical element was still required here though so I composed some extra music derived from the choral backing vocals.” Next up for Haycock is a video for Rihanna—“It will be a complete 180 degree turn from this project,” he reveals—while Raffertie will release the Build Me Up EP on May 20.
You have a background in musical composition—when you are composing, do you ever have visuals in mind?
Raffertie: Music is very visual for me. Often there are many images that go around my mind when listening to or making music. It happens the other way around as well, when I look at things, and witness events, ideas spring to mind that tend to be musical in nature.
What music videos or visual/musical collaborations have most inspired you in the past and why?
R: Zatorski and Zatorski and Philip Glass in The Last 3600 Seconds of a Wasp. The film documents the last hour of the life of a wasp, which fell onto its back and was unable to right itself. Set to Glass’ Metamorphosis, the combination of what I was seeing augmented by this music caused such a visceral reaction in me.
Have any screen soundtracks left their mark on you of late?
R: I feel that film music has become quite homogeneous, but two soundtracks have stood out recently. The first was the original music composed for Tyrannosaur by Chris Baldwin and Dan Baker. The film is one of the most depressing, harrowing and horrific films I have seen for a while and the music illustrates that exceptionally with its unusual pallet of sounds. The second is the soundtrack of recent British TV series Utopia, which was written by Cristobal Tapia de Veer. Like the imagery of the show, it feels almost hyperreal. Moving from quirky to dark and from abstract to serene, the soundtrack is a timbral adventure.
Samantha Morton Helms an Emotive Music Video Portrait of the Rock Duo
The Kills celebrate ten years of musical partnership with this poignant and playful video, directed by Oscar nominated actress Samantha Morton. The captivating, melancholic song “The Last Goodbye” offsets the hard-edged sound Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince are known for with haunting vocals and a nostalgic piano loop. "I wanted to make it completely different from anything we'd normally do," explains Hince. "I used an octagon keyboard from the 60s which takes flexi-discs with real bands playing and mixes them together." For the video—an experience Hince and Mosshart usually find unfulfilling and frustrating—the duo enlisted the talents of Morton, who made her directorial feature debut this year with The Unloved. Shot in monochrome on crisp, silvery 35mm, the video reflects the beautiful simplicity of the track, with an old-school photo booth providing an intimate backdrop for Mosshart's intense and heart-warming opening performance followed by a series of touching to-camera poses reflecting the musicians’ longstanding, spirited friendship. "Life goes on," says Mosshart of the touching ballad. "It starts off being the end of the world but then ends up alright." Here Mosshart and Hince share their memories of their first meeting and a decade of collaboration.
Alison on Jamie:
"When I first met him I thought he was the coolest guy in the world; I was completely fascinated by him. I had an immediate desire to do something with him – it was the best decision I've ever made. We've had so much fun over the past 12 years. I'll never forget our first gig—14 February 2002 in front of 70 people. It was the scariest moment of our lives. We couldn't believe we were doing it. We'd spent six months booking the tour, by letters as it was before email. We stayed wherever we could, going on the greatest adventure of our lives. By the end of the tour the rooms were full because of word of mouth. I remember those first years so clearly because you're so involved and so in charge of your destiny. I don't take any of this for granted—it's still as exciting and interesting and there's still more to discover."
Jamie on Alison:
"In 2000, I was in another band and she was staying in the apartment below. She would sit outside my window and listen to me play guitar, a bit like a stalker. When we first met, she was painfully shy. She'd grown up in a skate scene in Florida so she wasn't really aware of any bands. It felt incredible to be able to introduce her to the music I loved. She absorbed it all and loved it all. The first time I saw her perform was like watching Patti Smith for the first time. This awkward little sparrow on stage just had so much confidence and was obviously so comfortable performing. It was fascinating. I thought if I was going to be in another band it was going to be with her. She's my best friend and has been in every aspect of my life."
Produced by Juliette Larthe through PRETTYBIRD.
Cinematography by Florian Hoffmeister.