Here is Grant Singer’s official video for The Soft Moon’s haunting call “Want.” Watch the POV video below and get sucked into a night gone wrong.
Here are a few questions that Katie and I asked Grant about the music video.
1)The idea of perception seemed to be a theme in a video. First we see the world through Luis’ eyes and then we as viewers become voyeurs and watch him. He also takes drugs in the video which alters his sense of perception again. What inspired you to do this? How does it tie into the theme of the song, wanting something you can’t have?
We wanted to create obstructions, have the video limited to three distinct perspectives. Camera tracking behind Luis, camera as Luis’s POV, and then the Doggicam (camera mounted onto Luis, facing him). Those were primarily in reference to some of my and Luis’s favorite films. The Doggicam was in reference to Angst (Gerald Kargl). The camera as POV was in reference to some of those amazing serial killer films from the 80s. In terms of him taking drugs, that’s in direct correlation to the ideas behind the song, Luis explaining to me what the lyrics mean, what head space he was in while making the music. The song’s about wanting what you can’t have, this idea of guilt, addiction and regret, and we tried to physicalize that in the video.
2) The editing style of the video reminded me a lot of some older flicker films like Tony Conrad and more recently Gaspar Noe. Again, playing with the notion of perception. Why did you find this editing style particularly effective for the video/song?
The music builds and builds and builds and becomes very primal and chaotic. The video needed to match that. The editing is simply just a reflection of the music. We wanted something visceral, in your face, but not just for the sake of the viewer’s reaction. This is what it’s like being fucked up. You’re stuck in your body yet your mind is gone. It’s a sensory overload while also being confined and attached to a body.
3) What was the significance of the family at the beginning of the video? What’s the story behind the house with the Valentine’s Day decorations?
Luis and I were going over possible scenarios, things that could happen in the video. We’d bounce ideas off of each other. He had the idea of stumbling down an alley. I had an idea that he could be stumbling down a street and stop at this house, out of the blue, he walks up, sees a family inside, and has a sudden urge to break in. No motivation. No reason. It’s about the mindset one is in to actually go through with that. He’s unable to control himself in that brief moment. I can relate to that, we both can. At the time I was thinking about this idea of what the soul does to the body. That’s a moment that I think perfectly physicalizes that idea. And in terms of the exterior of the house, it’s actually a shrine commemorating the death of the owner’s recently deceased dog. We were scouting and found this house with all these decorations and lights and photos of this dog. It was so weird and colorful. We didn’t do any set dressing to the exterior of the house.
4) What was the first music video that made an impact on you? Any impress you lately?
I don’t know if I can recall the first video that made an impression on me, but the Soul Asylum “Runaway Train” video really affected me when I was a kid. Also, I loved Tom Petty’s videos growing up. But in terms of directors, Chris Cunningham will always be my favorite music video director. His stuff with Aphex Twin are some of the most imaginative videos I’ve ever seen. Right now, I don’t really watch music videos. I only watch my buddy Aaron Brown’s videos (Focus Creeps) and then the videos of friends of mine who are in bands.
5) Big budget music videos are quickly becoming a dying breed. Do you think that is a pro or con to young directors?
I think it’s a good thing that big budgets don’t really exist unless there’s a corporate sponsor. It forces people to be more creative. Also I think most music video directors have conformed to a car commercial aesthetic. They want their videos to be glossy and clean so it can get them commercial jobs. There’s nothing wrong with that but I think that’s part of the reason I don’t watch music videos, they’re just sort of boring and safe.
6) If you could make a music video for any band with no budget, tell me about how you would take that and run?
Nine Inch Nails. The greatest band of all time. Trent Reznor’s music evokes a tone and a feeling I’m specifically drawn to. I would make something absolutely mind-blowing and unthinkable. I’d physicalize my subconscious that’s been waiting impatiently, dormant inside me.
Here is Grant’s video for DIIV “How Long Have You Known?”