This is a weird song. Maybe it’s fitting that it now has a weird video to go with it.
If we lived in some bizarro world in which I had a record company behind me and they wanted me to release singles, I would probably push for this to be the first single off of THE ANGLE OF BEST DISTANCE, because it doesn’t sound much like anything else on the album — and that’s just the kind of backwards anti-promotional thing that appeals to me.
The song began as little more than an improvised bass part. I called it “Doomy Bass” and had no idea what to do with it. A month after recording that initial part I added some electric guitar and drums. It still didn’t feel like a song, even after I wrote some lyrics about Jesus driving an electric car. What finally gave the thing some much-needed direction was coming up with a completely different vocal melody and singing it like I was trying to channel Ian Curtis.
The end result sounds, at least to my ears, like I spent some time abusing barbiturates in a grimy basement while listening to a lot of 1980s goth rock and post-punk, with my brain melting what it took from that stimulus into a slowed-down melodic goo. I can’t say I’ve ever done anything else quite like this before. Initially there was some jazzy piano in there, but in the end it didn’t feel like the right touch. So I added more layers of electric guitar instead and tacked on a dreamy, improvised coda. Every electric guitar part in there is the funky 1960s Teisco, which continues to be more versatile than it has any right to be.
One thing worth noting: my voice wasn’t slowed-down, though it kind of sounds like it was. I did, however, record all of the instrumental parts at a slightly faster-than-normal speed, so everything was a little deeper and thicker when played back at normal speed. I just ended up naturally singing deeper in my range and in a way that doesn’t really sound like me at all. I was able to dial in a delay effect that keeps feeding back on itself, and you can hear it whooshing around after each drum hit. As for the lyrics, they don’t really mean anything at all. Just random ominous stuff.
The video is some slightly chopped-up footage from Heksensabbath (Witches Sabbath), a bizarre Dutch animated short film from director Cornelius Capsenberg and animator Ronald Raajimakers. Just about the only information I can dredge up about it is that it was made in 1986 and it’s an apparent homage to Dutch novelist and poet Louis Couperus.
As is often the case, I didn’t do a whole lot of editing. I cut out the less twisted moments, slowed down a few bits at the end to get the timing to line up with the song’s coda, and that was about it. I think the surreal images suit the music, in a weird way.
So, in the past few weeks I’ve posted a bit of new music, a semi-controversial “opinion piece”, some swearing, some random silliness, and now here’s another one of those DIY music videos I make sometimes using public domain footage. About all that’s missing is a video progress report and a video that shows all the different elements of a song being recorded in the “studio”, and then I think this blog will just about be back on track. Took me long enough to get back in the groove. I still feel like holding off on bringing the progress reports back until ANGLE is ready to go, but at least most of the pieces are there.
Almost forgot — viewer discretion is advised. This video contains nudity and some very strange sexual imagery.