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Behind the Video

Behind The Video: Dawn Of Ouroboros on the Concept for Their “Rise from Disillusion” Music Video

In our latest Behind The Video interview, Tony Thomas of Oakland’s Dawn Of Ouroboros discusses the concept for the band’s “Rise from Disillusion” music video.

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Dawn Of Ouroboros, photo by Wyman Choy

Oakland, CA blackened progressive metal band Dawn Of Ouroboros will release their upcoming second album, Velvet Incandescence, on April 21st, 2023, via Prosthetic Records. Alongside the album announcement, the band released a video for the lead single, “Rise from Disillusion,” which you can check out below.

Following the release of the video, we sat down with guitarist Tony Thomas to go behind the scenes to find out more about the video, its concept, the inspiration and the process behind it.

Who directed the video?

Tony Thomas (guitar/synths): “For our most recent video, ‘Rise from Disillusion,’ we went with our friend Karl Whinnery of Hot Karl Productions.”

Did the band have a concept in mind based on the song or was the video creator given full reign to come up with a suitable visual companion?

“We do our own visual concepts. We start with storyboarding which is usually based on what sort of visuals our imaginations come up with from listening to the song, from there we figure out what props we need to get or make. During the filling, we set up each scene with the videographer so he can make sure the lighting and shots look professional. After filming, we let him edit all the scenes together in a way that he felt was best for the song.”

Where was it made?

“The band performance shots we filmed in a photo studio in Portland, OR. While the story segments we mostly filmed on my property, or the surrounding woods.”

What was your favourite part behind the creation of the video?

“I would say this is true for all the videos we’ve done for the band, but really it’s coming up with the ideas and figuring out how to make them work in reality. Due to budgeting and tools available to us, this can sometimes be extremely low tech, which allows for a great deal of creativity to make it work.”

Based on how this one was made, are you looking forward to doing another?

“Absolutely. This was our third music video, and we filmed our fourth in parallel. The fourth will be released in the near future. But it is always an extremely rewarding creative process.”

What are some of your favourite music videos? What about when you were growing up?

“Generally, I enjoy videos that make the attempt to be more “artsy” with what they are doing. I’m not really big on actually having a linear story for the video as if one were making a movie. Some of the bands that have put out videos I’ve taken inspiration from are the post-metal bands Oathbreaker, and Obscure Sphinx, or even someone like Bjork. As for when I was growing up, I grew up in the 90s, so there were much larger budgets for music videos at the time. I would say I always found bands like Tool or Nine Inch Nails to release videos I found the most interesting.”

Dawn of Ouroborous “Velvet Incandescence” Album Artwork

Dawn of Ouroborous “Velvet Incandescence” Album Artwork

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever had to do or seen being done during the making of a music video?

“Since I come up with most of the stranger ideas. I always take it on myself to do the more uncomfortable things. For example, I’ve covered myself completely in mud, gone neck deep in 30-degree water, and filled my mouth with zinc screws.”

What should a music video set out to accomplish? Do you feel like yours did that?

“In my opinion, it really depends on the goals of the band. For us, though, we just try to create visuals that represent the vibe of the music. We don’t typically use the lyrics to come up with the scenes ideas.”

If money was no issue, what would be in your perfect video?

“I wouldn’t say there are any particular concepts I would want in a video based on budget. There are a few movie directors who I would love to be involved in making a video with. For example, Panos Cosmatos who directed the movies Beyond the Black Rainbow, and Mandy. Or Denis Villeneuve, who directed Blade Runner 2049, and Dune. Obviously, either of them would cost insane money to work with, but one can dream.”

Is a well-made DIY video just as good or beneficial as a professionally made/directed video?

“Yes, well-made DIY videos are just as beneficial as a professionally made one. In my opinion, all that matters is that the musicians are able to create a video that represents the vibe of the band in the way they want the band to be represented visually.”

High-quality lyric video, live video, cinematic music video… What’s your preferred format and why?

“Definitely cinematic style videos. Listening to music is an experience that is very visual to me, and it is important to try and share what I imagine when hearing our song with others.”

Tour Dates:

04/21 – Thee Parkside – San Francisco, CA
04/22 – Supply and Demand – Los Angeles, CA
04/23 – Til Two Club – San Diego, CA
04/24 – Yucca – Phoenix, AZ
04/25 – Kilby Court – Salt Lake City, UT
04/26 – The Shredder – Boise, ID
04/27 – The Plaid Pig – Tacoma, WA
04/28 – Substation – Seattle, WA
04/29 – Mano Oculta – Portland, OR

Dawn Of Ouroboros release Velvet Incandescence on April 21st through Prosthetic Records and you can pre-order your copy here.

Dawn Of Ouroboros 2023 Tour Artwork

Dawn Of Ouroboros 2023 Tour Artwork

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.

Alternative/Rock

Behind the Video: WESSON Discuss Their “Made Me Happy” Music Video

British alternative rockers WESSON join us to discuss the importance of music videos, including their clever new video for “Made Me Happy.”

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Wesson, photo by Nicholas O’Donnell

Relatable, meaningful, and just plain catchy, WESSON has been gaining a lot of supporters lately. Beyond individual tastes and preferences, the most important element of being in a band is the sheer feeling of a need to make music. That would describe this British alternative rock band led by singer-songwriter Chris Wesson. The quartet formed under a simple circumstance: four men who needed to make music as part of their everyday lives. They each individually have their own partialities, but passion is what is the motor behind WESSON. Their sound is a mix of pop, punk rock, and indie rock with a gritty rock undertone.

WESSON has been enjoying some breakout success over the last year with a string of successful singles. Fans really began to take notice of the band upon the release of their “Voices” single last year. This was followed up by “Made Me Happy,” an infectious indie rock anthem inspired by personal life experiences. It’s those everyday life events which WESSON successfully are able to tap into. They take a very organic approach to songwriting, which gives their music a very honest twist. Wesson’s ultimate goal is for you to feel inspired to be true to yourself, live the way you want to live, and not be scared to be yourself.

Part of what helped make “Made Me Happy” a hit for the band was its rather original video. We spoke with drummer Dale to discuss the video, the ideas behind it, the creative process, how it came along, and more.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever had to do or seen being done during the making of a music video?

“For ‘Made Me Happy,’ we were all wearing black Morph suits and had to do funny disco dance moves. We didn’t choreograph the dance moves; everybody just did whatever they felt like. Also, we were wearing these big masks with the smiley faces on, which was a pretty strange experience! We seem to have a habit of this, as we were also wearing gas masks while performing our video for ‘Breathing In.’”

Was there anything during the making of this (or any other) music video that happened unexpectedly, or you were surprised to learn?

“Chris didn’t realize how the black lights would work with the fluorescent strips. So once everything was set up, and we turned on the black lights, he was really impressed to see how vibrant they were.”

What’s your favourite thing about music videos?

“We love seeing the end result. When the first draft comes back, it’s always a lot of excitement to see how it turned out. We love how filming is like a band day out. It’s an experience, it’s good fun, it’s team building! It’s something that people don’t normally get to do.”

Which genre do you think makes the best music videos?

“We love videos with energy, that are just fun. Pop/punk bands like Green Day, Blink-182, and Sum 41 have videos that are silly and entertaining. They are clearly just having a good time and enjoying themselves.”

Wesson BTS Katie Mayer (@katiemayerphotography)

Wesson BTS Katie Mayer (@katiemayerphotography)

Any mishaps on set?

“Plenty!

“During the ‘Made Me Happy’ video shoot, the fluorescent strips weren’t sticking to our outfits. Luckily we had a different type, and that just about worked!

“The dry ice machine in our video for ‘Breathing In’ didn’t have a power cable wired in, so we had to do it on the day.

“We borrowed a motorbike for ‘Stay Or Leave,’ and it wouldn’t turn on. We had to wheel it in, instead of riding it in.”

Any concepts where you started and midway through thought, “What the fuck are we doing?”

“Basically all of them. Especially for Callum and Jimmy. I remember hearing Jimmy once literally saying the words, ‘What the fuck are we doing?’

“The whole band doesn’t always know the full extent to a video concept until the day and so they are sometimes very surprised.

“We were planning a music video recently for our single ‘Second Chances.’ We very nearly all ended up in fruit costumes, dancing around on a greenscreen. In the end, we scrapped this concept, just in time!”

If you could have any guest appear in your video, who would you have?

Sting and Kevin Costner.

“We basically love Sting and The Police, so would love to have him involved one day. We have a song called ‘Call the Police’ which will be on our second album. Sometimes, we joke about how we’d call Sting and get him to come and perform it live with us.

“We’d love to do a big budget music video and have Kevin Costner as the main character. We just think he would fit in with our aesthetic.”

Do you prefer writing a video around the theme of a song or just going to a warehouse and banging out a live performance?

“They are both great and it’s hard to choose.

“Writing a themed video is great because it’s fun to explore the storyline and imagine how it’ll look in the end, then seeing that come to life. It’s good to mess with ideas and it’s exciting to see the possibilities and push our limitations.

“Doing a live performance is easier because it’s less stressful generally, giving us a better chance of having something usable afterwards. Doing a video like ‘Unhappy Ever After,’ ‘Made Me Happy,’ or ‘Breathing In,’ which have some cool visual elements, are a mixture of the two. Which I think is the best thing for us.”

Wesson ‘All We Are’ album artwork

Wesson ‘All We Are’ album artwork

What is your favourite childhood music video, and do you have any secret nods to it in your catalogue?

“‘Take On Me’ by A-ha. This was such a groundbreaking video at the time. I was very excited watching it for the first time at maybe 10 or 11 years old. It was so futuristic!

“‘Money for Nothing’ by Dire Straits. It was cutting edge technology and also looked futuristic. We are just generally inspired by these videos, but haven’t tried to give a nod to them.”

Is a well-made DIY video just as good or beneficial as a professionally made/directed video?

“Absolutely, if you know what you’re doing. What we are seeing at the moment is that a more natural and organic video sometimes seems to inspire our audience more than the bigger budget videos, which creates a separation and makes us seem like something we’re not.”

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Behind the Video

Behind The Video: EB & The Deadlights Talk Through Their Ghoulish “Hollow Eyes” Music Video

In this new Behind The Video interview, shock rockers EB & The Deadlights take us behind the scenes of their new video for “Hollow Eyes.”

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EB & The Deadlights

Since the early days of the genre, horror and rock/metal have gone hand in hand with the end result, seeing everyone from Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden to Rob Zombie and Slipknot turning their sinister ideas into visual masterpieces.

Taking inspiration from the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Rob Zombie, Belfast goth/rock crew EB & The Deadlights have put their own twist on the genre for their latest video, “Hollow Eyes.”

Too good an opportunity to pass up, V13 spoke to Ethan to get all the ghoulish details from the video shoot in the latest edition of Behind The Video.

What’s the concept behind the video? Help us to understand the video’s concept in more detail and how it ties into the lyrics.

Ethan: “I (Ethan), for the most part, handled the directing of it, but it is usually a team effort at the end of the day. I always roughly have an idea of what the video will include, and then Luke Carlise, who films, as well as the rest of the guys, throw their thoughts in when they have an idea.”

Did the band have a concept in mind based on the song, or was the video creator given full reign to come up with a suitable visual companion?

“We had this full concept built around the album, but I think if we were to really try and pull it off how we wanted, we would’ve needed about a 5k budget minimum for video, haha! We started this mini concept of all the videos being tied in about this guy who is basically losing his mind and can’t differentiate whether it’s in his head or real. ‘Hollow Eyes’ is the wrap-up of that storyline and sort of shows someone who’s reached the edge of the cliff and decides to jump, for lack of a better term.”

Where was it made?

Carindhu House, which, coincidently, is apparently one of the most haunted houses in Northern Ireland.”

EB & The Deadlights - Behind The Video Photo 1

EB & The Deadlights – Behind The Video Photo 1

What was your favourite part behind the creation of the video?

“All of it, probably. To be honest, this is probably my favourite video we’ve done. The whole day was just very fun, also to see the end product turn out more or less exactly how we visioned it is a very good bonus.”

Based on how this one was made, are you looking forward to doing another?

“Honestly, I personally could give or take videos. I do enjoy them for the most part, but I think if I got told I would never have to do another, I wouldn’t be overly concerned. I’d love to fully take the director seat someday when we have the budget to do so and have actors take part and fully fledge out our own mini movie to our music; that would indeed be very cool, but other than that, I’m not overly fussy.”

Was there anything during the making of this (or any other) music video that happened unexpectedly, or you were surprised to learn?

“Well, the Carindhu House place is extremely creepy and obviously, your mind goes into overdrive in places like that if you start panicking and you thinking you might’ve heard something coming from the opposite direction from everyone, or maybe that’s just me. To be honest, I didn’t look into the location much beforehand. I just assumed it was an old abandoned house, not an old abandoned mansion that was used as a military hospital and is supposedly the most haunted house in the country!”

What should a music video set out to accomplish? Do you feel like yours did that?

“In my opinion, you should be getting more eyes onto the song; putting out a video is all well and good, but if it doesn’t benefit the actual music, which, let’s face it, is your product to sell to people at the end of the day, then it is pretty pointless. I like to think ours have complimented each song they’ve been done for, at the very least!”

What do you hate about music videos? What did you wish there was less of? What could the medium do away with?

“Honestly, as I said earlier, I could get told I’d never have to do another video, and I wouldn’t lose any sleep at night, even though, for the most part, I do enjoy them. I mean, for us, if we aren’t shooting near someone’s house or a bathroom, we have to sit in our cramped cars and try to fumble on a face of makeup, that’s usually quite awkward to get done. Other than that, no real complaints.”

What is one thing you absolutely refuse to do for a video that everyone else seems to be more than happy doing?

“Honestly, again, nothing really. We usually have some form of blood involved in one way or another, and I think I’ve had either a beating or a death to be on the receiving end of in our last 4 consecutive videos, so I’m pretty much open to most things as long as it isn’t a god awful idea.”

EB & The Deadlights - Behind The Video Photo 2

EB & The Deadlights – Behind The Video Photo 2

What is one thing you’re more than happy to do for a music video that everyone else seems to absolutely refuse to do?

“Again, honestly, I’m not too sure. I know some of the guys are a bit standoffish when it comes to using blood, but when you’re in a horror band, there’s not much can be done about that!”

Is there any part of the process you’d do differently now?

“Not really, for things like videos, we’re always usually quite prepared and know what we have to do, and it’s just a case of getting it done. We’ve had a few lineup changes, but I think even the newer guys, like Reuben & Reece, have seen how myself and Mac usually operate at them, and it’s just the general vibe of ‘Right, let’s get this done.’”

Which statement seems most true to you: Music videos are a “high” form of art; music videos are a “low” form of art; music videos can be “high” or “low” art; it doesn’t matter, all art is art; it doesn’t matter, nothing really matters.

“Oof, that got unexpectedly deep towards the end. I think they can be a high or low form of art it just depends what you are doing. Honestly, the video should complement and fit the theme of the song. Like, if we do a song like ‘Hollow Eyes’ then have this big happy, positive video for it, it doesn’t really work. Everything needs to complement everything else.”

EB & The Deadlights - Behind The Video Photo 3

EB & The Deadlights – Behind The Video Photo 3

Any mishaps on set?

“Well as I said earlier about the cymbal stand thing for ‘Heaven Into Hell’, that stumped us a bit. The first video we ever shot for our song ‘Empty Frames,’ our guitarist at the time brought a speaker to play the song through, which didn’t work, which obviously made us all panic, but we got there in the end. I think we’ve been pretty fortunate for the most part, we’ve used a real knife in most of the most recent videos, so I’m honestly just happy no one’s gotten stabbed!”

Any concepts where you started and midway through thought, “What the fuck are we doing?”

“I think that’s just a part of being a band like ours! Honestly, not really we’ve gotten everything done for the most part, but when we looked at the album concept then started planning how to bring that to life, I think we sort of realised that we just didn’t have to budget to pull it off and make it not look terrible unfortunately.”

For more information on EB & The Deadlights, visit their Official Facebook Page.

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Alternative/Rock

Behind The Video: Daedric Take Us into the Haunting World of Their “Coldharbour” Music Video

In our latest Behind The Video interview, Daedric take us into the haunting world of their music video for the single “Coldharbour.”

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Daedric

A creative venture from Dallas/Fort Worth-based vocalist and artist Kristyn Hope, Daedric draws inspiration from an eclectic array of sources, including David Bowie, Anthony Green of Circa Survive, Sia, and the popular open-world role-playing game series Elder Scrolls, from which the Daedric name is derived.

Late last year, Daedric released the haunting music video for “Coldharbour.” In the latest of our Behind The Video series, we sat down with Kristyn to talk about the video, the inspiration, how it came together and much more.

Before you head into the interview, check out the haunting video for “Coldharbour” below

Who directed the video?

Daedric: “‘Coldharbour’ was directed by Brittany Davis, Clay Schroeder, and Kristyn Hope in a collaborative endeavor to bring together striking aesthetics and modern music.”

What’s the concept behind the video? Help us to understand the video’s concept in more detail and how it ties into the lyrics.

“The concept behind ‘Coldharbour’ is recreating an atmosphere found in The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim that feels almost like a cold and desolate hellscape. I wanted to focus on texture and movement to highlight expression and emotion from the song.”

Video Still from Daedric’s “Coldharbour” Music Video

Video Still from Daedric’s “Coldharbour” Music Video

Where was it made?

“We filmed in two locations: a public park/forest and my own kitchen. All of the wide outdoor shots were shot in a mesquite tree forest behind a dog park, where we shot close to sunset in order to achieve a dull twilight look throughout the video. The closer shots of the faces were all done in my kitchen using fabric and an Aztec clay mask for textured effect.”

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever had to do or seen being done during the making of a music video?

“I’ve done a lot of strange things for the sake of art and music, but I have no shame about it. For this video, I walked around the public park with massive layers of black fabric encasing me, so I’m sure I looked terrifying. A couple kids stopped to ask what we were doing, and I told them I was haunting the woods.”

Video Still from Daedric’s “Coldharbour” Music Video

Video Still from Daedric’s “Coldharbour” Music Video

What should a music video set out to accomplish? Do you feel like yours did that?

“A good music video should tell the story or vibe of the song it’s created and paired with. It should make the audience feel strong emotions or even ask questions about themselves. I do feel that the ‘Coldharbour’ music video echoed the song and enhanced the emotions for anyone watching and listening.”

Is there any part of the process you’d do differently now?

“What would I do differently? I would film when it’s not super hot outside so I don’t feel like I might suffocate and pass out while performing.”

If money was no issue, what would be in your perfect video?

“If money was no issue, I would hire a VFX artist to create hyper-realistic landscapes and creatures to further cement the otherworldly feeling I’m aiming to establish with Daedric’s visual art. I want dinosaurs, dragons, spirits – you name it, I want it.”

Do you prefer writing a video around the theme of a song or just going to a warehouse and banging out a live performance?

“There’s absolutely a time and place to produce a performance-only video, but I will always prefer to fabricate narratives that add to the track. I’ve always been a visual artist, and I don’t think that’s something I can let go of easily.”

Video Still from Daedric’s “Coldharbour” Music Video

Video Still from Daedric’s “Coldharbour” Music Video

Is a well-made DIY video just as good or beneficial as a professionally-made/directed video?

“When a DIY video has the right minds and determination behind it, it can be just as striking as a full-production video. It’s quality over quantity every time, and if you have one brilliant person on a project versus ten unmotivated people, the one person is going to outperform the others.”

For more information on Daedric, visit their Instagram Page.

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