New Video For The Single ‘Roam’
New Video For The Single ‘Roam’
Q&A with Director Gabe Darling
The music video for “ROAM” clearly goes along with the title of the album, Out of Hands We Go. What inspired this theme, and what does it represent, exactly?
The album title has a feeling of release and possible journeys into the unknown. I know it’s a time a transition for a lot of the band personally, so it’s appropriate. I wanted to build something that had that feeling of venturing into a mysterious space. The song contains a lot of that lyrically and has a distinctly dark carnival vibe, so it seemed like it should turn into some dark fleshy party by the end. Which it did and maybe got out of hand. (Oh god, murder me. Murder me now.)
Hands have made quite a resurgence in visual art in the past few years. Have you noticed this trend, and if so, why do you suppose it is? What draws you to using them as a visual object?
I feel like it would be strange if they weren’t a huge part of visual art. It’s what we see in front of us all the time. They are our means of manipulating our world, so I think they occupy a lot of our subconscious thought. I feel drawn to them a lot because they’re such a hugely expressive part of our bodies. Outside of a face, what’s more expressive? You ever try to communicate with a foot? It’s a disaster.
Can you tell me about the process of filming this piece? What techniques were used, and how much time was spent filming versus in post-production?
It was a simple shoot setup in my tiny apartment of just a bluescreen, a Canon camera, and a slider. Also there was a rotating stool to get turning faces and arms. There’s a fair amount of stop-motion in there. A lot of stuff shot was lit by just a flashlight so I could get hands coming out of stark darkness more easily.
The majority of it was spent in post, though. Compositing and rotoscoping are time-consuming processes, but I feel like I zone out into that stuff. It’s almost meditative.
What appeals to you about using black and white for all of this record’s visual collateral?
There’s something great about the limitation involved in black and white. Also, things can jumble together in comfortable ways when you take away their color. It’s purely by chance that the video and album art are both monochromatic. I was gonna go black and white when I started conceiving this thing because I had been really wanting to do something that felt like old spirit photography. It definitely wound up in a different place then that, but some of the original inspiration remains.
What are the emotions you are hoping to conjur with the imagery, and how does it tie in with the themes of the track itself? Is the cyclical nature of the music video purely an aesthetic choice, or were there philosophical motives behind it as well?
I just wanted the imagery to mirror the feel of the song. That there’s a strange mix of fun and revulsion in the darkness. That discovery can be rewarding even if it slightly monstrous. That’s why I wanted to escalate the imagery so that it would get a little overwhelming. And then you’re out again.
I liked the idea of coming back at the end, because it’s ultimately about journeying out from your comfort zone and knowing you can return. You’re just a tourist in this fleshy-hell-party. It’s a “nice to visit; wouldn’t want to live there,” sort of situation. Although I’m not sure “nice to visit” even applies.