How did the video for “A Feeling Like This” come together? Who was the director? How did you find him?Charlie: Angus Borsos is the director. He goes by Helium Castle- that’s kind of his director-name. We were all fans because we had seen some of the videos he had done for Mac DeMarco and The Doldrums. His stuff is really cinematic. It seems really special compared to a lot of other music videos- it sort of goes a step beyond. And we met him on tour and before we ever talked about a music video, we were just hanging out with him. I just thought he was the coolest guy… He’s really just beautiful, tall. He always wears a uniform- a white shirt with this black suit…Arian: He looks like an orchestra conductor.C: He’s just from another world.Paul Roper: He’s like 6 foot 6. He’s really tall… He’s like an alien- in a good way.C: He’s beautiful, though. He’s someone you’re just drawn to- you just want to work with that guy. There’s something about him and he’s very otherworldly… He writes these beautiful long emails… No one does that. He’s kind of a poet. So we were just talking about video cameras and he was just really excited about it… He wrote this crazy treatment and somehow we pulled it together with a small budget.
Do you know how he came up with the treatment?
C: He listened to the song… and the treatment was almost indecipherable. The first time I read it, I was like “What is this?” I had no idea what was going on.
Can you describe how he put the concept of the video-or what it sounded like on your end?
C: Well, he asked me first what the song was about and I kind of explained it in a few sentences… Just the gist of it… It has to do with psychedelics and the sort of life experience in this really intense state. There are definitely elements of the surreal. And then we talked on the phone about it and then he just said, “I’m going to send you the treatment”. I think he sat with the song and really had this vision.
Did you feel that he really took in your interpretation into his own? Did you see that within the final product?
C: Totally. And yet I didn’t say there should be any certain motifs… Or I didn’t say anything visually about how it should be.
So what you saw in the end was kind of a surprise to you.
C: Yeah, except that we were there for a lot of it.
Well, of course.
C: We helped out with the production and so, some of it we expected. But some of it was definitely surprising. When he sent it, he was like, “Put it in HD and wear headphones and turn off the lights”. He was very specific about how we watched it.
Well, watching a film should be a total experience- for maximum effective viewing, at least.
A: Watching him work was funny. He would randomly ask me if I could run to the store to get olive oil so he could paint the walls with olive oil for one specific shot. I agreed to be a production assistant and, every once in a while, I’d just get a really weird request.
C: And his ankle was really swollen the entire time. He had this weird problem where we almost couldn’t shoot- but he was sort of limping around the whole time. Just like this amazing image of this tall director in this suit limping around, trying to make everything work. So–to this day–when I see him and he’s not limping, it’s really weird.
Patrick Adams: I think it’s an amazing video and maybe its wrong for a person in the band to say that but I’m slightly bummed that it hasn’t been viewed more. It’s such a good video and the first view times I watched it, I was just blown away and fell in love with it. It’s kind of disappointing that it didn’t get out there in the world more.
PR: It’s fine if you’re in the band to compliment the music video. Often, being in the band, you have little to nothing to do with it. Obviously you guys (to the other members of the band) had more to do with it- but I had zero to do with it and I loved it.
C: Well, it was so seamless too. Because he sent it and was like, “Do you have any feedback?” And he did the same thing on the treatment. And both times, we were like, “No”. And when you have that relationship with someone, it’s so nice.
It’s probably refreshing to talk about an element of your work that isn’t technically your own- it’s someone else’s video but it is still an extension of your work.
PA: It’s nice to see somebody else’s vision.
An interpretation, but also a totally new facet of what you guys are creating.
And you get to bounce it off a different wall so you can see yourself in a new light.
PA: Totally, yeah.
C: And music video is such an interesting format now because why do people make music videos? Is it just for press? You never know what’s going to happen to it now.
Well, when you listen to a song, there’s always a video in your own mind. Every little song I fall in love with is cinematic to me in a way- and always has its own video in my head. So I can only imagine that for the person who created that song, it should be a relief to put that vision to life.
C: Like a book going into a movie or something.
Yeah. But even books sometimes- they’re actually just a movie in the writer’s mind. That person imagining that movie just has to find his or her own tool to make that image come to life. Musicians do that with music and writers do that with words; we’re all just trying to find a tool with which to externally capture that which we’re internalizing. Film is a mirror in a way… It’s a way of capturing life or an instance of life that allows you to incorporate images, words, and music. Aside from the physical sensation, it’s the most all-encompassing form of art.
C: I feel like if bands had enough time and money and resources… I know that some friends’ bands could just make a video for every single song. Which I think would be ideal- if we could just make a video for every song…