W-H-I-T-E’s Cory Hanson is telling me about the new video for his track “Fountain,” my favorite off his Twin Tigers album.
Hanson says it’s about “the possibility of a homo-erotic cult of men in jean cut offs who worship a ‘Cory Thomas Hanson’ from another dimension with Buffy the Vampire Slayer makeup on, and pour purple lotion all over him and make out and eat vitamins.” Uhhhh….
Video co-director Michael Ray-Von responds with a slightly more succinct synopsis: “The concept for the video is something about disposition, compulsivity, regret and relief; or more specifically about Cory struggling with his gay thoughts.”
Hey, Cory, what’s the story behind the “Fountain” video?
Well Mikey Ray-Von had wanted to make a video for one of the songs on the record. And we wanted to do something kind of different from the last one he did for “Go On With the Gong” which was very abstract minimal 3-D animation. It was an exercise in versatility. He got our friend Vinny Degulio, who’s a really awesome filmmaker to help co-write and shoot it. They brainstormed for a good while, and this weird exquisite corpse of shot sequences came out of it. The themes were “intensity” and “confusion” or just overall “too-much-ness.” Like jumping inter-dimensionally from one really intense scenario to the next. Or taking the concept of a reality in constant flux which beats down the character (me), and just making it really ridiculous.
There seems to be some physical mutation…?
Yeah. Mikey and Vinny thought the changes in environment should also alter my physical state. It’s like in Shadow of the Colossus when the dude is trying to save his girlfriend who’s dead and he murders all these giant beautiful Colossi, and each one he kills he gets more haggard, and starts growing horns out of his head. It’s a way of personifying the mental effects of coping with a changing environment.
…Then there are all these barechested dudes and grape juice…?
We also wanted to involve some kind of Santa Clarita cult, which is the city that surrounds Cal Arts. The locals are super conservative in a weird paranoid kind of way. I’m the last person to want to create some stupid art school hooligan vs. local old folks fight, but the whole place is just super weird. The layout of the city is made up of cul-de-sacs and shopping centers! And there’s so many houses, enough to encourage the possibility of a homo-erotic cult of men in jean cut offs who worship a “Cory Thomas Hanson” from another dimension with Buffy the Vampire Slayer makeup on, and pour purple lotion all over him and make out and eat vitamins. If there’s anywhere that it would happen, it would be Santa Clarita.
How long did it take to make the video and where did you do that?
We shot it all on site in SCV, and then all the driving and night shots in and around Val Verde. The brainstorming took the longest, just fleshing out ideas and making sure we had a lot of material to go with before shooting. It also kind of got backburned by a lot of other projects, shows, graduating college and various more important things. So it was a while before it finally got finished, which I think really helped it in the end. If we had done it in a week it would have been so shitty!
I heard you are moving what’s up with that?
Ya! I’m in Brooklyn right now, but I’ll be back in August hopefully to play some shows and then go on tour with Mikal Cronin’s band, which is going to be sick! It’s Chad (Secret Friends) on bass, and Danny and Eric from Pangea on Guitar and Drums. It’s like some dream supergroup! We all sing harmonies, it’s really fun. I went on a West Coast tour with Chad once, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. So I’m really stoked!
What shows are you doing coming up?
I’m playing at Monster Island in Williamsburg this Friday, and then Death By Audio on July 11th. Also looking for more shows in the meantime, and writing/recording a lot of music. I’m working on an EP with Jesse Hlebo (Swill Children) at the production helm. I just hope it sounds like D’Angelo. Like…exactly like D’Angelo. Also working on a full length, and some other stuff to release in the future!
What’s the song of the summer and why!?
Dude, I have no idea. Where are the summer jams? Where is Drake when we fucking need him? So bummed. So I dunno. If you’re in LA the summer jam is listening to KDAY every day. Such a serious luxury. I was listening once and they mashed up Missy Elliot with Ray J, played this revamped version of Gin and Juice I’d never heard, did a Justin Timberlake Biggy “Party n Bullshit” mashup, and then played a Stevie Wonder song I’d never heard before. Fucking best radio station of all time.
Directed by Michael Ray-Von and Vinny Tenderoni
Starring Cory Hanson.
Music available here.