You just know it’s going to be good when you get an email that reads:
I made a video.
my appropriation of the ministry of silly walks
my camel toe
a bicycle made from sweets
a jumping lanky man made entirely from balloons
psychedelic and beautiful joggers
and lots of colour.
And we weren’t wrong.
Who IS the Lone Taxidermist?
Lone Taxidermist is a band comprised of four people. Will, Hjordis, Phil and me Natalie Sharp, we’ve been described as “Skewed glam electro pop with a disconcerting and psychedelic edge” by John Doran at the Quietus.
The music is heavily mixed in with a lot of visual discourse. Which means I visually describe all of our music by putting out warped music videos such as S.L.A.G. and my previous one Bijoux Boy (See in Related Content). It also means that every live show we do is a visual spectacle, with homemade lasers, mirrorball gimp masks and lots of glitter. As I work as a make up artist and body painter a lot of the time Lone Taxidermist is submitted to being painted up in a variety of tribal and kaleidoscopic ways.
The music is part synth based with live guitar, drums, loop pedal vocals and mouth organs. Since Lone Taxidermist inception three years ago, the band has grown and developed and grown into a post-punk, feral, electronic adventure, which is partly due to Phil Winter (tunng) and I going to Berlin and spending time in Ben Edwards Synth recording studio down in Shoreditch. We are planning to release an entire album of music and video in early 2014.
Is this video for love or money?
The Video is most definitely for love. In fact I put all of the money from my business as a make-up artist into it, which wasn’t a lot. This love was extended to my creative team who were all doing it for the same reason.
How did the video come about, who made it, and were there any major challenges?
Although I directed and produced the video, it was my team who brought it to life. I worked with art director Christopher Kelly who just made a massive polar bear for Greenpeace, cinematographer the awesome Laura Bellingham who also shot my previous video Bijoux Boy (See in Related Content) and editor Dominic Friendly who makes comedy films about a fictitious character called Dave Horsefield. There was another 15 people involved in the video, make-up artists, gaffers and my manager Deborah Coughlin.
The video took me the best part of eight months to do because we did it on absolutely nothing. And I wanted the best people involved. Trying to find the right girls to star as the joggers was pretty enduring. But the Beaux Belles who star in it were perfect as they understand both comedy and dance.
I wanted the video to feel very British which is why I referenced John Cleese Ministry of Silly Walks and the setting was based on East London’s Regents Canal. All the street art on the back drop was based on Sweet Toof as I’ve always been a fan of their work. I wanted to track down the artist responsible so I could have their blessing, but street artists are elusive creatures, so tracking them down took quite some time too!
The biggest challenges were with securing equipment for free. It was a big set to light and we needed lots of Blondes, they aren’t cheap! Luckily a friend stepped in at the last minute and happened to have a whole set of them.
We wanted to create a lenticular effect in the video which is a sort of 3d video effect, that is done by mounting multiple cameras on a rack and shooting simultaneous footage. Bigger budget videos like Arcade Fire have used it to great effect but as we didn’t have an endless supply of Canon 5Ss we made do with three and it does look altogether more DIY which I think is the essence of Lone Taxidermist.
It is never enough to just send a demo of an untitled song to someone which is why I like to create an entire world for Lone Taxidermist, whether it be the live shows, the costume, the homemade instruments or the extravagant videos, it’s all part of what I’d like the audience to experience.