Video Voyageur: 3Qs with The Electric Petals

Temagami, Ontario’s The Electric Petals have returned with the second single from their upcoming album, Wild At Heart. “Cherry Red” is a laid back sax and bass driven ode to Iggy Pop which channels late 70s David Bowie. 

As you listen, imagine finding a dingy alleyway door lit up with red light. Once stepping through the door, you feel energized and free, dancing in a dark room where you can only make out others’ silhouettes. 

It’s an experience that is few and far between at the moment, so The Electric Petals wanted to bring that back: the exotic feeling of exploring an unknown city alone and stumbling into a hole in the wall that turns into a classic night. We had the honor of catching up with the group for an exclusive Video Voyageur below!

Tell us the story of this song, why did you choose to visualize this song specifically? 

‘Cherry Red’ began as a feeling from a bass line that kept coming back, and I knew there was something in there that we could develop into a song to make its way onto the album. The bass gives me a dreamlike feeling of dark and mysterious nostalgia: an underground bar that feels dangerous and not entirely legal, where live music is playing and the band and other people moving around the dark space are silhouetted and you can’t make out their faces. I think we all agreed to make a video for Cherry Red because of that feeling. We always fall into writing songs that have a cinematic feel to them. There’s a bizarre feeling to the sound in Cherry Red that none of us can really put our finger on. There’s definitely a cinematic element to it, but it also sounds like it could have been recorded in several different decades. That element in itself sets it apart from the other songs on the album, and I think it’s what led us to make a video for it. 

What was the inspiration behind this video(visuals, storyline, etc.)? 

We wanted to shoot something that has an 80s or 90s music video aesthetic. We also wanted to focus on the band and not formulate a short story idea to express a specific meaning behind the song. I love music videos that only show the band, because it leaves the imagination of the song meaning up to the audience. Sometimes that’s all a music video needs to be, and sometimes you just want to check the band out, and that allows you to put a face to the music. A lot of music videos are the interpretation of what a hired filmmaker feels when listening to a song, or what the song’s lyrics mean to a director or the band specifically. It’s like when you read a book, and go see the movie adaptation… The movie never amounts to what you created inside your head while reading the written word, and sometimes you feel like you would have been better off with your own interpretation. 

What was the process of making this video?

We always have a camera laying around for behind-the-scenes footage while recording and other shenanigans. For this project we went to Mosha’s garage studio here in Toronto and shot in there for a day. He had these huge mirrors in there from a film set he worked on so that became a part of the backdrop, then we finished off the shoot in my living room. All of the footage is captured in-camera using my Red Komodo and a set of old vintage Baltar lenses. They were used for a lot of movies back in the 1930s like Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ and Orson Welles’ ‘Magnificent Ambersons.’ With that setup we got our hands on a bunch of shaped glass that you can use to place in front of the camera lens to get the distorted kaleidoscope effect that you see in the video. I think the best part was getting Nico and May playing sax together for the duelling solos. They’re both class acts and the one insert shot of Nico stroking his thigh mid-sax solo is just one of those beautiful miracles in cinema that don’t happen everyday. It’s always much more fun producing videos like this, literally in-house, with the band where we’re all contributing and getting involved throughout the process from start to finish. Once you get a big music video budget together you begin to simply throw money at the issues that arise instead of solving them creatively with the resources you have at your disposal. As of now we’ve produced 4 music videos for the debut album and haven’t spent a dime. We like to keep it run-n-gun and lots of fun.

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