Los Angeles buzz band He's My Brother, She's My Sister joined the ranks of True Blood and Tenacious D and filmed their new music video for "Same Old Ground" at Alex's Bar in Long Beach on Tuesday. The song from their latest album "Nobody Dances In This Town" came to life thanks to a semi-surrealist vision, the acting chops of band and a group of fans and friends who served as extras. They even let yours truly join in on the fun. Here's a look at what went into filming.
The band met with Motion Sound Group, who filmed the spectacle, just the day prior with a few loose ideas. They reconvened Tuesday at 7 a.m. at Alex's Bar and began filming. I rolled in about 1 p.m. Alex's Bar's signature decor was left intact, save for the vibrantly-dressed group of gypsies and misfits. Bold patterns, wild hair and bright makeup were abound.
The pool table in the back of the venue held hundreds of unique clothing items–mostly from the band's collection with only a few rented pieces. A nice young lady named Julia picked out my outfit (above): a long-sleeved mini dress (quite possibly just a shirt, actually) with black and white stripes. The front had a bold bib with buttons, but Julia suggested I wear it backwards and put on a black and white sash.
Then I moved on to makeup. Stylist Sarah Dougherty gave me big, poofy, teased hair and bright red lips. She said she was going for Edward Scissorhands-inspired hair styles.
Then it was my turn for filming. I sat with a few other fine folks at a back table. We were told to feign disinterest in what was going on on the stage, only to be won over completely and rush the stage when singer the beautiful Rachel Kolar finally began singing. We went through multiple takes to ensure the perfect shot. I was left wondering if the band got sick of hearing, "Hey little sister, don't be afraid…" over and over. Personally, I was having such a blast, it bothered me none.
When they were done with the performance shots, they began doing detail shots. A young man from the production team came up to me and asked to use me in a separate scene. I joined bassist Oliver Newell in the iconic Alex's Bar photo booth for his introduction shot. We were joined in the booth by a glorious piece of taxidermy with a sparkly nose, pink-glittered fur and pink horns. In the scene, we're taking pictures then he bails and slams the curtain closed on me to join his bandmates on stage.
I spoke to Newell about the video and he said he's not sure how the video's gonna look in the end but just judging by the level of fun he had, he's sure it's going to be great. "I think it's going to transcend anyone's imagination of what it's going to look like," he said. "It's interesting to go into these chaotic situations and see what order comes out of it."
Rachel explained to me the video explores the yin and yang of the light and dark–something she feels she and her brother and guitarist Rob Kolar embody. Rachel plays the part of the lightness, and starts off the video in a white nightgown running away from something, and stumbles into the darkness of Alex's Bar. "But the dark and light meet and it brings things alive."
The video is projected to be released in about a week and a half. Catch them on their West Coast tour starting Jan. 17. Check out a live version of "Same Old Ground" at SXSW and presented by IFC below.