BRÅVES ate the peach. The Los Angeles trio--consisting of twin vocalists Jericho and Thorald of The Wood and futurist producer Johnny What--created a minimalist beaut in their song "Dust," and found a way to heighten the experience through the music video. The video stars model Shaun Ross and consists of a single shot played backwards. Your eyes will be as big as saucers by the end of this video. Afterwards, read the Q&A we conducted below with Johnny What, where he explains some of the concepts behind the song and video--and then go eat a fucking peach.
The song is rife with archetypal imagery: Love, Life, Death. What was the songwriting process for this song and what emotion does it exude to you?
"Dust" is the third song we ever wrote. It's also coincidentally 3:33 seconds long. We wrote it huddled around an out-of-tune piano late one night. The verse was written and when we came to the chorus chords we all sang the melody simultaneously, looked at each other, laughed in agreement and kept writing.
To me the most powerful lyric is, "Though my heart may take it's time / I still believe in love." I think a lot of people experience debilitating hurt that can take years to get over but it doesn't mean they will never love again. It just takes time.
When you attempt to put video to your music, what is your creative process?
We usually go for a hike when looking for inspiration. Something about being alone in nature enables us to clear our heads long enough to receive a vision. In this case, that's exactly what happened. Before we left the front door, we closed our eyes and set an intention to receive a music video idea and when we came back this is what we had come up with.
Explain your vision for the music video.
We wanted to make something beautiful, moving, shocking, and controversial. Something open-ended that would carry a different meaning for everyone who watched it.
It has a specific meaning to each of us in BRÅVES and we've all discussed them but we're more interested in what other people take away from it.
The video is beautifully-minimal, and consists of a slowly-evolving single shot. Did you shoot many takes trying to find the right one?
We got the shot on the first take. It was a cold November morning at sunrise. We shot it in reverse, so Shaun was walking backwards into the water, no idea what was behind him (you can see a slight look of unease on his face through the video). And we also shot it in slow-motion so we had to time it perfectly. It only took thirty seconds but right at 29 seconds this giant rogue wave came up behind him and I yelled, "Shaun! Get down!" I was waving my arms up and down signaling him to duck. He went under perfectly at the right time. We watched it back and wrapped.
A naked body in black and white projects an image of innocence, candor, and submission. Are these themes you had in mind when making the film?
We had many themes in mind when we agreed upon the concept. Innocence, honesty and candor being three. Beauty, individuality, and courage are a few more. Shaun was the first person that came to mind. He's so striking and bold in personality and appearance.
Tell me about working with Shaun Ross.
Shaun was so brave to take on this project. But he was passionate about it from the first moment we told him. He loved the song and the visual concept. Every step of the way he was down to do whatever it took to make it happen. Including standing naked on a frosty beach at 5AM in November and walking backwards into the water. He was such a champion and I'm so thankful we got to work with him. We actually have a whole backstory written. We hope to shoot the prequels.
Did any particular influences inform the music video?
Spike Jonze directed a video, shot in reverse, for The Pharcyde, "Drop." It's one of our favorite videos ever and all agreed a one-shot, reverse video would be fun to create.
Created by FARM. farmartists.org Produced by JOHNNY WHAT Mixed by Kyle Mangels
Featuring Shaun Ross Directed by JOHNNY WHAT Director of Photography: Thor Wixom 1st Assistant Camera: Jason Rowlen Make up: Gabe Acero Editing: John Debiase