Nurses: "Fever Dream" is a Minor Madness
Here we go with the latest bit of musical and cinematic awesomeness from our buddy Mick Cullen over at Subterranean Radio. When he says, "You've got to see this video" then we know that we'll be discovering something amazing.
This is Nurses and the official video for their song "Fever Dream." In general we tend to shy away from the more simplistic pieces and delve deep into meandering epics like Peter Murphy's "I Spit Roses," however "Fever Dream" has so much going for it that we simply can't ignore it.
First if all, the song itself is fantastic. If Budgie ever reformed the Creatures with Cee Lo Green as the singer we imagine this is what it would sound like. Echoing down the auditory canal with primal drums and a keen, wailing falsetto "Fever Dream" is one of those tunes you know is on a playlist in Delirium's iPod.
That's just the song. The video is headfirst journey into a swell of off-putting colors that awakens keen Lovecraftian nightmares. It's shot under black lights with the band covered in make-up in hues that react in way that frankly we don't think colors are supposed to react. That's not to mention the image of Aaron Chapman constantly creating great tears and rivers in the make-up, opening whole new dimensions of color like that guy from In the Mouth of Madness.
Nurses will be hitting Houston on January 20 of next year at Fitzgerald's with the Mountain Goats, and we are definitely going to have to dig deeper into their obvious instability before they get here because no one should ever miss the opportunity to run screaming of the ledge into the void of sound. Nurses have proven that they're a band more than capable of mixing innovation with accessibility, and "Fever Dream" is a perfect example of a perfect fracture. We dig it so hard we've struck dinosaur bones.
Check it out!
We had a chance to sit down with James Mitchell (Drums) and John Bowers (Keys, Bass) to ask a few questions about the video. Click on over to page 2 for the interview.
Rocks Off: Could you tell us a little bit about filming the video? How you achieved its startling look and what made you want to tackle it in the first place?
James Mitchell: The three of us made the video along with some help from Andrea Glaser, Aaron's girlfriend. The video was essentially a more fully realized version of a video Aaron, John, and Andrea made a while back using a VHS camera. Aaron, in face paint, embodied this other worldly character who we saw singing the song.
When we tried using a nicer camera to shoot the video it suddenly jumped into a much more tangible realm than we were expecting and the character became much more human. We pretty much shot the video on-the-fly and improvised as we went along while Aaron stacked on layers of face paint - the progression of the character being evident throughout the video.
The "outer space" looking visuals were also another visual idea that we tried out to compliment the other footage that exceeded our expectations. Everything was very hands-on and we stuck to simple materials and techniques. All in all it was a lot of work but a great project for all of us.
RO: Were you inspired by a personal bout of delirium, or is this a more abstract representation of minor madness?
John Bowers: I like the idea of "minor madness" a lot, actually. I think we all enjoy taking the creative process into something that could be described as madness. Salvador Dali (and other surrealist painters, too) had a process for this that he called the Paranoiac Critical Method, which is essentially actively embracing the irrational. This video wasn't directly inspired by that process, but I think it illustrates the creative process in general pretty well.
RO: We've never seen anyone sing into a light bulb before. Did it melt your makeup?
JM: It didn't melt Aaron's face but we think it gave him super powers. We're pretty sure he's a Slider now.
RO: We detected a kind of Siouxsie and the Banshees influence in the video. Are we close or way off?
JM: Hmmmm, never thought of that actually. Some people see future-rave-tribal. Some people see 1920s black face. If anything it may have been a subconscious take on Bowie's "Is There Life on Mars?"
RO: Is this what the song looked like in your head when you wrote it?
JB: As the song was written and developed, it gave us strong visual cues that led us to make this video. We thought of the song as existing only in this strange world, being sung by someone that only exists there. In a way, the song told us what the video should look like, and we tried to capture that feeling the best we could.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.