Since the tail end of the last millennium, The Birthday Massacre has quietly, but steadily built themselves a following as one of the pre-eminent goth synth-rock bands in the world. They're like Evanescence without all that nu-metal and Top-40 crap slathered on top to make the Hot Topic set buy them.
No, Birthday Massacre is the real f'n deal, coming straight at you from that haven of modern goth, Metropolis Records. The band just put out their fourth studio album, Pins and Needles, and it's been on a constant loop in Gothtopia's car for the better part of a week. It's a sweeping, attack-driven piece of work that proves that not all goth is esoteric etherealism. They wear those big boots for colon-stomping as well as style.
But more than the music, what really drew us into the new album was the incredible video for the lead single, "In the Dark." In it, lead vocalist Chibi confronts a porcelain doll woman in a Burton-esque nightmare world. We sat down with Chibi via email to ask her about the video, which Gothtopia freely admits we did because we were too nervous to call her.
What can we say? As little dead girls go, she's mind-numbingly awesome.
Rocks Off: Was the video for "In the Dark" inspired by a nightmare, or nightmares in general?
Chibi: This video was directed by the guitarist in our band (Michael Falcore), so there are a lot of different influences present that are themes we have used throughout our career. Nightmares are part of it, yes - we've always paired dark imagery and sounds with lighter, more melodic ones, so those contrasts are here. There are also a lot of horror and fantasy movie references here. And of course, there is the literal nightmare sequence - as when the main character wakes up towards the end.
RO: Exactly what does the porcelain girl represent?
C: She's meant to represent something familiar to the main character - perhaps a version of herself from the past. They first see one another as a reflection in a mirror, and there's an affection and camaraderie between them, at least at first. There's something unsettling about the mirror girl, but something tragic as well. The scene where she is dragged away under the bed sheets always makes me sad when I see it.
RO: In the video, you unlock the porcelain girl's heart and unleash horrors. Is this meant to be a statement on the dangers of free emotions?
C: To me, it is more a statement on leaving well enough alone. If the girl is from the past, sometimes it's best to just not go too deep into things you've moved on from. Sort of like opening a Pandora's box.
RO: Is there no waking up from the dream?
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C: Not in this video!
RO: Could you tell us some of the influences behind the video?
C: There's the obvious Nightmare on Elm Street reference with the bed at the end. There are also some Hellraiser images and fantasy images as well. Those elements have always been present in our videos. In the past we've always worked with other artists, with Dan Ouellette directing, so it's been a collaboration. This time it was uniquely ours, which was a great experience to have.
Pins and Needles is avalaible now from Metropolis Records.