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- Posted on May 2nd 2011 2:30PM by Joe Tacopino
"I feel really lucky to be a part of that curated series and making the video with my friend Tim Saccenti," Warner tells Spinner. "We were able to expose some technology that no one has ever done in that format."
The video for 'Cut Me Out' features Warner with her signature oval horn-rimmed glasses in various stages of digital manipulation. Director Tim Saccenti used Microsoft's Kinect technology to create some unique effects, including an eerie, green screen, face-laceration sequence.
"It was amazing to do a video that's sort of creepy," Warner says. "American pop music can be pretty sanitized. Some people don't wanna watch someone cut their face off."
It's just the latest unique offering from Warner, whose experimentation with pop music started on the North Dakota farm where she grew up. The combination of seclusion, frigid temperatures and her father's music studio forged a lifelong obsession with instrumentation.
"It was super isolated. We were like three or four miles from our neighbor," she said. "It's super cold, like 40 below. You're just literally snowed in. It was either a blizzard or it was too dangerous to go outside."
Holed up in the studio, Warner learned how to multi-track on reel-to-reel four tracks, in addition to mastering some of her favorite songs on guitar and bass.
"I was listening to bands like Stereolab and I would kind of obsess over the liner notes and who did it and what else they produced and how they got these sounds and what are the instruments," she says. "Then I would buy like a drum machine and try to figure it out and try to understand how it worked."
Warner's long-term obsession with analog synthesizers led to an unusual interview opportunity when Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes was in the studio recording with Mark Ronson. The progenitor of '80s synth pop had a classic "nerding out" session with Amanda for Dazed and Confused Magazine.
"Yeah, it's like trading baseball cards," Warner says about the experience. "You like baseball cards, you trade them and you know all the stats on them. It's really dumb. But I threw some real left fielders on him and he knew everything. I was like 'holy s---.'"
Originally working in New York as a songwriter and producer, MNDR eventually got the attention of Mark Ronson, who had previously worked with artists like Adele and Amy Winehouse. Ronson asked Warner to join rapper Q-Tip on the single 'Bang Bang Bang' for his project, Mark Ronson and the Business Intl.
"Mark Ronson is one of the greatest producers around, if not the greatest," Warner says. "I never thought I would have the ability to work with such talented people. I hope I still get to do it, forever. But for right now, it's pretty awesome."
With so much talent and innovation we're likely to see a lot more from Amanda and MNDR in the future, but it could be without her signature glasses.
"I'm kind of ready to get a new pair," she admits. "I owned them for five years. They're older than me. They were originally sunglasses. They have my prescription."
More than just correcting her astigmatism, however, the glasses have accompanied the artist from Oakland to London and, eventually Brooklyn, N.Y. Naturally, she's reluctant to part with them.
"Sometimes if I don't wear them I don't really feel like myself," she says. "It's totally weird."
Watch and Download Mark Ronson's Full Interface Set
Download MNDR Songs