We asked Holy Ghost! members Alex Frankel and Nick Milhiser about Fries' nostalgic clip, their hip-hop backgrounds and rumored plans for a video inspired by the BMX film 'Rad.'
We noticed the graffiti and dunks in the video. Which of you best represented the five elements of hip-hop -- and how?
Nick Milhiser: Hmmm, well, neither of us can dance. I used to write [graffiti], but I was what you might call "a toy." I gave it up long ago, but my handstyle is still pretty nice. I never rapped, but Alex did for a hot minute, and he had some memorable verses that could be ripped from my old four-track cassettes and made available to the public, should he ever f--- me over. He's also known to freestyle on occasion. We both DJ, and I used to scratch a bit but was never very good. We will both gladly beatbox if we've had enough to drink. So I guess we both cover two out of five. Pretty weak. I'm still nice on an MPC though. That's my axe.
Alex Frankel: I spit some lyrical and mental daggers in my day, mad metaphors and similes and homonyms and spiritual lyricals. Nick held down the icky icky on the turntables. I was actually a great freestyler, in a Jewish ODB sort of way. I wrote graffiti for a few months, until my friend buffed all my tags, and I kinda realized it wasn't gonna work out.
Looking back on the photos, which period do you find yourselves most nostalgic for or wishing you could revisit?
Frankel: The time when I didn't have to pay my own bills, and my mom made me dinner.
Milhiser: This is a pretty cheesy answer, but I'm very content in the present. Looking at all those pictures, it's very easy to get nostalgic for my youth, growing up in New York, but being a teenager sucks. I guess I get most nostalgic looking at all the Polaroids of us in the studio, making the Automato LP with James and Tim [Goldsworthy]. In retrospect, that was probably the happiest six months of my life. We were just so clueless and going into to the studio every day, working with them, listening to music, ordering food with our major-label catering budget, actually getting to make a record -- it was a lot of fun.
What would young Alex and Nick say if they were to watch the video and see how far you've come and how much you've done?
Milhiser: "You got soft."
Frankel: "Not hood."
What's the plan for the next video? We heard there are bikes involved.
Milhiser: I don't want to give away too much, but I will say these words -- Alex, me, Nancy, choreographed BMX dancing, Ministry, jumpsuits, Ben Fries, Juan Maclean. It's gonna be "Rad."
Frankel: Yeah, I have to dance, and Nick has to dance on a bike. It's gonna be special.