Frazer Harrison, Getty Images With the July 16 release of Philip Anselmo's first…
Hollerado, NXNE 2012: Explain Ostrich Races, Scientologist Chases and Getting Poked in the Eye with Umbrellas
- Posted on Jun 15th 2012 12:45PM by Aaron Brophy
Those things aren't what makes the members of Hollerado -- Menno Versteeg, Dean Baxter, Jake Boyd and Nixon Boyd -- stand out, though. The band have mastered the art of taking their hug-inducing Weezer rock and creating video clips of their songs that always hover somewhere between brilliant and ridiculous.
As such Spinner decided to do a quick run-through of the band's video history in the lead-up to their appearance at NXNE on June 16 with the Flaming Lips.
When Versteeg, the band's lead singer, wasn't talking about how inspiring Wayne Coyne and the rest of the Lips were ("They're one of my favourite bands. I'm really, really excited. It's the most excited I've been to play in awhile. They're a band I admire."), he told us all about ostrich racing, Scientologist chasing, and umbrella eye-pokes:
At any point did you ever get frustrated trying to get this right?
We got... not frustrated... but as the darkness started to fall we had only gotten one take kinda right and we had all got nervous because we wanted to get it right so bad. So we just like buckled down, the director [Greg Jardin] came out and he gave us this pep talk and then after we did get it right. It was such a good speech, he said something like "I had this one friend and he was telling me all day you're never going to get this right, you're never going to get this right..." Well, I hate to tell you, but that one friend was me. We finally got it right.
Did anyone get poked in the eye with an umbrella during that shoot?
Let me ask my wife [pause]... she thinks it's pretty sure it happened. There was a lot of people and a lot of umbrellas opening in people's faces. We were lucky that there wasn't any super-bad luck because we spent two days opening umbrellas indoors.
You filmed the Scientology building. So did you get followed, or did anything creepy happen?
Big time! Well, we actually made the mistake of, we were waiting for one of the guys in the crew and we went inside the building just to check it out. And everyone in the building, it's as if they hire people with, like, really intense eyes. Like, everyone has these gorgeous Brad Pitt-type eyes who works there. And when they look at you're just like, "Whoa, this guy has the most amazing eyes." Then finally they realized we weren't really there to care about it, so we left. And when we left, we went down the street and all of a sudden these two guys on mountain bikes just started coming. So we went away and we lost them for a bit. And then we came back to film. And as we were doing it we weren't anywhere near their property, but they still -- the mountain bike guys -- kept coming back and forth up and down the street. There was nothing they could do because we were technically trespassing on someone else's lawn, not their property, and that person didn't come out to kick us out.
Who's the old lady rocking out with headphones on in there?
That's my grandmother. It was really, really loud in there because we were actually playing and hitting the drums and you're cranking the song and everyone was singing along. That room was like a big dome echo chamber, so she just put on the headphones. And then the guy next to her, the old guy, he's my grandfather, my opa, because he's dutch. There's one shot in the video where he's playing the drums for, like, one second. All of a sudden it's Jake, then it's him, then it's Jake again. It's one of my favorite parts.
How did you end up doing a video of ostrich racing?
When we did the "Juliette" video I wanted to add live animals to it just to add to the fun, the celebration. So we looked into it and the director was like, nah, it's kinda impossible. Like, you can rent a wolf for $50,000, or we could have rented something else not that exciting, like a goat or something.
So we were like, "There's no way you can get ostriches?" He's like, "No way."
So when we sent out for treatments for "Good Day at the Races" we get all these treatments and every one of them was like 10 pages long and Michael Maxxis, he sent in this idea that was like two sentences: "The band. Racing ostriches." And that was it. Sold.
So he tracked down a place to do it. And there's really only one place in North America and that's where we went, to Hendrick's Exotic Animal Farm and we raced ostriches.
What were the ostriches like?
They freak out. They're completely brainless animals. They don't not-like us being on them, but they're not really happy about anything in their life. They're just kind of generally angry and I never want to be near one ever again -- and I'm a total animal lover. We got into a bit of shit. People were like, "How can you do that? Riding an ostrich?" The ostriches were treated really, really well. Better than any bird. Like, this is this guy's business.
What was their personality like?
They're angry, angry creatures and when you're near them they just want to hiss at you or peck or run away or run at you. They're completely random. I never ever want to do that ever again.
They're really fast, too. They actually run like hell. They have giant raptor talons. There's one scene where one comes a millimeter from stepping on my head and I'm really glad it didn't.
Did anyone get really hurt?
Nothing serious. We were completely bloody by the end of the day. Every time you fall off you fell off violently. And also in the starting cage the ostriches are running up against the cage so they smash your knees and stuff against it. So we were all bruised and bloody. And our knuckles from trying to hang on were all skinned and bloody. But nothing too crazy.
Hollerado play Spinner AOL's free concert at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto at 5 p.m. on June 16.