the DO IT WITH A ROCKSTAR video is UP! – here's the backstory.
IT’S TIME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the “do it with a rockstar” video is finally fucking UP!!
how did this all come to be?
well, here’s the short story long.
it started with stoya, she was my main idea. i knew if we could get me and stoya in a room together, we’d have it made.
i came across stoya on the cover of a magazine, which is the first.
evelyn evelyn were featured in an issue of BIZARRE magazine in the UK and my publicist mailed me a copy.
the cover model floored me. who the fuck WAS this girl? i researched. she was stoya, porn star, feminist, smart alec, FORCE.
i was sold. it turns out by a stroke of fate that stoya was a fan of neil’s, and gradually we all got together and became friends.
i asked stoya if she wouldn’t mind making out with me for the “rockstar” video. she said yes (w00t).
i asked wayne coyne to direct it, thinking he’d never say yes, and he….um…..said yes (w00t x10).
so i wrote a treatment (in a bar in san francisco, actually), having no idea what it would actually be like to work with wayne, and we hauled the band down to oklahoma city (OKC), where it was over 100 degrees for both days of the shoot.
the whole shoot was a hot and sweaty glittery blur, but basically….wayne coyne has created a whole SCENE of people down in OKC: a rogue pirate ship of technicians, helpers and arty folk who have a SERIOUSLY enthusiastic attitude about improv-ing together some crazy-ass art.
wayne is usually the captain of this ship. for a few days, he let me captain it, and once it got sailing, it was a BAD ASS MOFO OF A SHIP.
everybody in the band got on the plane to OKC, where it was literally 105 degrees both days (for you europeans, that’s over 40 degrees celsius), having NO idea what this shoot was going to be like.
the attack and the treatment were morphing until about 12 hours before the shoot.
as we stood there in oklahoma city, just having landed and waiting for the luggage carousel to deliver our bags, i was deliriously throwing together a “list of last-minute shit to get tomorrow” email for george salisbury, our incredible producer and Wayne’s right hand man. i had a bizarre inspiration.
i asked each member of the band what their ultimate rock and roll fantasy was.
this is, after all, a ridiculous song that more or less parodies the rock fantasy. so why not go for it?
within reason, boys. what is it?
michael was easy. all he wanted was to “flip a table covered with shit.”
chad was more difficult; he wanted a more complicated plot. he wanted to take peyote with a spiritual guru, achieve enlightenment, and then be seen dressed in a loin cloth, running through the jungle holding a spear. we discussed the possibility of green screen. this would have added a considerable expense to the video. we ended up with a compromise, and we did get him a spear. and the “do you mean real peyote?” text back from george was a keeper.
jherek wanted to don an entire suitcase full of socks, we’re talking like 50 pairs, and then crush a watermelon.
we did not question why.
wayne ran around like a crazy man….lending us his house to shoot in (we shot the “hipster” scene in his living room, and shot an unused scene in the bedroom), and showed up at a certain point with 5 boxes of glitter, since i’d offhandedly mentioned we might want some for the live shoot. WHO KNEW that wayne coyne kept a secret stash – by the gallon – of golden glitter in his warehouse?
michael, who’s fresh out of yale school of drama, helped direct the hipster and drag queen actors in their dialogue scenes. we made some of the shit up on the fly, but mostly that stuff was all ad-libbed. it’s hilarious.
stoya was a dream to work with, and totally intimidating. ever tried to make out with a real porn star on camera? you’ll see what i mean.
we shot the entire sexy scene in a hotel at the end of the first night, when i was already exhausted. nobody really directed it. we just fooled around in bed while the cameras rolled. wayne’s “that was weird in the hotel” text the next morning left me feeling particularly proud. if you can weird out wayne coyne, do you win a unicorn?
nowhere in the treatment for the video had i written “rockstar has intimacy barrier/panic attack in bed with porn star while porn star cradles rock star in madonna/child-esque pieta” but it all made sense at the time. i actually love that bit of the video the most. it drives home the actual point of the song.
anyway….we hope you love it. i’m really, really proud of the whole thing, and i think the edit is genius. these guys nailed it.
i wanted to give a very special shout out to the WHOLE CREW from OKC who worked behind the scenes on the video, from make-up to wardrobe to lighting, they were all cool as FUCK and so, so, so fun to work with. and the EXTRAS, some of whom drove over 12 hours to come be in this video, were the BOMB. everybody was so patient take after take, for both days of shooting. in a video like this, where it’s really important to keep the energy up for every take, the crowd extras can make or break it. everybody fucking made it over the top times ten. thank you all, if you’re reading this you know who you are….it was a magical night – far and away the most FUN i’ve had on a live stage shoot. it felt like an actual show and you guys BROUGHT IT.
lastly: i want to thank my band. they are such an amazing group of human beings, and my gratitude for their energy and weirdo imaginations knows no bounds.
michael, chad, jherek….FTW. i can’t believe i lucked out and got you guys in my band. they are rock and roll’s perfect alchemy.
this has nothing to do with the video, but it’s fucking awesome. me in wayne coyne’s bedroom:
jherek bischoff’s awesome glitter quiff:
shooting THE HIPSTER scene in wayne’s living room:
michael mcquilken directs the HAWT oklahoma city drag queens:
chad raines poses – with spear – outside kamp’s, where we shot the “backstage” sequence:
michael, chad, and “our special friend”:
wayne stands in for the me-and-stoya bedroom scene with yet more help from “our special friend”:
some of the beautiful extras from OKC:
the day after:
(all photos above by ME, all photos below by CHRIS GANN)
me & wayne….considering the finer points of video making.
i have no idea idea what we’re looking at but i’d like to think it’s the blow-up doll.
wayne, michael, me…
wayne and zee grand theft orchestra (left to right: jherek, michael, chad, me, and wayne):
me & stoya….gaaaaaaaaah.
WAYNE GETTING JIGGY. (this bit only barely made the cut…but if you look close, you’ll see it):
(photo via hell ray)
best band ever.
(photo via @tracie_mae/Tracie Calhoun)
and here it is….THE (NSFW) VIDEO:
(trouble with the embed? try this!)
enjoy. and SPREAD IT LIKE THE PLAGUE!
afp & the GTO.
p.s. the glitter, the “herpes of the craft world” did indeed show up in our lives for weeks to come.
last night, while q-tipping out my ears in boston (this is, mind you, THREE MONTHS after the shoot), i dislodged two stray pieces of glitter.
i called out this information to neil in the kitchen, who did not know whether to be impressed or concerned hopefully that’s the last of it.