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Tame Impala

Interview by Katie Gregory
We spoke with director David Wilson and Kevin Parker of Tame Impala to hear about the making of the band's new video, "Mind Mischief."

David, what made you want to work with the band Tame Impala? Are you a fan?

David Wilson: Hearing "Elephant" for the first time and it stopping me in my tracks. I went and bought Lonerism immediately off the strength of that one track and didn't regret it. Soon after I got Innerspeaker. I am a big fan.

What’s your favorite Tame Impala song?

DW: "Why Won't They Talk to Me." I especially like the inclusion of the lyric 'woops-a-daisy.'

How did you guys get hooked up for the video "Mind Mischief?"

Kevin Parker: One of our friends from Modular sent us the idea one day and we read the idea and thought it was pretty cool.

David, do you work with other types of film, or do you primarily work on music videos?

DW: It's primarily music videos or my own animated experiments.

Growing up, did you used to make music videos of yourself? Have you ever made a music video for a song you yourself recorded? We won’t tell... (okay yes we will!).

DW: Growing up I tried playing in bands, but never felt I was good enough. I went to a specialist music school but wasn't a specialist musician. I was surrounded by child protégés, so picking up an instrument at the age of 14 or 15 seemed too late, so I never really got anywhere. But I've always responded to music. I started making music videos at the end of University, and by that time any musical skill from school days were way behind me. So, no, I haven't made anything for my own music.

What’s your favorite part about creating music videos?

KP: Probably the initial stage of sorting though all the ideas that directors have submitted, and imagining the song with all these atmospheres and narratives. There's almost always one that ends with each member of the band making out with a hot bikini chick. Strangely we haven't gone ahead with one of these yet.

No one in the band is actually in this video. As a band, do you prefer to stay behind the scenes on video production, or do you find it fun to get in front of the camera?

KP: Well, we tried being the stars of the video once, and upon looking back at ourselves "rocking out" on the set, we cringed so hard we had these looks on our faces like someone had just stuck four quarters of a lemon up each of our bums. So we canned it and made a whole lot of French people totally bummed out. Now we stay the hell away from the lens!

By the way, how do you feel being named Urban Outfitter’s album of the year in 2012 with Lonerism? It’s almost the same as getting a Grammy, right?

KP: That's great! Does this mean you'll be selling Tame Impala T-shirts? (Seriously though, we need this—no one buys records anymore.)

Describe this video in one sentence and make it rhyme.

KP: A usual school day
Usual pace
and then a sex scene
deep in space.

DW: When daydreaming in a 6th form English class
Our hero fantasizes about his female teacher's ass,
He follows her to the parking lot
They feel up each other, kiss and smoke pot
Then expand their minds in a psychedelic trance

What’s your favorite music video of all time?

KP: Probably "Smack My Bitch Up" by Prodigy. Crazyyyy!

DW: Impossible to choose, but the first one that came to mind is "Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth" from The Dandy Warhols directed by David LaChapelle

What exciting projects do you have coming up in 2013?

KP: I guess "touring" wins that competition by default. I’d love to make a live album one day though. Maybe that'll happen this year.

DW: I really want to get a sculptural project off the ground. It's something that I've been trying to get created for the past two years. I feel that 2013 will be the year when that finally comes together.

What’s the hardest part about the creative process for music videos?

KP: You'd have to ask the people in the "creative" department for each video. I guess they'd probably say "getting the band to OK it at the end..."

DW: When you love a song that you've been sent, but can't come up with a concept that you're happy with. That, and the brief spells of crippling self-doubt, haha!

David, Aside from Tame Impala of course, who would be your dream artist or band to make a video for?

DW: I think I would have to say Justice.