Adam, you're actually not in the video. Was this your idea or just a little music video fright?
Adam: For this one, it was actually kind of not my idea. But sometimes, depending on the circumstances, I don't necessarily think I need to be in it. I did a video for the last record and was walking around Philly with a guitar lip syncing to the music. And they super imposed all of these flowers on my face and in my hair and it was just... It was amazing. But for this one, I decided I just wanted to see where it could go without me or the band in it.
Did you guys sit down and brainstorm up a concept before filming?
Adam: No, Peter had an awesome idea for it and he went with it. There were a couple different ideas floating around. I liked the idea of the way he was shooting it though. He was gonna use 16mm film and really creating a film by hand, which I love. Because when you do it like that, you're prone to certain mistakes. And I like that a lot—all of the artwork on the record is medium format films. I just liked his idea about it and his aesthetic. So I decided he was the guy.
Did the video turn out the way you envisioned?
Adam: Definitely the colors and the general feeling, for sure. I saw the first cut. The new one's in my email but I've been in the van for like 20 hours. I'm gonna watch it today.
Where did you shoot? The location's beautiful.
Peter: I've been living in Los Angeles for almost two years now and I've kind of been wandering around. The city stuff was shot in I think it's called Frog Town which is a neighborhood which hugs the L.A. river. It has a strange look— very lived in, factory living which I thought kind of fit the idea of this group of girls wandering around, running amuck.
The field I found a year ago just driving around. I actually got out, and I was taking pictures and I had this feeling growing in me that something horrible was gonna happen. And I realized that horrible feeling was like in a movie. You know, there's always that quiet moment before something bad happens. I realized I could actually hear myself think. I could hear grass moving.
What was your inspiration for the effects on the film?
Peter: My main influence for the video was Len Lye, an artist from New Zealand. He worked with "direct film-making" where he would paint, scratch, and augment the film and then run it back through the projector. Stan Brakhage is another great example of the camera-less film-making. I've always loved their films and had it in my mind to try the technique at some point. When I listened to The War on Drugs track, I thought it fit the tone of that technique perfectly and was an appropriate opportunity to try it out.
Adam, you've been working on the album for four years?
Adam: It took a long time to put together. I mean, it's a little bit of a different one than the first one. It's really kind of saturated in a way and lots of different moods. I think for the the most part it's pretty... I don't wanna call it mellow. But it works as a whole big piece. It's not like a mellow record or a rockin' record. It's a collection of moments. It's really personal. The sound is a super modern take on all of the classics, you know?