Learn to “Hate People,” put a “Camera” in someone’s room, breathe in “Oxygen,” “Take” her “Out,” and feel that “Constant Improvement,” all with your friends at Grand Cousin.
Remember when Henry Hall ’14 poured a milkshake on his head in the last Grand Cousin music video? Well, the falsettos and smooth beats are back; Grand Cousin – consisting of Hall, Evan Low ’14, and Robby Caplan ’14 – have just put out a video for their song “Camera” with the help of music video mavens Jack Coyne ’13 and Sidney Schleiff ’14.
Shot in a cramped bedroom in black and white, the video at first appears as an amateur home video. But soon, it is made clear through the bands’ lyrics, especially those scrawled out on their T-shirts, that they are shooting on location at a girl’s house. This discovery is affirmed when the boys rush out of the room with all their equipment and the subject of the song walks in. Several times she approaches the camera as if she spotted it, yet she only grabs a few miscellaneous items from the surrounding area. The video certainly has the fun and candid feel conveyed by the song, which I’ve been listening to and singing since first hearing it.
And I’m not the only one’s excited about it. The video currently has 3,000+ views, 2,500 of which were obtained over the span of two days! What could be the cause of this? Oh, I don’t know, maybe the fact that Heems of Das Racist tweeted about it?!
— HEEMY (@HIMANSHU) September 5, 2013
Read after the jump for an interview with Grand Cousin and information about where to find them both online and in real life.
What was your inspiration for the song? What was the writing process like?
Henry Hall: I came up with the song about a year ago at home in LA. The melody came first, which is the case with most of my songs, and I didn’t come up with the concepts for lyrics for a while after, honestly. Eventually, the lyrics just popped up in my head. I thought it would be ridiculously ironic/tragic/funny to make a song about a guy who thinks it’s appropriate to deal with relationship trust issues by surveilling his girlfriend.
Evan Low: So after Henry had the melody and lyrics down he brought it in to Robby and me and it’s become our most collaborative effort to date.
HH: Evan’s drum part is so sweet, Robby’s bass part is so sweet, and the arrangement came together real nice-like. Basically it’s the perfect song and nothing could ever be better about it. NOTHING.
How was the concept for the video born? How long did it take to shoot?
HH: The concept for the video was a collaborative thing between Sidney Schleiff, Jack Coyne, and me. We wanted to do something direct with the lyrics, we knew for sure. Sid and Jack basically just ran with it from there.
Robby Caplan: They put everything together and shot it in one day. It was awesome. We did a ton of takes, though, because it’s just one shot and the music had to match up. That took plenty of coordination.
HH: My original idea for the video was a sort of softcore sex-fest/industrial punk rock-themed/film noir/slapstick comedy/3 hour musical based around the song, but Jack and Sid shot that down for some reason…
Who are your influences as a band?
HH: Jiro from “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”…
EL: Those Swedish guys from that “what the fox say” video. Robby likes The Human League.
RC: I do. I love them. I always have.
EL: But yeah, we all listen to different things… Radiohead, Dirty Projectors… Lately I’ve been going to town on Bob Marley and Disclosure. So much Bob Marley and Disclosure.
RC: I’ve been peeping a lot of Mac Demarco, Deerhunter, Sam Cooke, Mos Def. I’m awesome.
HH: I’ve been on the Mac DeMarco too, so much. Tons of Chet Baker, Death Grips of course. Basically, though, we’re all slaves to Pitchfork and it feels good. Quick shout out to Pitchfork.
What was your response when Heems tweeted about your video?
RC: It felt great. We’re lucky to get support like that – especially from Wesleyan alumni in the music world.
HH: We’re actually starting to collab with Heems on creating a chain of eco-unfriendly dog parks in the Northeast, so hopefully that comes to fruition. Fingers crossed!
What’s up next for Grand Cousin?
EL: Kicking things into high gear this year–reaching out to blogs, venues… definitely trying to play as many shows as possible off campus, and making sure we really bring the heat when we play for our Wesleyan fans on campus. And we’re super excited to record more music for you over Winter Break.
RC: I agree with everything that has been said.
HH: Me too.
* * *
Pretty cool, right? So if you like the video or these people or Das Racist or fun music in general, check out Grand Cousin on their website or on Facebook, Twitter, and Soundcloud. Also, support the band by downloading “Camera” on iTunes and coming to their next gig! Grand Cousin will be opening for The 2AM Club Tuesday, September 17th, at Stage One in Fairfield, CT!
Click all the links, see all the shows, and double check your room for cameras and rock bands.