Last week FEARnet premiered the chilling teaser for "Creatures" – the new video by horror-inspired metallers Motionless In White, from their acclaimed album of the same name. Last night the band launched the full video on their official site, and now the deep, dark secrets hinted in that clip have finally been unleashed on the world. To mark the occasion, we got another chance to chat with MIW's very cool frontman Chris Motionless and talk about how the band, their fans and director Stephen Penta all worked together to create this macabre work of art.
Hit the jump for the interview, followed by the complete uncensored video!
FEARnet: Hey Chris! Congratulations on the premiere. "Creatures" is one of the most unsettling videos I've seen this year. Well done.
CHRIS: Thank you very much!
Before we talk about the video, how about telling our readers the story behind the song itself? It's cool that the lyrics were submitted by your fans.
Basically I just wanted to find a way to include our fans in something that our band created, so they are literally a direct part of the finished product, rather than just going out and buying the CD or coming to the shows. We do our best to try and show the fans that we genuinely care about them, so this was the best way I could think of including them in the writing process.
Did you also use your fans' own words for the monologues spoken by the different characters?
Some of the words are theirs and some are mine. The entire beginning was all written by me, but I tried to recall other lines I didn't get to use in the song and tried to include them wherever I could in that intro speech. Once that was done, the director Stephen Penta took the stuff he liked and even added some of his own lines for the characters to say in their separate trailers that he made. It was a pretty big group effort.
It sounds like you and Stephen collaborated on every detail of the film.
It was pretty awesome. That dude really cares about detail, which was exactly what I wanted. We didn't really have any solid ideas for the video before we spoke to him, and he did an amazing job at knowing what we were going for. Every time we do a video, a shoot, or anything, we always want to step it up and raise the bar. His ideas, mixed with ours, definitely accomplished that in this video – his vision for the song was genius to me.
What inspired the concept for the characters in the film and the different teasers?
It was once again sort of a collaboration: Penta had a ton of character vignettes laid out, and then we picked out the ones we felt would make the biggest impact visually and emotionally for the viewer. We just wanted to go with characters that resemble everyday people in the world, people who come off as "normal" on the outside, but on the inside they all harbor a dark secret or a darker personality that people don't ever see. Basically the theme of all the characters is that "there's more inside," that no matter who you are or what you do... you've struggled with life and have some sort of secret.
The "Abigail" video explored those dark places too, but more with humor. "Creatures" is just straight-up scary. Did you draw on your love of horror movies for the visuals?
As far as horror movie standards, one thing we wanted to do with the video was to have that weird robotic movement of the actors and us in the band. I referenced movies like SAW, where there's always those extremely fast-paced movements of body parts or contorted figures and whatnot... the more obscure the better. [laughs]
I remember you liked the gritty, unsettling feeling in Himsa's video "Rain to the Sound of Panic" and It Dies Today's "Severed Ties Yield Severed Heads." It feels like you captured that tone in this video.
Absolutely... along with the movement of the characters, I wanted everything look just straight-up filthy. All the bands in our genre are doing the same polished shit over and over again, and thats definitely not what we're about. Our main goal was to create an iconic video that brought back the feel of the earlier Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails videos that we're heavily influenced by. No one does that style anymore, so why not us, right?
I'm all for it. It gets under your skin, and you never forget it.
To me, that's what can really scare the fuck out of someone: very subtle little details mixed with grittiness and filth. I could care less about having a million dollar budget CGI video; real life is scary and harsh enough that you shouldn't need tons of fake shit to really shock someone.
Speaking of shocks, I noticed that Megan Massacre from NY Ink plays the dominatrix character. Did you know her previously?
[laughs] Megan and I have a... umm... "history" together.
She's a very good long-time friend of everyone in the band, and a great friend of Penta's as well, so when we were deciding who we wanted to be the dominatrix, she was definitely the person who came to mind. She's just a really easy person to work with, and she's also on the same page as all of us in the band. She doesn't give a fuck, and is all about doing things outside of the box. I've seen what she's capable of [laughs], so she was definitely the perfect fit for the part.
Your visual approach gets darker and more violent with each video... do you think the next one will be even more intense?
I've actually personally just finished writing a treatment for what I'd like to do for our next video. I had a lot of ideas and wanted to take a shot at writing my own, based on my vision for the song. I obviously can't say if that will ever pan out and become something, but it's fucked up, as you can imagine! [laughs] I think if it came together the right way, then it would top "Creatures" for sure.
Damn, that's saying a lot. You did great on this one though... hope you get another million hits.
Thank you so much for all your help in making that happen!