In a creative meeting destined to blow at least a few minds, Sonic Youth tapped 23-year-old Harmony Korine, the young man behind "Kids" and "Gummo," to direct the band's next video, which will also feature Macaulay Culkin.
The pioneering New York outfit teamed with Korine (the screenwriter of the disturbing "Kids," and the director of the even more disturbing "Gummo"), last weekend to shoot the clip for "Sunday," the first single from the band's upcoming album "A Thousand Leaves."
"Harmony is somebody that we've known through the years," Sonic Youth guitarist/vocalist Thurston Moore told MTV News on Tuesday. Moore said that he first met Korine as well as Chloe Sevigny and a number of the young actors featured in "Kids" when the group was on the hunt for kids to appear in its video for "Sugarcane." He then watched the kids grow up as they hung out at a skate shop down the street from the apartment he shares with his wife, Sonic Youth bassist/vocalist Kim Gordon, and the
couple even turned to Chloe when looking for the first babysitter for their four-year-old daughter Coco.
"It was just funny watching them grow up and sort of become stars in this film," Moore said. "Then Harmony himself became really active as a creative person in a way, and then he did this film 'Gummo,' which was just a completely tripped-out, psychedelic, sick sick film from last year that actually was pretty interesting." Despite being more than familiar with Korine, Moore said that the decision to let the young director take the reigns on the group's new video was not an immediate one.
"We never really thought about asking Harmony to do a video. We were actually talking to a lot of other more established video directors," Moore said.
any answer, and I saw an ad for 'Gummo' in the paper, and I said, 'Harmony Korine's going to do it.' And Kim looked at me and said, 'You know, that's just so screwed up that it might work,'" [2MB QuickTime] Moore explained.
"We came home and called him, and he was just like, 'Yeah, yeah, I'll do it. In fact, I was just on Letterman and I met Macaulay Culkin there, and he's just the perfect person for me. I always wanted to videotape someone like him just 100 times over so it just becomes this big blob of blurry, slo-mo color like a painting dripping.' He was just going off on this tangent about Macaulay being this perfect visual image."
But despite Korine's artistic vision, the director didn't think he could actually get the former child actor to show up for the shoot.
"I said, 'Why don't you see if he wants to do a video?' and he said, 'Nah, Macaulay doesn't really work anymore, and he's said no to every film director in the last ten years,'" Moore
said. "But he called him up, and I think Macaulay was really intrigued by the fact that somebody like Harmony Korine call him up and say, 'I'd like to do something with you and Sonic Youth.' It's not the kind of call that he's been getting for the last ten years. I think he sort of gravitated towards that because it was something that was interesting to him, and he was there. He was right there, and he did it within our budget, which was somewhat no-fi. It was really nice. Harmony totally had it together. It's basically all Macaulay. We're in it for like maybe milliseconds. It's more of a study of a boy and his self... and there's a lot of ballerinas involved as well."
The fruits of that creative union should turn up in the coming weeks, while the new Sonic Youth album, "A Thousand Leaves," arrives next week. The band will be taking that new material on the road on a tour that kicks off on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. (see "Sonic Youth
Preparing To Release 'A Thousand Leaves' As Tour Looms").