Carolina hot jazz revivalists Squirrel Nut Zippers return this week with a new album, a new single, and new video, but some familiar collaborators.
For the album's first video, "Suits Are Picking Up The Bill," the band relies once again on the vision of filmmaker and fellow Carolinian Norwood Cheek and band member Tom Maxwell, the two men who handled the Zippers' breakthrough clip "Hell."
"Oh, we've known him for years," vocalist Katherine Whalen told MTV News recently of the band's relationship with Cheek. "He's just an old pal, and Tom Maxwell from the band also co-directed it with him and wrote the script with him. They've worked together... we were talking about it, and I think this will be their sixth or seventh film or video together. So they just have a little language." [1.5MB QuickTime]
This time out, the Zippers wound up with a video
rich in music industry symbolism and boasting a cameo by another Carolina-bred alt favorite, Ben Folds.
"We have a real good team now of people we work with," guitarist/vocalist Jimbo Mathus said of the creative force the band draws on in such projects. "We like to build relationships with the people we work with so we can get to know each other better, and work smoother together. So the new video, that's probably the main project that we've done recently that we all felt like was great."
The Zippers' new album, "Perennial Favorites," hits stores this week, but the band has already planned its second video. The clip, for "The Ghost Of Stephen Foster," will come courtesy of the folks who animate "The Simpsons."