Perhaps the only thing more frightening than spending time in the battered, decrepit confines of an abandoned medical facility is whittling those hours away with the four members of Mudvayne.
Kud (vocals), Gurrg (guitar), Spag (drums) and Ryknow (bass) visited Staten Island, New York's Sea View Hospital & Rehabilitation Center on Thursday to film scenes for the video to their latest single, "Death Blooms."
Shacked up in abandoned annexes on the hospital's sprawling campus, the members, starkly illuminated by bare bulbs hanging from cracked chandeliers, took turns filming performance footage that will eventually meld with scenes conceived by director Thomas Mignone, who also helmed the clip for Mudvayne's first single, "Dig."
The fact that portions of the 1990 horror film "Jacob's Ladder" were shot at this creepy locale, complete with rusty wheelchairs, broken down gurneys and once-clear glass beakers and test tubes now opaque with three decades of dust and desertion, wasn't lost on either Mudvayne or Mignone, as the setting lent itself well to "Death Blooms"' theme of life's rejuvenating cycle.
"The song is basically about being OK to die," Kud said. "You have to have a sense of self-fulfillment before you're actually able to go to the other side and be prepared for it. Everything we write about is a process of being human, so this is just one more thing.
"What I wanted to see in [the video for] 'Death Blooms' is a concept showing life's fulfillment and how death ultimately fulfills life," he continued. "With something like this, an institution is very confining. Just the word ['institution'] is very confining and bound and lonely and this particular one dilapidated.
"Then we're going to shoot some of the other concept scenes on a beach, with the oceans being boundless: beautiful skies, bright, blue. [The hospital scenes] will be the beginning of the song, more on the depressing, confined, lonely tip, and then we'll graduate to the beach."
On set, Mudvayne's spikey-haired frontman also expressed his desire to eventually direct his own videos, possibly starting with the next single from L.D. 50, though he was reluctant to make any promises. Judging by his vision for the "Death Blooms" clip, the initial concept for which was his, he seems to be headed in the right direction.
"I want to see from the beginning to the full four minutes of the video the lighting, the graininess and the grittiness going away and the light brightening up and the contrast coming out," Kud explained. "You won't even realize what has happened until you get to the end and all of a sudden it's really bright. Hopefully the people paying attention will notice and understand the way the video's lighting and effects can bring forth that letting go of that sense of confinement and coming forth with that sense of color and vibrancy."
"Death Blooms" is expected to surface in early June, according to an Epic Records spokesperson.