Any other director and Deadsy probably would've walked off the set. For friend Fred Durst, however, the goth rockers were willing to do anything for their debut video, even choke on carbon dioxide for a few hours.
"I laid down in it for 10 seconds and my throat dried up and I was feeling nauseous," Durst said, pointing to a pool of CO2. "These guys have been in it for three hours. They have been doing it over and over again. This is their first video and they are seriously taking a beating."
What did Deadsy singer P. Exeter Blue I (a.k.a. Elijah Blue, son of Cher and Gregg Allman) think of the experience? "It's like being trapped in the back of a station wagon in someone's garage."
Not that Durst is entirely to blame. He was simply trying to capture Blue's vision for the clip for "The Key to Gramercy Park," which features additional vocals from Jonathan Davis (see "Korn's Jonathan Davis Sings On Deadsy Track").
"I've got a feeling Elijah will be directing his own videos," Durst said, taking a break at Hayvenhurst Studios in Van Nuys, California ("where they used to do porno movies," according to the Limp Bizkit singer). "I'm just here so he can have as much hands-on as he wants to with the directing and with the whole process. He is that type of guy like a sponge, he will just soak it up."
"The Key to Gramercy Park" is the lead single from Deadsy's much delayed proper first album, Commencement, due May 14 on DreamWorks. (The band's first recording and an earlier version of Commencement were both shelved due to record label issues.)
Although the haunting concept for the video, which finds each member of the band playing in front of a specific color and graphic and features drastic close-ups and fade-outs, is ambitiously artistic, Blue described it as a simple introduction to the much deeper Deadsy.
"The graphic art video is a good way to frame us," Blue said, already sounding like a director. "We feel that it is OK to kind of start off like this, because the video has sort of a remedial context to its visuals. It kind of explains a little bit about the band."
"The Key to Gramercy Park" happens to be one of the more clear-cut songs on Commencement, Blue explained. "It is kind of the Trojan horse of the record. We are not trying to go into the music scene with something that is asking too much of people. We feel like this is simply a good rock jam. It's very impressionistic. It's very powerful and simply in your face."
Durst, who just finished directing a video for Puddle of Mudd's "Drift and Die," was the natural choice to direct the clip because he has supported Deadsy Blue, guitarist Carlton Megalodon, bassist Creature, drummer Alec Püre and keyboardist Dr. Nner for so long.
"I heard part of their album before I even made my first album they've been working on it that long and I just fell in love with it," Durst said. "I got a copy of the record and I became obsessed with it. It's so inspiring. It's so emotional. It's so heavy. It's so hypnotic. It's something that feels like the past, but somehow a glimpse into the future at the same time. They have a visual. They have depth. They have everything it takes to build a subculture."
Durst described Deadsy as a band that you either get or don't get. "If it goes over your head or if it doesn't even make you curious to look deeper, you probably shouldn't be a part of their subculture. You should probably remain the simple human being you are."
Commencement track list, according to DreamWorks:
- "The Key to Gramercy Park"
- "Brand New Love"
- "Mansion World"
- "Lake Waramaug"
- "The Elements"
- "Flowing Glower"
- "Future Years"
- "She Likes Big Words"
- "Seagulls (The Macroprosopus)"
- "Le Cirque En Rose (Obsolescence)"
- "Tom Sawyer"