Up until Super Bowl Sunday, sharks were just another "group of fish characterized by a cartilaginous skeleton, five to seven gill slits on the sides of the head, and pectoral fins that are not fused to the head."
The fervor with which people embraced these beasts (BTW, we do not recommend actually embracing these beasts) even compelled Katy Perry's lawyers to lay claim to the likeness of the esteemed "Left Shark" after a sculptor named Fernando Sosa started hawking it in effigy.
The trouble is, friends, Katy Perry was not the true progenitor of the dancing shark. No, before Perry led a troupe of palm trees and beach balls and whatnot in a rousing chorus of "California Gurls," Seattle band Tacocat was surfing the wave with a very similar cast of characters in their video, "Crimson Wave."
(Also, you know, sharks have been around for, like, millions and millions of years. So...)
With all this blood in the water, we hit up Tacocat to find out what they thought of the halftime show -- and the drama it hath wrought:
MTV: What did you think when you saw the Super Bowl halftime show? Were you like, 'Katy, you fiend -- you ripped off our video!'?
Emily: I didn't get to see the Super Bowl live because I was moving. I was kind of avoiding my phone to see if I could tell if the Seahawks won just by hearing people rioting outside or whatever, but when I gave in, my phone was blowing up with Katy Perry-related text messages and tweets and photos of her actin' like she was in our video! We demand a public apology. Or she can take us on tour. Either or.
Eric: I was watching it with Lelah and we just looked at each other and I think I said, 'Ummm does this look familiar to you? She's ripping us off!' I immediately started tweeting, but I kept getting interrupted by texts.
Lelah: That halftime show was the second best thing I've ever seen with my own two eyes (the first being Miley). I watched it again at home and it gave me goosebumps... like four or five times. I am mostly really proud of Katy and happy to be associated. It was fun to share that 'WTF' moment with Eric as we watched it live, though.
Side note: Later that night I made a picture of Katy, and I guess what would be the 'right shark,' into my phone background image. I was so proud of myself I posted a screenshot of it to the band Instagram.
Bree: It definitely hurt our feelings a little bit that she would rip us off so hard. It's like, I thought I knew her better because I saw her softer side in that that documentary.
MTV: How did you come up with the concept for your video?
Emily: Well, 'Crimson Wave' is all about surfing the, um, crimson wave, and going to the beach with your friends to forget about your period, so we met with Mary Stone-Francois (she made the video) and just rapped about making the video a huge beach party with seashells, actual sand, dancing crabs, lobsters, and sharks -- and all our friends dancing in bathing suits and shorts... Plus a balloon drop. It's just stuff we already like anyway, so it fit with our aesthetic and the song perfectly.
It goes without saying that we have trademark/copyrighted the concept of beach parties and dancing sharks. And fun.
MTV: Do you think Katy has seen it?
Emily: Definitely. Um, if not, Tacocat officially invites Katy Perry to come over for a video-viewing sleepover after her public apology. We'll bake her a cake and make her cotton-candy sundaes! We have so much nail polish and glitter. And a cat I think she would appreciate.
Eric: Well, some jerk on Twitter has GUARANTEED us that she hasn't. I doubt he even knows Katy Perry IRL though.
Bree: Well, since we are a Seattle band and she was playing the halftime show for the Seahawks, I don't see how it's possible that she DIDN'T see it. You know?
MTV: What do you think of the legal kerfluffle over rights to the shark images?
Emily: Ugh, that kind of thing -- her lawyers threatening to sue over 3D-printed images of that shark costume -- just makes it seem like you don't have a sense of humor. Like people who get upset and threaten legal action against Weird Al.
I mean, it's a dancing shark! It's supposed to be fun! Dancing sharks aren't serious. Dancing sharks are embarrassed to be taken so seriously. And isn't it ultimately more free publicity/relevancy if people use that image because they think it's funny? Anyway, if her lawyers need something to do, they can get a public apology together. We'll wait.
Bree: I think her recording a public apology in every language a posting it to YouTube would really go a long way with us. We are very reasonable people.