Unleash the doves and cue the helicopters, because here comes the first-ever episode of “Videohead,” a podcast about music videos and the people who make them. This week, your host Daniel Ralston welcomes legendary director Jonas Åkerlund, who started out playing drums in black-metal bands in his native Stockholm and went on to direct iconic videos for some of the biggest names in music, including Madonna, Gaga, and Beyoncé.
In this career-spanning interview, Åkerlund talks to Daniel about slipping choreographed dance numbers into his earliest clips for metal bands, how a dimly recalled night of partying inspired an infamous Prodigy video, what it’s like to shoot what you’re convinced is a career-ending video for a major international pop star, secretly working with Beyoncé, and making these notable videos:
Roxette, “Run to You”
Moby, “James Bond Theme”
The Prodigy, “Smack My Bitch Up”
Madonna, “Ray of Light”
Lady Gaga feat. Beyoncé, “Telephone”