After Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin, the couple duo that make up Cults, moved from San Diego to NYC to study film, they decided that one artistic pursuit was not enough, and started to make music on the side. When Cults posted the nostalgic, sing-songy track "Go Outside" to their then sparse website just to share with friends, the blogosphere took notice. But because their name made them inordinately hard to Google (unless you were more interested in Heaven's Gate and Kool-Aid than dreamy lo-fi pop) and they had no Myspace, their short road from obscurity to music festival darling is that much more interesting. In a day of internet-pushing and hype, their ascent was almost entirely organic. That's almost better than a good love story, if you ask us.
Cults recently released their video for the song "Abducted" a lovesick song filled with earnest longing and lilting vocals, pretty and needy and pure. The video was directed by David Altobelli and features a movie-like narrative, which is just what we would expect from these film buffs. We got a chance to chat with the band about the video and their inspirations.
Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to find out how to win some really cool prizes from the band including a signed 7" of "Abducted."
BUZZNET: What is the visual inspiration behind the music video?
CULTS: I think originally the inspiration came from David Lynch’s “Lost Highway.” The only image we really had in our heads for the video was that of driving at night, and having some interesting faces that told a story. Other than that we kind of let David run with it.
BN: Have you seen the unofficial music video for the song that popped up which syncs ‘Abducted’ to Peirre Koralnik’s 1967 film Anna? What do you guys think of it?
CULTS: We thought that was awesome. It was really confusing the first time we saw it, I hadn’t seen the film before, so I thought someone had just taken it upon themselves to film this massive production on their own. I figured that we owed the director some money.
BN: What are some of your favorite music videos of all time?
CULTS: “Stress” by Justice, “Hardest Button to Button” by The White Stripes, “Windowlicker” by Aphex Twin and “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” by Cake
BN: What was the process of producing this video in terms of how much creative input you had initially, and the final product? How was creating this video different than the production on “Oh My God”?
CULTS: The first few videos we had done were put together by other people (Adult Swim and MTV) so it was fun to have some say this go around. The process went really smooth because we had a lot of long conversations with David before hand, and we trusted his vision of what the video should be. We’re such perfectionists when it comes to film, we more or less left ourselves out of it until the final cut. Rough cuts and mixes cause us too much anxiety.
BN: Any other fun facts about the video or the shoot?
CULTS: We had a nightmare situation casting the video. We kept asking for “Robert Blake-esque” characters and the casting agencies kept sending us people who looked like Penelope Cruise and Brad Pitt. They would say things like “well you can put makeup on them” and we told them to go to hell.
(In case the image of Robert Blake's character isn't indelibly inked into your memory here's a reminder to keep you up tonight)
BN: Where was it shot?
CULTS: We shot in New York and the rest was outside Los Angeles on The Grapevine.
BN: What was the budget (if you can say)?
CULTS: Between $1 and $1 billion dollars, we don’t really know this stuff.
Cults prize pack giveaway!
For all you fans out there, we have some really cool prizes up for grabs from Cults. THREE lucky winners will receive:
1 signed "Abducted 7" vinyl
1 copy of the self-titled debut album
1 limited edition Cults poster
Here's how to enter:
Post a comment on this post telling who you'd let abduct you
Email the link to your comment to firstname.lastname@example.org
That's it! We'll choose a winner on 5/26. Please be sure to review and agree to the Official Rules found HERE before entering.
This contest has ended. Congrats to winners Adrienne, Erin, and Craig!