Jake Chapman’s promo for Wild Flowers – the new single from Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes’ forthcoming album Modern Ruin – is, perhaps unsurprisingly, not your typical music video.
“I imagined it would be quite nice to do something without him in it,” Chapman explains. “I quite liked the idea of just making a schematic set of pictures that were associated with the words [of the song]. Some of the images are quite banal stock images that you’d use for really low-fi things…. As well as using quite uninteresting, generic stock footage, we also realised that we had a backlog of our own stock footage that we could use.
“I thought it would be quite interesting to make a video that seemed kind of inappropriate,” he continues. “Because the song is quite tender in a sense. I just thought it would be interesting to do something that was almost slightly disparate, rather than trying to eke out the nuances of the narrative. I thought why don’t we approach it like someone who was autistic making a video.”
Chapman has previously directed videos for the likes of Spiritualised and PJ Harvey, and a recurring theme in his approach is this avoidance of narrative. “I once did a test video for Rhys Ifans’ band, and instead of doing a video of the band, we did a video in the band, which was just a series of linked colonoscopy footage,” he says.
“We did a video for Spiritualised, for You Lie You Cheat [shown below], which was essentially chucking a load of cameras out of a tower block,” he continues. “I’m interested in a structural approach to making films, rather than a narrative approach.”
While Chapman is best known for his painting and sculptural works created with his brother Dinos, he says that the duo see the music videos as part of their wider body of artistic work. “I see it as one seamlessly endless sequence of stuff,” he says, “which is intimately connected. I think it’s very difficult to see a separation between one activity and another … because it’s shown in a gallery [doesn’t necessarily] make it any better.
“Is this a work of art? Well, it’s made by an artist, so I guess it’s a work of art. If you get a plumber in to do some plumbing, it’s plumbing, isn’t it?”
Modern Ruin by Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes is released on January 20. The deluxe version features a book, including a short story by Jake Chapman, and an artwork by Carter. More info is at internationaldeathcult.com