Saskatoon, Saskatchewan band Close Talker are an indie-rock band, with a twist of this and a pinch of that. The release of their music video Okay Hollywood playfully jabs at being "too cool" and it's an essential reminder to keep ourselves grounded. These guys are professionals but lets also keep in mind that they are a little goofy as well, so the components of the video are satirical, clever, and fun! With the recent release of their new album Lens they are currently on a Canadian Tour. Catch them in your city and have a listen to the album. The album is fitting for any hour of the day.
What was the process like shooting this particular video?
When collaborating with our long-time director and friend Nathan Boey, we wanted to establish a sort of Hollywood aesthetic, with a nonchalant or “too cool for school” attitude. It is a cold hard fact that cool guys don’t look at explosions and we thought this concept would be a fitting jab at the pompous character that lives deep within us all. Okay Hollywood is a true ‘one shot’ video and due to the nature of the explosions, shattering car windows, and nearby police, we had exactly one chance to achieve the concept. Because we had to travel a great distance and we shot the video at two times the normal speed of the song, all our efforts were funnelled down to a single clip less than two minutes long. We did our very best to try and look unimpressed with the potentially fatal effects surrounding us in the video, when in reality we were all terrified of being hit in the face with a fireball. The theme of the song is a sarcastic anthem poking fun at those (ourselves included) who may take themselves a little too seriously and make the mistake of imposing this self-importance onto others. We wanted this concept to be portrayed in the music video while remaining subtle and discrete.
What were the hiccups?
Days prior to our video shoot; “Junkyard fire rages out of control” was trending on twitter in Vancouver which posed an issue for us and our initiative to do some explosions and fires in a junkyard…in Vancouver…
Although we never deliberately lied, we certainly downplayed the whole fire+explosion thing. The junkyard owners were at first very skeptical and hesitant, but for whatever reason they let us go ahead and blow things up. I don't think they knew what scale the explosions would be until after the take. Then again, neither did we. Things could have gone very wrong, but we knew whether or not it went perfectly or horribly we knew a cool video would come out of it.
How did the title ‘Lens’ come about?
The album name came about on a long drive through Germany. We were toying with the idea of doing a self-titled release as we had recently become a 3-piece and this album felt like a new start in a lot of ways. We brainstormed a few other names and after awhile, Chris came with the name 'Lens'. This album, in its most plain sense, is a snapshot of our lives and focuses on all the things we were dealing with at the time, both good and bad. Things like marriage, friendships changing and priorities shifting made us look at life through a different lens than we ever had before. We were dealing with new experiences and this slowly began to take shape in our music, both instrumentally and lyrically. Over the past couple years, it has become fairly evident that being in a band has changed us all dramatically. Not necessarily from a character standpoint, but rather in the way our lives are carrying out. The time commitment needed to become an established band has consequently forced us to shift our priorities. No longer are we putting the same importance on things we had once held so highly just a few years ago, and I think in a large respect, this album is a self-realization of that. We’ve developed a different outlook than we once had before and, in the most honest way, these songs are us trying to navigate that reality.
What's integral to keeping the spirits up when producing an album?
Recording Lens was an extremely exhausting process. We recorded the album over about a year span - doing demos first in Matt's living room for about 3 months, then recording 12 songs in January in Regina. We got the songs mixed by a guy named Marcus Paquin over the span about a month in Montreal with Chris flying out there for a week. Then, we ended up recording another song in Matt's living room in Saskatoon soon after which we then got Marcus to mix as well. We got the entire album mastered in April, only to write and record another song throughout the summer which we later added to the album and therefore, had to get it re-mastered in August of last year. So ya, it was a long process for this one. And nothing about it really felt like a smooth, free-flowing thing. Everything took a lot of work. A lot of thought. A lot of time.
We think what kept our spirits up throughout this year long project was that as the album started to take shape, everything kept sounding better and better which was really exciting. Even though we found ourselves in a rut sometimes, what kept us going was the constant gratification we got from the music. Whenever we would find a certain sound that we had been hunting for hours, or get a mix sent back to us, or the first time hearing the masters on our flight back from London, we always felt like the album was continuing to move in a better direction. Looking at the album now, we are all really satisfied with the record we made and all the hard work seems worth it. Which we think is all you can really ask for when creating something that is an expression of yourself. We know that there will be people who won't dig this record - people who will think "why did they go this route?" ...But we're really pleased with what we made and Chris and Matt are as well. And we're at peace with that.
Close Talker is on the road for the Canadian Tour. As we speak there are shows going on, so check out their website for the latest tour dates and much more about the band.
Find them on Facebook and follow them @clostalkerband
Watch their new video Okay Hollywood below.
Photography Rights - Nathan Boey, Simon Crevaux-Plouffe, and Brandon White ©