Converge Discuss ‘Axe to Fall’ Clip — Exclusive Video
In early October, Converge released a video for the title track of their new album, Axe to Fall, which featured rapid-edit black and white shots of a man and a woman being strapped to chairs and having electrical wires fed through their bodies and into TV screens. The art-horror pastiche is both alluring and disturbing, and while it’s unclear from the frantic editing, by the end it appears as if at least one of the victims has had his head shoved into a spinning drill bit and his (or someone else’s) body has been dragged into a TV screen. At a different point in the vid, the screen swells “Videodrome”-style as if about to burst and spill forth new life.
The clip was shot by Craig Murray (‘My Black Cat’), who Converge discovered after he shot a far more grisly video for Narrows‘ ‘Gypsy Kings.’
“They released their album on my label, [Deathwish Inc.],” vocalist Jake Bannon tells Noisecreep. “And he did the video for virtually no budget at all, and did one of the best videos I’ve ever seen, for heavy new music. I reached out to him to see if he’d want to work with us in some way, ’cause I was so impressed with his work that he did with Narrows, and he was more than happy to assemble something.”
While Converge were happy to have Murray onboard, they were somewhat concerned that the video would not vibe with the creative expressions of ‘Axe to Fall.’ So, they completely distanced themselves from the project and gave Murray artistic license to interpret the song as he saw fit.
“Videos are very separate from the musical, creative experience for a band,” Bannon explains. “No matter who you have involved directing your video, even if they’re friends, even if they’re people who are like-minded individuals, their vision is never wholly going to be your vision, so instead of us interjecting ourselves into the video, and having performances pieces and things like that — which is kind of stereotypical for music videos — we just told Craig to just go for it, and just create something. So he interpreted the lyrics a certain way, and shot it on his own in Spain, where he lives currently, and edited a really kinetic, artistic sort of piece to the record. And it worked well. Videos aren’t our forte though. We’re not big video guys.”
In other words, don’t expect to see more videos for songs from ‘Axe to Fall.’ The biggest problem with videos for Converge, is that there’s no one in the band comfortable with overseeing the process. And since everything else, from production to artwork is done internally, they feel uneasy when something representing the band falls outside their domain.
“We’re all punk people and we share a lot of common ancestry, so we’re accustomed to having all the creative stuff within the band be very internal,” adds guitarist and producer Kurt Ballou. “With regards to the video, there’s no one in the band that has any skill in that arena, so we have to turn over our artistic vision and place it in someone else’s hands. And it’s always a bit tough for us, I think, to let go, to that ownership of the music, because we don’t have to do that in other avenues of our band business.”