Happy New Zealand Music Month! Now that I’m starting on videos from April 2001, this means I’ve got through the first decade of videos (which started in April 1991). That’s 474 videos, with 348 that were awol (but plenty of catch-ups to look forward to. But first, let’s start with April 2001.
I love this video so much. In fact, if someone told me I had to stop 5000 Ways today, I’d almost be ok with that. “Into the Grain” is little over two and a half minutes long, but it feels like every shot in the film is the right thing in the right place.
The video begins with a door, the NZ On Air logo rotating on a door hanger. Eagle-eyed readers will noticed that this is where I got the above header image from. Inside we find Sean from Augustino sitting on a chair in an otherwise empty room. It’s decorated with shagpile carpet and a grotesque rococo-style wallpaper. The camera slowly pans in on him, but it feel like hesitant pan, as if it’s afraid to get too close. After the first stanza Sean stops lip-synching and turns to the left. He notices that the wallpaper pattern is writing. Trippy as.
The chorus switches to Augustino rocking out in a small room. It looks like they’re in a rundown house, a contrast from the room of weird. For the next verse we’re back with Sean in the freaky room. It continues to be freaky and then it’s really annoying because a fly walks across your screen. You go to swat it away but suddenly realise it’s part of the music video. Well, you think, that was a neat trick.
Back to the chorus and this time we see the band graffitiing a room in the rundown house. It’s the worst graffiti ever, just random scribbles. I mean, a 13-year-old kid from the suburbs could tag up a wall with greater style than that.
Again we join Sean as he continues to stare down the camera. But suddenly flies start crawling out of his mouth, and the image starts to shake and warp. It wasn’t just one trick fly – they’re everywhere! It’s like the video has become too intense and is breaking apart from the pressure.
What’s the perfect antidote to an intense situation? Why, a coffee break. We join the band in the kitchen of the old house, having a sped-up coffee break. But this is not enough to stem the chaos. Sean bravely swats away the increasing numbers of flies that are pestering him, and soon the screen becomes crowded with the pests.
The video was directed by Augustino drummer Wade Shotter. As well as having really strong usuals, the video also has a great sense of rhythm. “Into the Grain” is a manic, slightly ridiculous song about getting out of it on drugs, but the video takes that to a whole ‘nother level.
Best bit: the warping wallpaper, the merest hint of the craziness to follow.
Director: Wade Shotter
Next… step inside a world of fantasy.