Autozamm “You Don’t Know Me”

2004-autozamm-you-dont-know-meIt’s the return of Autozamm and this time they’re found in an old gun emplacement, one of the ones constructed in anticipation of an enemy that never came. Never mind – Autozamm have brought their own conflict to the site.

The video starts with the band posing for a series of photos, then they start fighting. The entire video – which appears to have been shot in one continuous take – involves the band throwing choreographed punches, taking turns at beating each other up.

It’s been shot with all the punches thrown and lyrics lip-synched in a slowed down form, then adjusted in post-production to give the effect of a more urgent brawl. The thing is, none of the fighting looks real. The band members are obviously not being beaten up, and after a while it begins to look less like fighting and more like an elaborately choreographed performance art piece.

It’s like a trick. If the band members were wearing black leotards and performing on stage, most Autozamm fans wouldn’t be at all interested. But put them in jeans and t-shirts inside a bleak military setting and suddenly it’s all martial and cool.

The video also has heaps of YouTube comments from people who love the video. Particularly, there are comments from people who are fans of the editing software that let all the sped-up and slowed-down bits happen. In fact, most comments are about how technically brilliant the video is, with few comments on the song itself.

Best bit: that Mikee Autozamm is so hard that he brawls without removing his specs.

Director: Ed Davis
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a starry night.

Autozamm “Day to Day”

2003-autozamm-day-to-dayAutozamm were an unusual band in the history of NZ On Air funding. They received funding for 12 music videos, but none of their singles and only one of their albums charted. Consider the other acts who’ve received funding for 12 videos (Che Fu, Die! Die! Die!, Dimmer, Fur Patrol, Goodshirt, Headless Chickens and the Mutton Birds) –  they were all over the charts. But the charts aren’t the be-all, end-all over musical achievement (and it’s certainly not a criterial for NZOA funding). One bio says the band were “renowned for exhilarating live shows”, so perhaps they were taking a very mid-2010s approach – forget the charts (there’s no money there, anyway), live shows are where it’s at.

The “Day to Day” video is very simple and low budget. Filmed in a steep Wellington suburb, it’s a one-take video, following the band as they leave a house and run along the street. Well, when I say “street”, it’s one of those theoretical Wellington streets that’s too steep for cars to drive down or people to walk down, so it’s been turned into a zig-zagging walkway. The group end up in a park at the bottom of the hill, with a rope swing to muck around on until the song runs out.

It seems to be shot digitally, with the footage later stabilised, meaning there’s an ever-changing border floating around the image. It’s just as well – if it had been left as it was shot, it would be unwatchably shaky.

The song is an angry rant – “I am not happy from day to day,” Mikee snarls. The video doesn’t convey that anger. It’s more like a fun adventure the Monkees might have, messing around with wacky video tricks. If this is a band known for their live shows, I’d like to see that captured in a video.

Best bit: the council worker tending to the garden with a weed trimmer.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… glorified karaoke.