Bella Union records are excited to reveal the ingenious video for Lone Wolf’s debut single: “Keep Your Eyes On The Road”… Directed by the hugely-talented Ashley Dean, the video is a dazzling and loving homage to Peter Gabriel’s ground-breaking “Sledgehammer” promo from the 80s, and has the seal of approval from the great man himself… So down tools at once folks and click on the link below to check it out, and reonl for info on the making of the video…
More background info after the jump.
“This was a project that had been brewing in my head for some time. I have been a huge fan of Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” video since seeing it as a boy on the ITV Chart Show in 1986. It is a whirlwind experience, with a constant barrage of new ideas hitting the screen every single second. It wasn’t a surprise to learn in later years that the studio responsible for it was the legendary Aardman Animations.
I have been animating music videos for about 8 years now, learning established techniques and innovating some of my own. It dawned on me one day (whilst shooting a scene for Fossil Collective involving a husband and wife dressed as a stag and a wolf ballroom dancing) that I should challenge myself to recreate the Sledgehammer video. It would be a test of my animation skills and would work well as a video for a solo artist. A few days later I discovered that an acquaintance from my days in iLiKETRAiNS had recently been signed to Bella Union; Paul Marshall had become Lone Wolf. I dusted off my copy of ‘Vultures’, acquainted myself with his new MySpace offerings, then got on the Twitter and the rest is history.
The project was hard, with so many elements to bring together and with only a small team and a few weeks to work with. We built a coffin, a puppet sized Paul, a full sized plasticine Paul, we made an approximation of the set used 24 years ago by Aardman, gathered a room full of extras (including many luminaries from the Leeds Music Scene), animated a (free range) chicken and a face made from petals, referenced ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘Indiana Jones’ and almost blinded Paul with an errant blob of Latex.
I am pleased with how the project turned out. There were times when I thought things couldn’t be done, but determination, innovation and a lot of 15 hour working days saw us through. It was a pleasure to work with Lone Wolf, he has an amazing talent for sitting still hours at a time and has contributed ideas and effort beyond the call of duty, even when his fingers turned blue and his legs had stopped working.
I hope this film is a fitting tribute to the original video, and a complimentary visual accompaniment to Lone Wolf’s excellent first single.”
Visit Ashley Dean’s website at www.brokenpixel.co.uk
“I have been keeping one eye on Ash’s work ever since I saw his amazing videos for iLiKETRAiNS. He was always one of those people who I thought that I if I was lucky enough to get to work with him, he would really be able to capture the essence of my song-writing and make a great film to accompany it. So when completely unprompted I received a personal e-mail from Ash saying he was interested in working with me that was one thing, but when I read his goal was to create an homage/remake of the Peter Gabriel’s seminal video for Sledgehammer I literally spat my tea out. We met over a real ale and began working out how we could recreate some scenes, and adapt others to fit my dark lyrics whilst always trying to maintain the true spirit of the original as to make sure we were showing that in no way were we trying to tread on it’s toes, but in fact showing just what an inspiration that video was.
I had never been animated/pixelated before, and to say I wasn’t quite prepared for the amount on work to come is an understatement. I personally ended up on set for a grand total of 45 hours. Long hours. Hours of stillness. Hours of having to mouth the individual syllables of the lyrics to my song like a child trying to learn to talk again whilst having make up put on one strip at a time. I had to lie in a coffin made especially for me. At one point it looked like I was even going to have to shave all my hair off due to it getting caked in liquid latex. But after this gruelling process, I can safely say it was all worth it. Ash has created the best possible film to accompany my single and has captured the true spirit of the song perfectly.”
David Broxton (Executive Chairman of Aardman):
“it’s extraordinary to see the effort that has gone into this homage to one of the all time great pop videos, Sledgehammer. The original was a tremendous tour de force, made by a great team and led by an extraordinary musician. Ashley’s work is clearly a work of love and I hope it generates as much interest for Lone Wolf as the Sledgehammer video did for Peter.”
LONE WOLF has been a silent film, a book, a song, a TV series and a Native American chief, but never the alter ego of a singer, until Paul Marshall chose it to house his subtly sombre, gorgeously haunting songs.
Having used his own name for 2007’s acoustic-based debut Vultures, Lone Wolf signals a much expanded sound. His new album, “The Devil and I”, dovetails perfectly with Bella Union’s stable of supreme melodicists and outstanding vocalists such as Fleet Foxes and John Grant. But “The Devil & I” stands alone, as lone wolves do. The melodies may be persuasively dreamy and the vocal delivery tender and restrained, but the mood is troubled.
Vultures had its dark parts but little compares to these new songs, which grip like a vice, from murder ballad ‘15 Letters’ to the more oblique threat of ‘We Could Use Your Blood’ and ‘Buried Beneath The Tiles’, or strung across the triple whammy of ‘Russian Winter’, ‘Soldier’ and ‘Dead River’. And then there’s the two-part title track, from doomy-grey instrumental to the band version that closes the album on a beautifully haunted high.
Lone Wolf has momentarily abandoned his solitary alienation to play live with a backing band of Leeds peers – Lins Wilson (Grammatics), James Mabbett (Napoleon IIIrd) and James Kenosha. Following WILD BEASTS singer Tom Fleming singling out Lone Wolf as one of his tips for 2010, they invited him to support them on their tour this March… dates below…
Lone Wolf – on tour with Wild Beasts:
Thursday 25 March – GALWAY – Roisin Dubh (supporting Wild Beasts)
Friday 26 March – CORK – Cyprus Avenue (supporting Wild Beasts)
Saturday 27 March – DUBLIN – Academy (supporting Wild Beasts)
Lone Wolf’s debut – “The Devil and I” – is released 14th May on Bella Union records…