Unsure about what your 10 picks for #65bangsofstatic should be? No worries, I’ve called in some experts to help out!
First up is Dave Holloway. If that name rings a bell, it’s because Dave used to be a frequent collaborator for the band. As part of Media Lounge, or later Medlo, he, and the rest of the team, created some fantastic live visuals for the band, and even better videos. He was there at the very beginning, helping create the video for Thrash Waltz all the way back in 2002.
He helped create a lot of iconic 65 video’s in different capacities. Whether as director, producer, editor, and/or camera operator, he was responsible for the official videos for singles like Retreat! Retreat!, Don’t Go Down to Sorrow and Dance Parties.
Add to that the documentary Tour Nice Kids and videos for a bunch of 65 remixes, and you realize how important Dave has been to the band (the first half of my retrospective is almost exclusively Medlo material, haha).
Check out some of the videos he did for the band, as well as his other work at davemedlo.com, and find out exactly how many violations kept the Dance Parties video from being broadcast on MTV (it’s hilarious).
And now: the Medlo top 10! With some added 65 trivia for good measure 🙂
10. Assault on Precinct 65
I love the remixes 65 used to do back in the day and we would always endeavour to make remix videos to accompany them, but this is the only one that truly eluded us – and multiple members of the Media Lounge tried to do it too. There’s something about the freneticism of the beats that made it near impossible to get right, but it remains my favourite of all their remixes.
Nearly ten years ago the geneticist and broadcaster Adam Rutherford was looking to make a tribute to the Space Shuttle that was an altogether different type of documentary. He wanted it to look and feel like a music video and crowdsourced suggestions for musicians and filmmakers to work with; through a weird twist of fate, he was introduced to myself and 65 by different means but, once he realised the connection, was convinced we were the right people for the job. PX3 was his choice of track for the final video (it also ended up using Retreat! Retreat!) which, at the time, was a song I’d not paid much attention to but steadily grew to absolutely love.
8. Crash Tactics & 7. Tiger Girl
We Were Exploding Anyway was a pivotal album for 65 in so many ways but, for me, is when they first started to become the band they are now, especially after the relatively lukewarm reception to the Destruction of Small Ideas. Both Crash Tactics and Tiger Girl show them at their absolute finest; Crash Tactics is as brutal and aggressive rock as they’ve ever made, but refined and controlled in a manner they’d not hit before. Tiger Girl is the culmination of their longstanding but often suppressed techno urges, especially when played live, when it becomes a sprawling and epic behemoth that just looks like the most fun in the world to play.
6. Don’t Go Down to Sorrow
This was the first music video I directed where I didn’t do everything myself. I had a proper DOP and we got to sit in a video village and I got to focus on just directing, which was a very pleasant experience. The video was shot in the basement of legendary (and now sadly destroyed) Club 60 and (fun fact alert) Simon was so sick that day we got everything with him in two takes and sent him home before continuing on with the rest of the band (that’s why he rarely appears in a shot with anyone else). As for the track, I think it’s one of the most beautiful songs they’ve ever written. I said that at the time and I stand by it now.
I first head this track on one of the Decomposition Tour shows at the Millenium Gallery in Sheffield. It was an odd night, I’d not seen the boys in quite some time and hadn’t planned to go to the show, but I was offered a ticket at the last minute and I went down and had one of the best gigs I’d had in years. Everybody was there; all the people I used to run with from years back, Casper (65s graphic designer and frequent collaborator) was there, a whole bunch of people from the Sheffield music scene and it was wonderful to see them all – plus, the band were extraordinary and they ended with a preposterous and glorious version of KMF. It was one of those nights where everything felt warm and familiar but also exciting and full of potential.
4. Radio Protector
Who doesn’t love Radio Protector? I think it’s usurped Retreat! Retreat! as the defacto 65 track. I absolutely love the message behind the video but my one regret is that I didn’t make it a little better quality – I feel it hasn’t aged well and looks more like a fan edit than I intended. I do love that the YouTube comments section for that video is full of climate change arguments and that people think the George Monbiot sample was some kind of renegade political messaging.
3. Drove Through Ghosts to Get Here
I fucking love this track, I always have. It is such a glorious start to an album and it worked so well as an opener to live shows – especially with Lord Bunn’s animations as visuals. That video was only ever made as a web exclusive for Kerrang but we had such a blast designing the story, going to the woods capturing textures for the nature explosion, learning how to animate. It’s one of my favourite things that I have produced.
Play Nice Kids was the first 65 track played on the radio and it was a real combination of efforts from everyone involved with 65 at the time. We all played a part in making the EP, designing the artwork and getting it into the hands of John Peel’s producer. We received notification early in the day that he would be playing it on his show that evening, so we all tuned in at 9.55 in anticipation of it appearing at some point – then the show started and the first words out of Peel’s mouth were “play nice kids” and then he played the song, and we all went fucking mental. 65 ended up sampling that intro on the proper release of the song and it felt like the band were really on their way. Back when they were just starting out, playing first billed on small local shows, I used to dance alone at the front to it. People assumed I was some kind of super fan but, in reality, I was just trying to stay awake for the drive home.
My work with 65 came to a pretty natural end after the Destruction of Small Ideas and that’s something I am completely comfortable with. They’ve taken control of their own visual identity in way that is far more suited to their position as artists and have found some extraordinarily talented collaborators along the way. I now get to experience the band as a fan which, I think, is probably the best way to do it. I think Wild Light is my favourite of all their albums and Prisms sits as the king of that album. On the record is a brilliant piece of work but, when played live, it becomes a force of nature unto itself. I don’t think words can really do it justice which, for 65, seems pretty appropriate.
Don’t forget to share your own top 10, by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org or sharing it on twitter using the #65bangsofstatic hashtag! The final date to send them in is May 6th!