Q+A  :  RECOIL  :  VIDEOS - directors / versions / compilations 


Once again, congratulations for the new album. It sounds very great. I'm not a die hard fan of MTV but I've seen the video of 'Strange Hours' more times than any other Recoil video. I don't know if it's a sign... In Belgium and France, the new album reviews are all good.

MTV gave the single great support this time - I was very surprised.

When I was watching the promo for 'Stalker', I noticed that Douglas had a plaster on one of his fingers and when I was watching the promo for 'Strange Hours', I noticed that the main actor also has this on the same finger (best seen in the escalator scene). Is this a coincidence or is there a connection between the songs? Are Douglas and the actor playing the same guy?

Actually, the plastered grubbiness of the digits is a complete coincidence. Michael Williams had never seen the 'Stalker' promo.

I could swear that I have seen that actor in 'Strange Hours' before. Has David Johannsen been in any commercials, stage plays or films? Where did the director find him? Also, on the 'Liquid' EPK, you showed some articles relating to the RAF crash. Could you tell me some of the newspapers that focused on it, especially the ones where they interview you? I collect articles.

The director, Michael Williams, originally said that he wanted an actor but then he saw David Johannsen (who I think was a friend of a friend) and decided he'd be perfect. I like him - he reminds me of Elliot Gould.

As for newspaper articles, I can't remember the particular papers except that they were all Scottish - apparently the near-massacre of a playground full of school children, not to mention the demolition of a £27 million Tornado bomber, ain't newsworthy in England. A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence brushed the incident aside as "one of those things", adding "our pilots are fully trained and understand the dangers of low level flying". Apparently they lose in the region of 20 military planes every year in this manner. It's good to know how my tax contribution is being spent...

Did you and Diamanda prefer not to appear in the 'Strange Hours' video or was the idea for the video there first and you then decided it was better to use other people? Great video, by the way.

The director didn't feel he needed me to be in it. He wanted an actor and I absolutely agreed that would be better.

Any word on the upcoming directors of the Recoil videos?

At this time, there are no plans beyond the current video for 'Strange Hours', directed by Michael Williams at Intro.

Is there a video director who you'd really like to direct a Recoil promo?

At the moment, I'm quite impressed with whoever directs those choreographed, very colourful, almost cartoon-like promos for the likes of Daft Punk and Missy Misdemeanor etc. but generally, I'm not a big fan of the whole genre. I find it really refreshing to just watch a good band performing on TV but you rarely see it these days. Perhaps I'd like a great film director to make one for Recoil although those that have tried their hand in the music field have, surprisingly, often disappointed.

How do you go about choosing a director?

I slog through a load of showreels until something grabs my attention. They all tend to look the same.

Who shoots the Recoil videos - or do you direct them yourself? Many of them have the same kind of 'Seven' and 'Millennium' atmosphere, especially 'Stalker'. I like it very much - it has a very strong expression. Who is the beautiful Asian girl in it (Maggie Cheung ?) and who decided to bring her in? Was it Doug's idea?

Go and read the Technical - video section - Hep and I spent a long time putting all the pages together. The cast members are usually suggested by the director but I like to have an input to the visual aspects of my music as well. No, Doug didn't decide who would play the female role in 'Stalker'.

Do the collaborators themselves come up with an outline or similar for the videos, and how much influence do they have in the process of making them? Do they get the final word about the contents?

I like to make everyone feel part of the project to some extent - I'm not dictatorial and I'm not adverse to good creative input but by the same token, it is my project. I try to make that clear to any collaborators I use so there's no confusion.

Looking at the shots taken from the 'Drifting' video, I was wandering if I could buy a copy from Shunt somehow?

Sorry Mark but none of the Recoil videos are available commercially. I hope this won't be the case with the next release.

Are there any plans to release a video-compilation of the Recoil video-promos? It is very difficult to get a glimpse of the videos anywhere on the TV-channels.

There are only 3 Recoil videos. When I have made a couple more, then I'm sure that would warrant a compilation. It's as frustrating for me as it is for you that they don't receive much airplay, especially when you consider that the cost of making just one promo can easily outway the entire recording cost of an album.

Since your videos aren´t on heavy rotation on MTV, have you any plans to put out them on enhanced cd-roms as another well-known group did with their last single.

Reprise were supposed to release 'Drifting' in exactly that format but they somehow managed to fuck it up and so it still hasn't been released. I think it's a great idea in principal and it would be nice for the next Recoil release in Europe to include videos.

Have any Recoil videos been issued to VIVA and VIVA 2 here in Germany? These channels have always been very DM-friendly and I would assume that your videos would also receive much more airplay here than on crappy MTV Europe.

I have no idea - I would have thought that Intercord would have that covered.

What's up with that cool-dadeo ring you sport throughout the 'Drifting' video? Does it keep flashing throughout close-up shots because it supposedly gives off magical groovy vibes or stands for something rather sinister and deviant?

It was suggested by the director and provided by the wardrobe designer on the 'Drifting' shoot. I don't know about giving off groovy vibes - it just reminds me of something a 70's porn star would wear ;-)

In the E.P.K., who is the person interviewing you? Also is Hep or Paris in the 'Drifting' video?

The interviewer is Pip Dann from MTV / VH1 and yes, Hep and Paris are both in it.


Q+A  :  RECOIL  :  VIDEOS - directors / versions / compilations