Today we have the pleasure in premiering the Detroit punk trio The Stools' latest music video to the bruising high-dosage track "Into The Street." Ahead of the in-person premiere tonight at Outer Limits, we caught up with the video's director Sidd Finch and director of photography Noah Elliott Morrison to discuss what it was filming the new music video, the significance of its two main characters, and their involvement in Detroit's current rock 'n' roll scene.
Comprised of guitarist-vocalist Will Lorenz, bassist-vocalist Krystian Quint, and drummer Charles Stahl, the Stools have been tearing it up and leading the pack in Detroit's current rock 'n' roll scene that also includes their longtime pals Toeheads, swampy noisemakers 208, and garage-psych wanders Shadow Show. Hot on the heels of a slew of EPs and singles on Drunken Sailor, Goodbye Boozy, Third Man and Big Neck, The Stools released their first proper full-length effort R U Saved? on the almighty Cincy label Feel It Records (The Cowboys, Sweeping Promises, The Drin) back in June. We still can't get enough of the trio's brand of bone-shaking garage-punk and aggro-damaged punk blues that recalls The Gories and Cheater Slicks, so luckily today, we have the pleasure in premiering an online exclusive of their latest music video to the bruising high-dosage track "Into The Street." Across the tightly-wound blitz of industrious speed and ragged ferocity we find the trio tearing it up in the middle of a scrapyard, surrounded by high-speeding cars and two compelling characters who know the streets well — a boxer and a mechanic. We spoke with Quint quickly through email and this is what he had to say about the making of the new video.
"Working on this project checked off a lot of the boxes as far as cool stuff we like to do as a group. Especially for me personally," Quint said. "I was able to source a really fucking cool building complex here in Detroit (right outside of Corktown, in Michigan Ave., for the heads) that a guy Chuck and I do a lot of work with/for. We're commercial painters and spend an incredible amount of time in pre-war-era mega behemoth factory structures and it's something we draw a lot of inspiration from. When Sidd and Noah came to us with their idea, it just got so well into the landscape of what we've been doing as a band and as just working class humans. I was as stoked to get to explore the sets as I was to have a Porsche do donuts around us in the middle of the night while we played. Everyone who worked on it crushed it, and even though the idea came from a completely outside source, it fits perfectly with the new record and the imagery we're conveying there."
Ahead of the in-person premiere tonight at Outer Limits, we caught up up the music video's director Sidd Finch and director of photography Noah Elliott Morrison to discuss what it was filming the new video, the significance of its two main characters, and their involvement in Detroit's current rock 'n' roll scene.
Paperface Zine: First, tell me a little about yourselves and what led you each down the path of what you do now in filmmaking and photography? Noah Elliott Morrison: I played in bands in Michigan and then Detroit from the time I was about 15. Around the age of 26, I moved away from playing music and focused on documenting other bands and taking lots of portraits. That was the gateway to music videos and film for me. Making films is pretty daunting and you need a team to do it right in a repeatable way. We had a really fantastic team of pros that jumped in to help out on this video for The Stools. Shoutout to our gaffer Gianluca Petrazzi and jib operator Sarah Griffith! Sidd Finch: I'm a director and photographer and I think what led me down the path of filmmaking is just the fact of me wanting to bring a music video idea to life and seeing that process then just getting hooked. PZ: Noah, Krystian informed me you recorded part of Danny Kroha's first solo album back in 2015. How did that happen and what was that experience like? NEM: Yeah! Danny and I go back a ways. He was part of the garage scene in Detroit basically at the beginning of it in my eyes. I had recorded a few people on a few different Tascam units to cassette and he was definitely after that sound for these old blues standards he was recording. We spent a few days, maybe four, recording a few tracks. Danny had this crazy Pitbull he rescued that was always running around and his house was under construction but we did those recordings on the second floor and I believe it was the summer and it was HOT [laughs]. I do always mention that Warren Defever really made that record amazing with his recording skills for the other songs and mixing and mastering of all of it.
PZ: What was the exact vision behind the music video for The Stools' "Into The Street"? Was it a collaborative idea you had with the members of The Stools?
SF: The vision behind the video was that at first we wanted to shoot a spec car commercial then realized we could make a cool music video out of the footage. It wasn't really a collaborative idea with The Stools actually. It was more like, "Hey guys we have this idea are you down to let us make it a video?"
NEM: Sidd had been itching to work with The Stools on a music video and as we were batting around ideas for some future work the parts really all fell into place and The Stools were super on board with Sidd's machismo ballet concept.
PZ: What is the significance of the two characters shown in the video — The Boxer and The Mechanic. NEM: They are the people you see more or less, but Biba Bell really shaped their movement in those two warehouses. Sidd was after something close to, but not quite dancing and Biba knew exactly how to guide these two men that had never taken a dancing class directly to that place.
SF: The original idea behind the two characters was this idea of a "machismo ballet" where we have this masculine energy doing these movements that are more carefree and loose. Matteus, The Boxer, actually does MMA and Darko, The Mechanic, owns a luxury scrap yard and is a mechanic by trade so the two are in very normal environments or doing things they would usually be doing with added choreography from Biba Bell. PZ: What was it like filming the high-speeding cars doing donuts around the band? That had to have been pretty thrilling to be around that! NEM: [laughs] Yeah we definitely brought it to the edge of safety with that scene. We wouldn't have done it if we didn't know Darko Stojanovski, who is driving the Porsche is a professional racecar driver with about 15 years experience in precision driving.
PZ: Where was the video shot and what attracted you guys to film it there? NEM: Darko and his family own a luxury vehicle scrapyard called Pacific Motors. He really opened up the doors to us and the concept. Not only spending time rehearsing with Biba, but letting us shoot multiple evenings at the shop and on grounds. The other location was sourced and managed by Krystian, who had some connections there from his other work. PZ: What shots and camera angles do you prefer when filming a music video and why?
SF: We didnt use it in this video, but I am a huge fan of the fisheye and using a wider lens. We did use a bunch of slow frame rate in this which I am also a huge fan of. I like to use the slow frame rate to exaggerate motion and create a sort of lighting texture in shots.
NEM: Story, intended emotion, and motivation/perspective of the character always informs and dictates angles and shots. Sidd very easily and naturally internalizes the human story of a given project and uses his instincts to direct the camera in a way that enhances whatever emotion he's after. It helps to have an director/editor because he understands the cut really well both before and during shooting. We spend as much time as possible planning in order to move quickly enough to get the shots we need while still allowing for time to play in some areas that we think could work. Sometimes playing leads to the best shots. We saw the rain starting and made sure we got the camera covered and Matteus Huavere out in it before it stopped. That's one of my favorite moments of the video.
PZ: What was the editing process like?
SF: The editing for this was pretty straightforward. I had a pretty clear vision of what we were going for when we shot it although I did change the aspect ratio in the edit because we shot this for 4:3. Whenever I edit something I always wish I had just a few more shots of this or that. I think it says a lot that when I sent the first draft to the band they said "NO NOTES." which is like music to my ears so any other changes were just us tightening things up.
PZ: There's going to be an in-person video premiere of this at Outer Limits tonight. What are you most excited about having people see the new video? NEM: It's always great to see work out in the world and I love the way The Stools are releasing it in this more tactile in-person format.
SF: I think it'll be cool to see peoples reaction to the video and just see it played on (maybe) a bigger screen than normal.
PZ: What captures your eye about Detroit and its music scene?
SF: Location location location! I think it's just a matter of being here at this time and being a part of this city. There's a lot of different scenes and it's all good shit so you can't really ask for more.
NEM: To me it's hard to ignore. Great music, cool people, and more of it all the time. R U Saved? is out now on Feel It Records.