Sydney band The Jim Mitchells are back with their single ‘Ankle Deep’.
The boys have been on a roll of late having recently supported Dope Lemon on a sold out tour of the East Coast of Australia. ‘Ankle Deep’ is peppered with echoes of the fab four, and coincidence that is not. We caught up with Jim and Ed Triglone (the brains behind the clip) to learn more.
What is the story behind the song ?
Jim Mitchell: I guess this song is equally about love as it is about losing your mind. Sometimes the two can be directly connected, sometimes inversely. I think that once you come to a realisation of where you are and what you’ve become, there’s no real point in going back on what you’ve started. Committing to your reality in the face of fear really.
How would you describe the track? What feel? Genre? Mood etc?
I was listening to a lot of early Beatles stuff like ‘Help!’ at the time and somehow that inspired the vocals. The harmonies anyway. I just wanted to make a sweet sounding track that had a darker subject matter, and those simple and happy sounding chords lent themselves to that theme. Listening back to our first EP, I wished the vocals were a bit more prominent and that was something I wanted to work on for this new song. I’d also just seen White Fence play here in Sydney and there was a song they did that had this tight four-to-the-floor beat but was still really open on the ride cymbal—so I probably borrowed that from Tim Presso for this track as well haha.
We get called ‘garage’ and ‘psych’ a lot which are genre labels that I think we both encompass and refute in equal parts. This new song has a sense of old pop to it and, sure it doesn’t have synths or midi instruments so it’s also ‘revivalist’, but I think that what we’re aiming to create is beyond one specific genre label.
How did it translate with the clip?
The song translated into the clip pretty easily. I guess we ran with those main themes of love and commitment and then kind of turned them on their head by using this warped sense of reality. That aspect throws back to the losing your mind part of the song and I always like our clips to stray slightly from reality or what would be expected.
Who came up with the concept?
The idea for this clip had been stewing for a while. I’d originally wanted to do a video with a mannequin for one of our other tracks but when this song came about, the idea seemed to fit the track a lot better. Ed and I tweaked the original concept a little and basically storyboarded the song out within its sections and what parts of the narrative would suit the energy best. Then we found ourselves a mannequin and the rest is history haha. Working with Ed is really easy and enjoyable. We’re really good friends first and foremost so when I call up and say “Hey, want to do a clip?” he’s just psyched to film and get as weird with it as possible.
Inspiration for the video?
The original inspiration came from watching Last Man On Earth (Will Forte). We’re big fans of Tim and Eric and the Forting With Will segment is in the top 5 for sure. It made me think about if you were the last person left, and how desperate you might get; which somehow led to ‘what if you fell in love with a mannequin’…
Can you talk us through the narrative?
JM: The clip follows the story of our protagonist who is this lonely and kind of pathetic guy. He gets around doing pretty mundane solitary things until he discovers a discarded mannequin in the bushes, that he cleans up and calls his own. The pair goes around on some little dates, which is something he’s never had the chance to do until now. In the end, true love has no boundaries as his feelings are reciprocated, or so we are lead to believe.
Where was it shot and why?
Ed Triglone: The entire clip was shot on the South Coast. We knew that we wanted the majority of the story to play out in nature and we also needed wide open landscapes and a general lack of people to establish a sense of isolation and loneliness in the beginning of the clip.
How was the shoot? Plenty of laughs I’m guessing? Any highlights of the project?
JM: The actual shoot was hilarious. The sheer premise of Tommy getting around the South Coast with his mannequin in that little mini vitara was priceless. Every scene we set up we’d be in stitches imagining what people would think when they saw the clip haha. We definitely copped a bit of interest from the locals over the weekend as well. The shot of the yellow grandstand was actually shot in the midst of a junior soccer match so just out of frame was a big crowd of kids all watching and wigging out over what was happening. The double handed rock throw off the bridge is probably my favourite moment- you can’t script that.
Were the shots thought out or did they come together organically?
ET: It was a combination of both, we had the whole clip storyboarded from start to finish with the general structure of how it would play out but we also knew we would pick stuff up along the way. We knew we were going to use a lot of slow zooms to introduce different scenes and compliment the energy and feel of certain sections of the song. We also needed to trigger a change in mood from the beginning of the clip to that of the second half, locations and timing played a big role in making that happen.
Do you prefer heavy scripting or letting it come together naturally? Why?
Ed Triglone: Both have their perks but I think having the general arc of the story established prior to shooting definitely enabled us to experiment and play around with shots a lot more on the day. Once we got through our shotlist for each scene we would start pushing the boundaries a bit harder and that is probably where a lot of the best stuff came through.
Tell us about the lead character.
JM: We somehow roped our good friend Tommy Austin in to being the lead character for the clip. When we came up with the idea we decided it couldn’t be me in the clip and needed to be someone else. Not at all to say that Tommy is the lonely, desperate and pathetic type, but his mannerisms and sense of humour made him the only possible option. If he didn’t want to be in it, we would have come up with a different idea. But luckily he is up for absolutely anything…and that’s why we love him! Hoo-Haa!
Who does music videos well? Do you look to anyone for direction or inspiration?
JM: I can’t say I watch a huge amount of video clips, to be honest, but get more inspiration from films and still photos for our clip ideas. In saying that, I do love basically all of Sam Kristofki’s clips- he nails that film aesthetic and has great characters in them too. The clips that Jason Galea has done for King Gizzard are right up there as well, especially his collaborations with Danny Cohen.
What can we expect from JMs over the next six months/year?
JM: Well, having just released a new track, I guess you could say that something is brewing. We’re in the process of getting a new release together so watch this space and all will be revealed soon enough!