Silverchair’s Ben Gillies has just dropped his first solo EP, The Relative Relatives, and, as it happens, we had the pleasure of working on the music video for his single, ‘Dangerous Distractions’. We had a quick chat with Ben and animator Rikki Clark about the process.
Gillies, tell me about making this track?
Ben: The idea came from some very simple guitar, then built the track around that. All came pretty naturally. The idea, I reckon I had it laying around for years, but never put the time and effort into it. Like all musicians or creatives, there’s always that element of procrastination. The process of construction that you don’t want to confront. So I managed to avoid it for a few years, then got thinking ‘I better do something with that little riff. Then it just came to life once I put the time into it. I think I articulated it better last time I told you both. I can’t remember. I don’t know, maybe that’s what the song’s always been about. Confronting the things that are always in front of you. I think that’s the idea of the video too, the fox and that sense of something burrowing away in the back of your mind. Then when you confront it, it’s actually a whole new feel.
Riki, how much fun did you have making this music video?
Riki: Oh, I loved making this music video. I watched so much Fast & Furious, which is just a good time no matter why you’re watching it. And watched all these supercuts of gear shifts, so that helped. It was such a fun project to work on, and Ben gave me so much freedom to go wherever I wanted. The whole process from the beginning was so good.
Ben: Yeah, leading up to the release I talked to another friend about filming some super 8 around Newcastle, doing something super grungy and loose. But between film processing and the story, I knew I didn’t have enough time to do it. So, one evening when I was at home, in bed, the phone was on flight mode, I’m ready to tap out. And then I though about my good friend Jam, he’s always good for a call, he’ll know some creative way or contact to get this done. Initially, I thought about doing a pure lyrics video and strangely enough, I was inspired by Taylor Swift on this. And anyway, pitched it to Jam, who you know. Who the next day lined up Rikki and we all had a hilarious brainstorm and we were off raging.
Did you feel the power of the sticks between you two? (Director and Animator Rikki is also a drummer in Australian punk band, Sweetie)
Ben: Hundred per cent. It’s like, drummers unite. Drummers are the unsung heroes of the world. Powerhouses, one drummer recognising another drummer’s talents and coming together to make something magical.
When are you both going to have a drum-off?
Rikki: when lockdown’s over, we’re on.
Gillies will be the Cadbury Gorilla.
Gillies: Yeah head to head, staring each other down.
Finally, what distractions have you got this afternoon?
Rikki: Well, this afternoon, it’s our anniversary, mine and Will’s so we’re going to have cocktails and a cheese plater and do a cook up and you know just
Ben: Ohhhhhhh wooooooo ye ye yi yi yeh ya ye ye. So Rikki’s is having a romantic evening…
And Gillies, you’re having a nice traditional Mexican meal, I assume?
Ben: You know it, there’s always hot fresh tortillas in the Gillies household.