STALIN, the Transgressive, Experimental Rock Band hailing from San Francisco finds even more success as they release their latest video on VEVO and it is a full release at that. Covering multiple genres of music containing metal, alternative, Avant-Garde, industrial and whatever else they feel like doing at any given time, Stalin puts forth a piece of Art, yes ART that may not take them mainstream, but will most assuredly keep them moving upstream!
Stalin and I decided that we would stray from the traditional interview route, and have some fun with the questions. Despite our differences, these guys played along well as we discussed their latest music video ‘California’ amongst other things. Enjoy the interview AND THE VIDEO!
So let’s get into your new music video featuring the titled track ‘California’. Why is one of the members wearing a “Fuck Indie” t-shirt? Are you guys not a fan of The Shins, Bright Eyes, or the Pixies? Why the hate?
We’re not a fan of the waves and waves of sterile imitator acts that are under the umbrella term ‘indie’ and all of its sub-variants. Like with any movement or aesthetic that hits a wide appeal, it becomes over saturated and the countless imitations ruin the original magic. It’s time for a cultural injection of something new.
But The Shins were formed in ’96 before the indie scene was really formed. How can you hate on that?
We’re not aware that we said anything about The Shins.
The shirt you wore in video said it all though! Anyways, how long did it take for the guitarist to grow out the scum-stache? Do the girls approve?
A few weeks we suppose and of course – repping the 70’s gets you girls around here.
I’ve been to SF before and it does indeed seem like a normal style. What’s the best part about being a band in San Francisco?
We’d have to get back to you on that in a couple of years.
In the video what was the symbolic meaning of the plaque with the owl on it? Is 1933 a special date?
That’s the plaque from our buddies at the Bohemian Club in San Francisco. We highly recommend anyone checks out what that’s all about if they don’t know, it’s quite an interesting establishment.
What makes it such an interesting establishment?
It’s a hang out pad for the world’s economic and political elite. All of the power behind the throne kicks it every 2 weeks in July in Monte Rio, CA in a 150 year old event sponsored by the Bohemian Club.
The first beverage we see is Ciroc. Are you guys a fan of Ciroc? I feel like most rock bands would be into Jack.
Ciroc is great. You guys don’t keep up with things…. most rock bands are sponsored by Jager… Poor Jack may have been abandoned in the early 90s.
Would you guys pass up a sponsorship from Jager?
Definitely. Jager is used as a pesticide in Germany.
I can’t imagine that you’d pass that up. When shooting the video, were you guys trying to go for that cheesy “Spring Breakers” movie image?
In the video there is a girl who is wearing your band’s t-shirt. Was she suppose to be wearing that shirt to show that she was a groupie, or did you forget that she was wearing it?
Her character is that of a fan.
Is she actually a band mate’s girlfriend?
No. She was a last minute replacement found by an outside connection. She was fabulous though, we believe she was an acting student and she portrayed the part marvelously.
I reviewed the video with some friends and we came to a mutual agreement early on that the singer sounds like Ville Valo from HIM and Scott Stapp from Creed. Would you say that’s a good mix?
We don’t hear the similarities. Haha, that’s dreadful though.
Do you guys like Creed?
No. Does anyone outside of the Midwest?
Truth. Was the whole idea of a club styled video supposed to be a joke? You guys don’t come off as a modern day rock band, but rather the image of an older one.
The whole video is a very satirical thing. We don’t come off as modern? We think we’re very modern in the sense that everyone else is still trapped up in vintage, post-grunge, metalcore and glam.
Quickly the scene cuts to a guy chopping up some coke. Are you guys legitimate cocaine addicts, or do you do cocaine to back up your rock image?
Addicts? No, neither.
Did the actor actually snort the coke, or did he pull the illusion where he actually blows it off the side?
It’s best left to the imagination.
So maybe it was just sugar?
It surely is a sweet sensation.
Then it had to be sugar. What size bill did he use? Did he use a George, Abe, Hamilton, Jackson, Grant, or a Benjamin?
Aside from the music video, have you ever wondered where your money has been? Isn’t it nasty to think it has probably been tossed around at strip clubs, or used for drug deals?
Money is dirty, literally and figuratively. But at the same time, it is wonderful.
How is it a beautiful thing?
It’s a powerful illusion. It keeps up the illusion in both good and bad applications, objectively more bad than good. Anything that powerful is beautiful by default and if you accrue enough of it you can almost do whatever you want… all on illusion. Good, or bad.
Interesting. Is the singer wearing leather pants? Where did he get them? I heard H&M has some good deals.
Leather mixed with a bit of nylon if you must know. Versace. You interested in buying the same pair?
I might look into buying a pair. Are they comfortable?
The girl at 1:50 reminds me of the girl that Pedro took to the dance in Napoleon Dynamite. I know you guys were trying to make some underlying references in here…was that one of them?
There’s plenty of underlying references, especially if you pay attention to what is popular in music. Haha, and if that’s what you got from it then that’s great as well.
So basically you guys were trying to take a jab at the modern day headlining music videos?
We feel that we eclipsed ‘trying’ and moved into ‘succeeding’ at that.
What size gages was the girl wearing that the lead singer started to kiss?
I’m thinking 5/8. At what point did you think, “Wow, lets get a scene of me putting unidentified pills in this girls mouth” was a good idea. Aren’t you trying to set a half decent image?
You’ve never popped a Molly in a club or concert?
I can’t say that I have. Speaking of clubs. What’re some of your favorite clubs to play at in SF?
DNA Lounge, Bottom of the Hill, Fillmore.
Is the guy with the mask suppose to represent Satan?
No, he’s supposed to represent in a satirical fashion the Baphomet imagery that is utilized in mainstream music videos. Faux occult. Surely you’ve seen them?
I’m picking up what you’re putting down. What kind of workout plan is that masked man on anyway? He’s jacked. Is he on some p90x?
He just works on a farm in Wyoming. It was his first trip to SF for a few days and he ended up in this video. A proper trip to what remains of SF despite it being neutered by the tech boom. 🙂
So he’s a random that you found, or a friend of the band?
He’s a random that was found. The original person that was going to act that part decided to back out last minute. Actually, we had a lot of last minute back outs and last minute replacements and the best part is that everyone that replaced the originals ended up even better in the end than what was planned. Backstabbers never win though in the end and that’s an important life lesson.
You guys just come off as very frustrated people. What’s wrong?
We’re an extremely happy bunch. Maybe you’re projecting your own frustrations onto us? We’d be glad to send you a bottle of Ciroc to cheer you up.
I’ll believe it when it shows up on my doorstep.
What’s your address? We also live out here in California and as residents of CA, we have first dibs on all of that good sugar that is shipped from Mexico as a joint venture between the Mexican Gov’t, the Sinaloa Corporation and the Eff Bee Eye. Let us know.
I think I’ll pass after all. Any last words or shout outs?
A shout out to you and your site for having us.