Last Rites

Surreal Stop-Motion Music Video for Cult Rock Band, of Montreal

American rock group of Montreal are one of those bands who are notoriously difficult to pin down in terms of style. There’s more than a hint of psychedelic undertones throwing back to the 60s, but when you’ve been around the block like of Montreal have, you have to adapt to stay fresh. Last Rites at the Jane Hotel the latest single from their 13th studio album, Aureate Gloom, is at once innovative and yet quintessential of Montreal.

In order to bring perennial frontman, Kevin Barnes’s lilting lyricism and wistful but disturbingly dark imagery to life visually, a leftfield and daring director will always be needed. London based, Royal College of Art graduate, Matthew Cooper, was just the man for the job, having worked with of Montreal previously. Matthew employed the talents of artists Michiko Suzuki, Samuel Pepys and Tom Moglu to hand paint the wooden sets and characters, which he then animated, giving the video a very distinctive aesthetic.

“I did have pretty much total free reign, which I’m very grateful for,” explains Matthew. “The only request I had from the band was to make it weirder and more grotesque!” There’s certainly a slightly chilling undercurrent to the gaudily-coloured video, with the end result resembling something of the Bates Motel on a bad trip. “It’s a bubblegum technicolour nightmare,” surmises Matthew.

He told us more about this surreal stop-motion video:

The Plus: How would you describe the style of the video?
Matthew Cooper:
I’m not sure what I would call the style, but I had a lot of fun trying to use my subconscious ideas about the song. Some of the scenes were stylised depictions of dreams.


TP: Were there any particular inspirations?
I definitely had the old arcade game Space Harrier in mind when making the skeleton riding towards the horizon. It gave me the idea that rather than having to make an extremely deep set, scenery can simply pop up from the horizon line.

TP: What kind of music do you listen to?
Recently I’ve been listening to the record Forever Changes by Love a lot and also to a band called Vexx from Olympia Washington.

TP: How does working on a music video compare to say commercial work?
It gave me the chance to try out ideas without having to tie them into promoting a product. It was an indulgence that I’m not used to and a lot of fun.

TP: Any other exciting things coming up?
At the moment I’m working on a commercial project, but I’d love to have the chance to work with more musicians in the future.