Almost three years after We Were One, Columboid is back with a sophomore release, Monster Vision, on La Societe Expeditionnaire. With the upcoming album, due out in June, the group expands on their gritty demeanor. This treats Monster Vision like it is a call to arms. A play on emotions of inner nature versus external forces and how these cosmetic elements correspond and elaborate with each other, these songs work like a Cosmologic treatise; an offset of the One and the Many set to a soundtrack of frantic angularity built upon paranoia and elation. You decide which gets more weight.
The band created a music video for the song “Juicy Mode.” Once you start watching you cannot look away. Based off of the character design of graphic artist Alejandro Bruzzese, a portion of the video is animated by Columboid’s own drummer and keyboardist, Neil Benjamin, an award winning 3D digital artist and director by day and directed by Jorge Torres-Torres.
Columboid – Juicy Mode Video
I had the chance to talk with Torres, Benjamin, and vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Hamilton. We dissected the video and upcoming album.
Tell me about the video and what went in to creating the concept behind it?
Neil: Jorge (the director) is kind of a genius/crazy person when it comes to music videos. As a result, he’s always on the same visual wavelength as our music. He can balance dark elements with subtle joy without a hint of irony. Therefore, his visions for the various videos he made for us have been great. We told him that we could contribute 3d animation to his production arsenal, and he immediately conjured up a video that uses it.
Jorge: I usually try come up with concepts for videos that by tripleing the song’s meaning. I listen to the song many many times until a crazy story story pops in my head. And that’s what you see.
Columboid – Route Notes
You did the animation for the video. Tell me about your animation work, how that developed and the idea behind the end of the video?
Neil: Jorge wanted the dark plot of the video to culminate into some strange semblance of joy. The idea of an entity being created from these various spirits felt to be in tandem with the cover art of the album, so we tried to tie the two together. I motion-captured myself limping around and dancing awkwardly, and used that to animate the creature I built. Even after creating the FX, we didn’t know how it would truly come together in the end. But in Jorge we trust.
Jorge: Neil Benjamin did the effects for the video. We thought it would be a good idea to give life to the monster on the cover of their new album. And so we made the monster a symbol of the afterlife. I have worked with Neil Benjamin several times on films in this music video.
How does this pertain to the ideology behind Columboid’s music?
Neil: We definitely revel in some brooding musical undertones, but I feel like we don’t stay there. We get sort of entranced into the groove we create and at some point we just get high on the discord. I’m hoping people hear us that way too.
Jorge: I’ve known the band for years and I feel that the concepts that I come up with, as far-reaching as they may seem, are really embedded into the core emotion of their music.
Tell me about the new album and how it all came together?
Ryan: When we set out to make the album, we had the idea of going into the studio to record six tracks live. First of all, the idea was to keep things loose, and somewhere along the line things got so loose that we lost two band members, and abandoned the project for six months. It probably ended up being a good thing, because the final ideas that were added are some of the best parts of the album in my opinion.
The album will be released in June. What can we expect following Monster Vision?
Ryan: We’ll be playing some shows locally to support it. There are more videos for Monster Vision in the works. Ultimately, now that the bands line-up has changed to one that we feel is pretty solid, we’re looking forward to going back in the studio as we have a slew of new material that we’re anxious to get down.