Fresh from Charlottsville, Virginia, husband and wife team of Dave Gibson and Renee Reighart (along with drummer Adam Brock [Y’ALL, Borrowed Beams of Light], guitarist Brian Hoffa [Broken Hips], and keyboardist Kris Hough [The Hilarious Posters]) gathered their digital pitchforks and L.E.D. torches to form Weird Mob. Music for the intellectual masses, their debut full-length album Wizards (Hibernator Gigs) is unleashed today and it is an album for dreamers based off of the eclectic perception of reality and escapist means from true reality. This band bends prog and synth pop music and re-casts it into a modern brilliance filled with a bonfire of fantastical visions.
Selective Memory is proud to premiere the new video for their song “Hang It Up,” a punchy and welcoming retreat you will want to watch over and over and bask in its visual antiquities. I asked Dave and Renee a few questions about the video and their album.
Tell us about Wizards and how the album came about? This is your debut album, what was it like putting together an album like this?
Dave: Wizards was about a two year undertaking. We released our debut EP in February 2013 and by that time I had a few of the songs written that would ultimately end up on this record. Due to the fact that Renee and I both have full time jobs (as does every other member of the band) we sort of just worked in fits and starts, writing and recording when we could find the time and energy. In fact, you can almost tell where my head was during all the phases of the record. The older songs tend to be new wave-y, the middle songs were the sort of synth-y electronic sounding songs and the last few we wrote for the record were more prog influenced. Overall, I think it gives the record a nice variety of sounds
Being married, and encompassed by subtly the same career field (librarians), how did that play into making this album and why do it in the first place?
Dave: I could argue that one of the good things about the library career path is that it isn’t so all encompassing that you don’t have time for some creative pursuits. I think Renee and I both love art and film and music and it was our love of these things that pushed us into jobs through which we could preserve and provide access to art in a library setting. At the same time we’re creatively inspired by all of the things we encounter in our working lives. I like to think that we inspire each other creatively as well and I think that we’re both driven to bring out the best in each other artistically. It’s hard not to create when you’re surrounded by some of the greatest works of film and recorded sound as I am all day at work.
The video for “Hang It Up” appears to be influenced equally from the film Elysium and the proposed Mars One Program (if I am correctly reading into it). Why do those two things fascinate you and how do those play into each other? What does this say about the human spirit in context of the song?
Renee: I know nobody else likes Elysium, but I did. The concept that your quality of life is determined by who you are and what you can pay for has always been interesting to me. And that certain subcultures can’t exist without the mainstream culture of excess. I tried to bring out some similar themes in the video, but as it’s edited from existing source material, you have to work with what you can find.
You are not shy on the idea of research. How did the Internet play out to constructing the video footage and inspiration for it?
Renee: There’s nothing like a day job with fiber internet to help you prod the depths of archive.org. I spend a fair amount of time on there collecting and grouping existing material that could potentially go together. There were a couple of scenarios that didn’t work out. The process of editing together archival footage involves a lot of trial and error and is very much an intuitive process. I tried to at least build a basic narrative through the editing which involves the government creating something that scientists then study as if it’s something not of this Earth. It relates to the song in that it refers to the human obsession with aliens and otherness which is so great that we end up creating our own aliens just so that we can will them into existence. We included footage from a documentary about a jazz fusion band as well just to ground the whole thing and to remind people that they’re watching a music video.
Now that the album is officially out, what do you two have planned for the rest of 2015?
Dave: We’re hoping to play a lot more shows and to make a few more videos, which we enjoy doing as much as we enjoy recording music. We have a few other musical projects we would like to pursue as well, including an instrumental electronic album inspired by old library music records which we hope to release under a different name before the year is through.