Written by Zac Abid
SkipFiction is happy to premier Ape Not Kill Ape’s new music video for the song “Flesh.” Directed by Valerie Salerno of local band Sojii and filmed by Andy Miller of Orange Cap Productions, the video contrasts two scenes. In one, we witness a surreal sequence where a group of people dance in the forest. In another, we see a person wander alone in a forlorn frozen wilderness. The video is the 11th in a series that compliments the bands album “Bushman,” released in April 2017. We sat down and talked to Valerie Salerno about the process of creating the video.
This interview has been edited for grammar and clarity.
How did you end up doing the music video for “Flesh”? Did you choose this song or did the band ask you to do the music video for it?
Valerie Salerno: Adis from ANKA wanted a different director for each video for “Bushman”. He’s known I’ve been trying to do some film so he asked which song I wanted to shoot. I picked “Flesh” I think. I think that’s how that happened.
What elements of “Flesh” stood out to you the most? How did this inspire the music video?
VS: I love the play on silence and space, then the groove of the chorus. The lyrics are an odyssey to me.
It seems like discovering how to move around in your reality, gaining control of your life and legacy, and eventually subsiding to time by stepping aside and letting the young take over. So I had an idea for this allegory, but kinda took this bizarre turn.
What was the process of creating this music video like?
VS: The process was intense. Me and Andy (from Orange Cap Productions, the filmographer if you will) sewed these costumes by hand that I envisioned. I was very much inspired by Philip Decouflé. I wanted to do odd choreography with surreal costumes and movement. I got to do some of this. It sort of evolved into something different than I had conceived originally. We set location and shot it. The fall part was brutal because the actors were almost naked and it was very early in the morning. They understandably were very cold.
The visuals strike me as meant to compliment the trippiness and desolation of the song’s lyrics. Were the visuals purely aesthetic or was there more to it?
VS: You’re right. There was a story line to coincide with the lyrics. I stuck to that theoretic aspect, and aesthetics just follow I suppose.
The video features two settings: a group of people in the forest and a person alone in a barren wintery landscape. Were there any specific thematic elements at play here?
VS: I’m glad you mentioned that. The weather aspect was not premeditated. We just kept having to push back shooting for reasons. The “dancers” as I call them are the fluid chaos of nature, the wintry hunter is the rigidity of time.
How do you think this experience will shape any future visual art projects down the line?
VS: I didn’t have enough money to get close to what I had in my head. It’s okay, because that becomes a part of the piece I suppose. For the next film or visual I make, I want to take the time to at least stay true to the vision.