Danny Elfman Shares Crazy Video for New Track “Insects” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Danny Elfman Shares Crazy Video for New Track “Insects”

Big Mess Due Out June 11 via ANTI-/Epitaph

May 25, 2021
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Film composer (and former Oingo Boingo frontman) Danny Elfman is releasing his first new solo album in 37 years, Big Mess, on June 11 via ANTI-/Epitaph. Now he has shared the album’s final pre-release single, “Insects,” via a crazy animated video for the song. “Insects” is actually a reworked version of an old Oingo Boingo song of the same name, originally found on their 1982-released second album, Nothing to Fear. Check out the video for the new version below.

“In the beginning of 2020 I was preparing a live show for Coachella. I’d been looking for old Boingo songs that connected to the dystopian nightmare I found myself immersed in at that moment in time living in America,” Elfman explains in a press release. “As I played around with different songs it occurred to me that ‘Insects’ made sense. Who were the ‘Insects,’ the blood suckers of today? It was obvious to me—they all hived together in Washington and seemed to thrive on sucking the rational sense of reality out of our brains.”

Sam and Andy Rolfes directed the “Insects” video, which the press release says was “created by puppeting over 80 contorted creatures in VR in which we follow Danny’s character inside a brightly colored game engine and digital world.”

“Every microsecond of waking life, a relentless digital swarm of information and virtual noise slowly consumes our minds, rendering us like insects being driven by manic buzzing stimuli,” adds Sam Rolfes. “That said, more legs means better dancing. The video for ‘Insects’ starts off very ordinarily, following Danny Elfman as he gets ready for the day, meets some friends for lunch, but then is slowly consumed by a ravenous swarm of online static.”

In October of last year Elfman shared the album’s “Happy,” which was his first solo single in 36 years. Since then he’s shared four other singles that show up on Big Mess: “Sorry,” “Love in the Time of Covid,” “Kick Me,” and “True.” But don’t worry there are 18 tracks in all on the album, so there are still 12 more songs to discover.

The album came together during the 2020 COVID-19 quarantine. “Once I began writing,” Elfman explained in a previous press release, “it was like opening a Pandora’s box and I found I couldn’t stop. None of it was planned. I had no idea how many songs I would write but from the start it quickly became a two-sided project with heavily contrasting and even conflicting tones.”

Elfman’s last solo album was 1984’s So-Lo. Since then he’s been a prolific film composer, often working with Tim Burton (Batman, Batman Returns, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Dumbo, and many more), but also working with plenty of other filmmakers on many big films (the original version of Justice League, Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, Good Will Hunting, all four Men in Black movies, Milk, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, Hulk, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, among a multitude of others).

Big Mess also features drummer Josh Freese (Devo, Wheezer, The Vandals), bassist Stu Brooks (Dub Trio, Lady Gaga, Lauryn Hill), and guitarists Robin Finck (Nine Inch Nails, Guns N’ Roses) and Nili Brosh (Tony MacAlpine, Paul Gilbert).

Even though the album is due out in June, Elfman will also be releasing a limited edition Big Mess box set this fall. It will feature unreleased remixes and alternate versions of songs, as well as collectable artwork, a USB with video content and bonus material, and an artbook “featuring Sarah Sitkin’s original creations and never before seen photos and ephemera.”

Summing up the album, Elfman said: “I knew from the start that this wasn’t going to be a neat, easy-to-categorize record. It was always destined to be this crazy cacophony, because that’s who I am. The Big Mess is me.”

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