An interview with M Blash (by Katie)
I interviewed M Blash about making the Hurt Me Now video. We talk about Medusa, his friends in Portland, and the corporate funding that we never got.
Where did you get the idea for the Medusa?
i was talking to Romy (lightman) about different ideas and things we had been reading and looking at lately and somehow medusa came up. I was afraid of medusa when i was a kid and i thought it would be cool to see her at show and rip her head off.
Is there a story in this video that could explain a bit? I know there was a whole story behind the LOSE IT video about saving the world from a bomb attack but its pretty difficult to decipher just from watching it.
this story changed so much because there was so little money then the corporate money came in then it went away when we decided not to “clean it up” to their standards. then the story shifted, eventually you end up with the pieces that last… i really wanted to show a discordant dance party around a song. kind of show the loners who show up at something that isn’t cool enough for the masses. and have this family drama too, with the girls i call the “gossip vertices” - the blonde women who are abandoned by their mother. so there really isn’t a story. i wanted to riff off all the sexy dance videos happening lately but have the girls hold up SOS signs. i just think its funny how many sexy girl videos are out there or how they’ve been pressured to show their booties a lot in the vid world… or maybe they want to show their booties. booties are cool and all but i was kind of riffing off that. maybe its a cry for help, thats why they do the SOS thing.
When we approached you about doing another video we wanted to see if you would make the video for HOME but you were only interested in working on HURT ME NOW. What struck you about this song?
the beat stuck with me. i wanted to show people dancing. i had just been through some sadness in my life and so the beat was attractive.
Did you have ideas that you wanted to put to film before we approached you? Or did all the inspiration come from the music?
from the music and from talking to Romy. but then it all changed a million times up to when we were shooting. i never know who’s gonna actually show up, so i just wing it. i don’t like to plan too much and make things look too fancy.
I feel like this video took forever to make cause the original funding didn’t work out, the company thought the images of ladies dancing and the medusa was gonna be too much for them. Doesn’t that seem pretty crazy now? And they must regret it cause the video is so sick.
haha, yeah that was weird. i rememeber going to a meeting in NYC so we could get the funding and they were really into the idea, then a few days later they sent notes saying we had to remove this and that and this and REALLY? for a music video! haha, so we said no and just made it really with nothing and had to shed some of the bigger set-ups.
Actually, nobody really wanted to fund this video becuase HMN isn’t a real single, so you and I both ended up putting our own money in to make it work. I think its cool that both of us really felt like this video had to happen, despite the fact it didn’t fit in the regular band-marketing formula. It feels like it has a greater purpose. What do you think about it?
yeah, its alway better to do things that way if you can. i did it, cause i love you guys and the song and i wanted to work with Ashby and my other friends from Portland. I feel really safe in portland so that i guess plays into the story/song…. Ashby plays Medusa and one of the Blonde women (along with her real sister and mom). Also the prod. company Burbank Gamma Ray is really supportive of doing random projects like this.
How did you find the cast members? I knew some of them before cause most of them have some connection with the Portland Queer scene. Was everyone in the video a friend of yours?
Everyone was a friend of mine except the four female dancers were new people i met and all the teenage boys. that would be funny if they were all my friends. but yeah, they are portland artists and performers: Brenna Murphy (standing still woman), Nour Mobarak (peek-a-boo woman), Daniel Long (dancing man) and Ashby Lee Collinson (medusa and gossip vertices #2) and Paul Parson (motor bike man)
How did you find the location?
its a space in Porltand called Yale Union. they have art shows and music shows and other events there. i’ve always loved the building and saw Charles Curtis perform there a few months before and thought it would work and be sparse enough.
I hope that we get to make more videos together. I have dreams that our music becomes synonymous with your video work, kinda like MIA and Roman Gavras. Would you be into working together again or were you scarred by all the hurdles we had to go through to make this video exist?
i would do it again for sure.