MAX MCCABE TALKS DRENGE - TEXT LUKE TIERNEY
Max McCabe returns to the ring with comedy on his mind. Along with concrete. Not since ever has an educational video looked so good. Shot on 16mm, Drenge "perform" whilst infographics pop up with the knowledge. The tone is at every point on point supported by crash zooms galore. Much like concrete the music video is made up of an odd set of parts that together make a solid, perfectly alternative, effort.
We sat down with Max to chat about his influences, why 16mm film and cement.
Word Is Cheap: A cement factory is not a typical place to set a music video, why and how did you choose it?
Max McCabe: It was Eoin's (Eoin Loveless, the frontman of the band) idea. We were talking about how a lot of their videos have a very strong sense of place. This song is about the Hope Valley in Derbyshire, where the band grew up. The factory was a big part of the landscape they grew up in and as soon as I saw that chimney rising up out of the trees, I was on board.
our chaperones were unbelievably nice and helpful and they kept giving us little tidbits of information throughout the shoot
WIC: The video has elements of informative videos they make you watch at school, did researching concrete facts give you a new found respect for it or did it make never want to see a piece of concrete again?
MM: It was an insanely dangerous location to shoot in (we had helmets, earplugs, gloves, etc.) but our chaperones were unbelievably nice and helpful and they kept giving us little tidbits of information throughout the shoot. We came away with all this great trivia about concrete and put it straight into the video.
WIC: Why did you decide to shoot on 16mm film?
MM: The way the factory sits at the bottom of this valley, surrounded by all the purple heather and fog, there is an amazing contrast in all the different textures and 16mm seemed like the only option to bring that across. By going really grainy, that's what started to lead us down the route of making it like an educational video.
WIC: The grade is incredibly on point, why did you mute the colours?
MM: That's actually a really boosted grade; Sheffield is much greyer than that in real life. Julien Biard at Finish knocked it out of the park.
WIC: One of the YouTube comments describes it as reminding them of the dark industrial vibes in the starting credits of Borat in a good way. What were your influences, and did they include Borat?
MM: I love Youtube commenters. The band have a really offbeat sense of humour, so our key references were HOW IT'S MADE and KIKAIDA, which is mainly shot in quarries and involves a lot of zooms.