Remember that time you fell in love with a beautiful car, you know, the classic 80s Porsche… Well Nick Rutter certainly does, reminding us in his odd and beautiful ‘Puzzle’. Following on from previous collaboration ‘Without You’ was never going to be straightforward, a lost gimp in love is a hard act to follow but the synergy between Nick’s narratives and Lapalux’s dreamy journeys means (literally) anything is possible.
Continued partnerships between artist and director are a constant source of enjoyment here at WIC, well when done right, so we immediately got in touch with Nick. After a chat about drones (coming soon…) we got down to business as Nick explains the trust he and Stu (Lapalux) have, how he chose the car and why he cast James Eeles.
Word Is Cheap: How long have you known Lapalux? What is it about his music that works so well with your narratives?
Nick Rutter: I’ve known Stu for a couple of years since we made the video for ‘Without You’ – His music is evocative, it has space for the imagination and listeners to interact, narratives bubble without prompting. That’s if you’re listening properly. It also helps that Stu trusts my ideas and is 100% behind the creative process, this is actually probably the most important aspect for me in serving a narrative to the music.
WIC: Your promos together are always odd and delightful, do you have an open brief on the projects?
NR: I’m pleased they delight you and ‘odd’ is a great compliment, who wants to be ‘even’ hey? In regards to a brief, Stu and I sit down and he tells me about his themes and aesthetics’ of the album, it’s all very casual and we basically brain storm ideas and talk about films and things we love. What kept popping up was Blade Runner & Lost Highway. After that I go away, think & write. We don’t rush the process; it takes lots of time. We keep a dialogue going while I’m writing, things stay loose and continually change, for instance I wrote loads of ideas for other tracks. I initially wanted to make a 40 minute film that would span all the albums music, but in reality we realised we didn’t have enough resources or time so we focused on one track. Stu really wanted to do something for Puzzle, so I pitched a few initial one-paragraph ideas and Stu went with MECHANOPHILIA. Stu’s extremely positive and that helps me enjoy the writing part so much. We’re on the level, whatever that means.
WIC: With the narrative centred around a car, how and why did you choose the white Porsche?
NR: Well… the car wasn’t actually my initial preference. I had a Testarossa in my head but by chance when I passed a vintage cars garage in Bermondsey I saw a white 80’s 944 Porsche being sprayed. It jumped out at me. It was the one. I left me number with the garage owner and that afternoon the cars owner, Dawud Shereef called and said; yeah, why not and donated his car for the production! Dawud you are a legend. I suppose I just liked the white being less obvious a choice.
WIC: How did you approach the challenge of a car driving itself?
NR: You’ll have to ask the Car that question.
WIC: Having previously cast Natalia Tena, and this time James Eeles, what is it about using known actors that appeals to you?
NR: Actors are known for a reason. It’s about finding good actors who fit the idea I suppose. James just connected with this one. Hmmmm? Sorry James.
WIC: With dialogue narrative a constant strength of yours, do you see yourself ever going into TV?
NR: Yes. I would love an opportunity in TV. I’d love to direct TV like ‘Inside Number 9’, ‘Top of the Lakes’ or ‘Black Mirror’.