Joe Lynch has just directed arguably the finest Faith No More music video for Sunny Side Up, and the Everly and Knights of Badassdom director and “self-professed dork and all around lover of cinema”took time out to speak to Faith No More 2.0 about the video and the process involved.
How does a young horror fan from Long Island end up directing a Faith No More music video?
Never giving up on dreams, that’s the simple answer. That band got me through some hard times over the years, and after never giving up on the idea to make a video for FNM. Personally, I think my sheer force of will is what magically got the band back together, make such an amazing album with SOL INVICTUS and going on an epic tour, so…your welcome!
Are you a fan of the band?
They’re my favorite band of all time so I think the answer there is an obvious “Fuck yes!”
As far as I can tell, this only your second music video – is this something you want to do more of it or is it a one-off for Faith No More?
Actually I’ve done about 25! I’ve done music videos since around 99, my first being a live video for Trey and Matt from SOUTH PARK where I shot their Sundance show when they played as DVDA, my “What Would Brian Boitano Do?” video was my first taste of a “pro” video of sorts but of course it wasn’t anything special. My second video was for the goth metal band gODHEAD which was fun but both of those were super low-budget affairs. Then I created the Heavy Metal show URANIUM at Fuse and became friendly with a lot of bands, so when I moved out to Los Angeles in 2002, I began to do a bunch of clips for bands like 311, Sugarcult, Kataklysm, DevilDriver, Pete Yorn, Vext, Strapping Young Lad…it was a great time even if the budgets were shrinking, which forced me to be even more creative to use what we had, which was usually 59 cents and a roll of duct tape.
Is music video a dying art?
Yes and no. Gone are the days of Million Dollar videos since that kind of exposure on MTV is saved for reality shows. But now YouTube and online outlets are dying for content so music videos are flourishing online. I mean, look at Faith No More’s last few videos in the late 90’s. I didn’t see most of them because they were out at a time when the market was flooded and there wasn’t a Headbangers Ball or even a 120 Minutes, specialty shows that played their clips in the past, so I was able to finally see them on YouTube. So for a while people said videos were dead because they had no outlet to be seen, but now YouTube and great looking video encoding has given us a new venue. Once someone figures out how to make more money off of that route, I think budgets will go up again.
Did you come up with the concept and approach the band or how did the initial process work?
The band had the initial seed of the idea and some bullet points as to what they wanted to see and I ran with it. I knew this was an old chestnut of an idea but I just wanted to focus on what I wanted to see and how we wanted to Celebrate Life on the eve of these old folks’ twilight years. Hey old people can party too! That was the main theme.
Was having the band played as an older band in a retirement home a tongue-in-cheek reference to their comeback and their own advancing years?
I think its what you want to bring to the table with it. Personally, I think it was just another element of the band’s unique sense of humor, that they don’t take themselves seriously (in terms of being images in the public eye) whereas their music craft is taken very seriously when they make it. But the lyrics are sometimes hilarious, juxtaposed with harder chords or arrangements, so I knew we had to have fun with it. And yeah, here’s a band we have all known for decades almost, if we don’t comment a little on their “Golden Age” we’d be missing out. So it was a combination of ideas but I’d rather let the audience take away what they want from it.
The band do not appear in the video (unless I have missed some cameos) – were they involved in the conception or did you have a free hand?
Again it was their initial basic idea and they also said “We can’t be in the video, we’re on tour.” So I then set out to cast people who didn’t necessarily look like the band (which in and of itself could be a comment on aging in the public eye), I just wanted actors who could play (or fake it good). When I sent the guys their “older selves” even thinking they won’t like it because these guys don’t look necessarily like the band, they just went “PERFECT! The less like us the better!” which is when i thought I needed slight iconography, like Mike’s bullhorn or Bordin’s gloves, to have a slight connection to the band.
The casting is inspired. Richard Johnson as Mike Patton has his moves and mannerisms down pat? Tell us more about the casting and the method approach of the actors. (Where the band involved in this?)
My producer Sarah (who is also the nurse in the film, that multitasker!) was in charge of getting the guys and sent me a short list of actors who could play or could sing. Richard came in and immediately I knew he had that Patton charisma. When we cast him he had already watched a ton of videos with Mike in it so when we rehearsed I was thinking “This guy is PERFECT.” And he was!
Were the band pleased with the final result?
There is no greater feeling in the world when your favorite band in the world sends you an email saying “Thank you. This is awesome.” We has a few TINY notes but having done a bunch of videos in the past Im used to a long notes process. There was one round of notes and that was it. Super rare and Im so glad the band loved it!
Where and when was the video filmed?
A few weeks ago in Santa Clarita. We didn’t have a lot of time and money so it was getting help from friends and while finding a place on the cheap wasn’t easy, it ended up being perfect for our needs.
Are any similarities with the band’s last music video – I Started a Joke which also features someone else on stage ventriloquizing their song – a deliberate homage?
Nope. Honestly, like I mention before, I never saw that video! Shocking I know since they’re my favorite band but it just never occurred to me that they even made one for that single, I just knew the song. When I saw it after I finished post there was a moment of “Dammit” but then I also was confident in our own little beast. Besides this is what the band wanted so they likely knew they were treading down somewhat familiar territory but honestly I think this video hammers the idea of not using the band here even better than the “Joke” video, which I did enjoy.
Where can we get some of that medication?
Hire that nurse! Do you have a thick envelope of money? Im sure I can hook you up! 🙂
What is next for you? Have you new projects in the pipeline?
Nothing I can say right now, damn those NDA’s. But its working with something else I absolutely loved when I was a kid so cross your fingers I get to make another dream come true!