Animal Nation cook up video 

Catch the premiere at the Savage Beagle Nov. 8

click to enlarge eat it up Animal Nation pose with their lasagna puppet on the set of their latest video, set for a Nov. 8 premiere at the Savage Beagle. Photo submitted
  • eat it up Animal Nation pose with their lasagna puppet on the set of their latest video, set for a Nov. 8 premiere at the Savage Beagle. Photo submitted

Traditional music TV stations might rarely play actual videos anymore, (yet another reason to despise Jersey Shore) but the art of pairing film with song has continued to flourish online.

Just ask Garnet Clare, one half of the Whistler hip hop duo Animal Nation, who dutifully trudged out to the woods with a video camera in hand once a week for four months last year to make the beautiful, if unsettling, clip for "Somebody That I Used to Know." The six-minute piece earned screenings at the Whistler Film Festival and North By North East in Toronto, but when Clare watches it now, "I'm like, 'Oh my God, why did I do that?'" he says. "I never want to do anything like that again. It was so labour intensive."

So when director Chris Lazar (not pronounced Lazer, like the pair hoped) approached the group to say he was a fan of their work and wanted to create a video for one of their songs, they were primed to jump on board. "We checked out his other videos and they were awesome and we said, 'We're giving you full reign. Go nuts.' I think it was partly in response to the last video," Clare explains.

Lazar applied for and received a grant from Much Music to shoot the video for the group's "The Lasagna Song," an ode to the comfort food. "He chose a song about lasagna and a song about condoms, so we chose to go with the funny one," Clare adds.

The duo travelled to Toronto at the beginning of the month — making a stop in Regina for the Western Canadian Music Awards where they were passed over for rap/hip hop recording of the year — to shoot the clip in a glamorous rented house in a "kind of seedy area."

"The whole thing was basically a glorified cooking show where we have this studio kitchen that we set up with really bright lights and bright vegetables and fruits," Clare says. "(I) dressed up in a really bright chef suit and then Mike (Armitage, the other half of the pair) was puppeteering a lasagna."

It was a simple concept and they even got to fly home with a new puppet pal. "The (puppet) lady made two of them: one burned, one not, so we got to keep one and the director got to keep one. We had to put him in the x-ray machine," Clare says.

In celebration of the hassle-free video, the group is screening their new clip at the Savage Beagle Nov. 8 and playing a set with MC Lozen afterward. There is a chance it will make it into the Much Music rotation, but they will also post it online after the party. "With YouTube now it's almost like (music videos) are more important," Clare adds. "As opposed to watching Much Music and staying up 'til three in the morning to see the local indie artist that might come on, you can go on YouTube and watch it 30 times in a row."

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