Brando recently hosted a Halloween screening party at Radio Radio for their new film The Strangler. Q: Why was it felt that film should accompany the new Brando material?
We just thought it would be a blast to introduce the new songs long before studio completion just to let people know we were still hard at work. If you read our reviews over the years, people constantly refer to our albums as soundtracks for some freaky Todd Solondz movie. And Brando songs are all about still shots and imagery; there isn’t any seamless story. So a movie with abstract imagery sounded perfect.
Q: And the name?
For me at least, The Strangler represents the suffocating realities of a myriad of emerging challenges for those of us “running out of time.” Getting older — the feeling that both musically and personally, time is growing short/tight. In the music business, 30 years old is very old. Practically ancient. And so with life. The clock is ticking. It’s a melodramatic metaphor, really. We’re all slaves to time. Smart people ignore the clock. Guess I’m not that smart.
Q: How was the footage chosen?
The amazing thing is that there are tons of independent artists, photographers and movie makers out there that are doing unreal work. So it wasn’t very hard to find the right material to go along with the song themes. And in some cases, I just sent Kenny clips and random imagery that he worked into the movie; so he had to interpret the message I wanted to deliver in a deliberate way. He did an amazing job of synchronizing a lot of footage with the message and imagery of the songs. A lot of the footage also comes from ’50s, ’60s and ’70s public stock footage available to anyone if you look for it. The Blue’s Clues guy also tuned us into particular sites where vast public footage was available for free.
Q: Do you have a background/interest in film?
I love movies! I am a movie addict. I especially love the old black and white movies and modern abstract movies. The first song on the Headless Horseman Is a Preacher is called “The Fight Club Song.” That movie really changed the way I saw things for a week.
Q: There seemed to be a predominant feminine centricity of images and footage used in the film. The purpose?
Oh. Yes. You’re right. The truth is, I’m a cynic. But if you scratch a cynic, you’ll find a disappointed romantic. So my view of the opposite sex is a cynical one but deep down inherently romantic, hopeful. That’s a contradiction: futility and hope. But so is life. So I wanted to portray a series of different views of the wonder that is femininity. So, there was imagery that was strong, independent, beautiful, caring and tender. Likewise, there is also imagery of weakness, betrayal, vanity and selfishness. And somewhere between good and evil is temptation. I suppose I could have done a movie that was focused on men or politics, but those aren’t affairs of the heart for me. I’ll leave that for Jon Stewart.