Hesta Prynn Talks "Can We Go Wrong" and More
Wed, 13 Oct 2010 09:57:21
Hesta Prynn Videos
Like great artists of all media, Hesta Prynn never stops morphing and evolving.
Her new music video for "Can We Go Wrong" is emblematic of that constant evolution. Helmed by Randy Scott Slavin, the video is a combination of 13,000 still photographs featuring Miss Prynn slinking through a New York City park, playing missile command in the sky and wearing all kinds of kooky lipstick.
Then there's her latest track, "Bury Your Bones", an eerie pop ditty that feels like it was pulled right from The Rosemary's Baby soundtrack. It's one of her most unforgettable songs yet. Drawing from influences as diverse as The Exorcist and The Wu-Tang Clan, Hesta Prynn is the kind of visionary who could change pop music for good. She's like music's equivalent of Quentin Tarantino—a sonic sorceress with disparate influences that make perfect sense under spell. In other words, she's exactly what the world needs now…
Hesta Prynn sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino for an exclusive interview about the video for "Can We Go Wrong," "Bury Your Bones", Cannibal Holocaust and so much more…
How did the concept for the "Can We Go Wrong" video come about?
The director Randy Scott Slavin and I grew up in the same town. I was in the car on tour, telling my friend about how I really needed a video. Then, I got a text message from Randy asking if I had a video for "Can We Go Wrong." I was like, "No, I don't. That's weird." He said, "I want to make a video with you." He made a video for our mutual friend, so I met with him. I told him that I liked things that were weird, off and different. He had this idea, and we genuinely vibed. I wanted to put in gaming references, and Randy knows that I love '70s horror. He toned the video so it resembled that style of things being "off." We basically made a high school-style art project. Randy took 13,000 pictures of me and made a video out of it. I wanted it to be a little disturbing though like everything I do. I think this video accurately represents me as an artist and what I'm trying to make. We shot it all on a fancy still camera. I'm doing all kinds of weird shit in slow motion. I'm excited about it!
Where do the lyrics and the visuals converge?
It's funny. The song's about things that aren't right—maybe it's your romantic relationship, your relationship with your city, your job, yourself or whatever. You know it's not right, but you're staying in that place regardless. I wrote "Can We Go Wrong" about pushing on that bruise. You know something's wrong, but you're still living in that place. It feels creepy, but I like feeling that way sometimes [Laughs]. When I slide off the stage and the fences in the video, it looks wrong. It's like in The Exorcist when Regan comes down the stairs backwards on her feet and hands. Your body shouldn't move like that. They're impossible positions to be in, but in photographs you can force yourself in positions like that. The song encompasses my relationship with the city too.
You're in this dream space watching the video. It doesn't feel retro or dated; it's very modern.
That's how it should feel! I make music, and it has a '90s feel yet it's modern. I'm mixing all of those things together. The lipstick colors are weird. I'm wearing colors that you don't normally wear on your face like yellow. I wanted the video to feel interesting and visually pleasing, but in that disturbing space. We did that by doing those abnormal physical positions and unique colors of makeup. It's that dream space of tripping out and experiencing things that aren't really right, but you should enjoy watching the video. The song is about enjoying the turbulence. That's what keeps life interesting.
Where is the new music headed?
I'm still writing about books and movies. I'm really trying to play with the rhythms like I do in "Seven Sisters" and "Can We Go Wrong." I'm a little turned-off by things that sound like normal, straight-forward songs. Without rapping and being too weird, I'm trying to bring in different vocal rhythms that can still fit inside a pop framework and be pleasing to the ear. I'm trying to focus on creative ways to use my voice. "Old Boy" will have elements of that. I'm really excited about that because the chorus is going to sound weird and cool.
What's the story behind "Old Boy?"
Well, I read The Shining and I loved it! I thought it was amazing, and it really inspired me. I tried to write a little bit personally, and I wrote that song about those immature feelings you get when you're angry, jealous, mad and you just want to lash out. I use the term "Old Boy," as a grown-up child. I thought it was interesting how Jack couldn't control himself. He stopped having the capability to control himself, and the hotel was encouraging him. He lashed out at his wife and child. He was so angry and spoiled almost. I can relate to that as someone in the music business. I've been in the business for a minute, and I've had ups and downs. It can be really hard to go into an ugly immature place of feeling angry on certain days, and that holds true for any business. I used some of the imagery in the book, but I was trying to write about what it's like when I feel that way. Because it's an unattractive feeling and it's a little creepy.
What else is on tap for you?
There's a song called "Turn it Gold" that I wrote about partying with your friends in the summer. It's a summer song. "Motive" is a creepy stalker-y song. It's a cool, weird track. I just watched Cannibal Holocaust for the first time. The rape scenes were the most disturbing parts. I was nervous to watch it [Laughs].
How did "Bury Your Bones" come about?
I was asked to write a song for the Volcom movie, 9191, which focuses on snowboarder Gigi Ruf. The song ended up being the single of the soundtrack. It's a slow song. Gigi said, "When you're on the mountain, death is your partner up there." He basically said when they all heard the song, I somehow tapped into that, and that's why there we all connected to it. The song highlighted that feeling of what it's like to be a snowboarder alone on the mountain.
Have you heard Hesta Prynn yet?