To create the video for their new single “Dry Bone Valley,” Atlanta rock icons Mastodon have teamed up with noted fine artist Tim Biskup, a long-time friend who has amassed a cadre of loyal fans and collectors of his painting and sculpture, which boast complex color and design theories and a decidedly populist aesthetic. This collaboration with Mastodon marks Biskup’s first foray into film/video work in nearly six years.
“Doing video for ‘Dry Bone Valley’ was a dream project,” says Biskup, who also designed a hoodie for Mastodon in the past. “The band’s aesthetic has always been interesting and inspiring to me and I think what I do aligns with their music. When I pitched my idea, it was very vague – like a stream-of-consciousness poem – more than a traditional treatment. They were on board from the start and willing to trust me and let me experiment. It let me follow the same kind of path that I go down when I work on improvised paintings and sculptures. I love working on film, but finding people who trust me enough to just let me do my thing is tricky, so I’m thrilled to venture back in with this project.”
“Tim is an old friend of ours and one of my favorite artists,” says Mastodon’s Brann Dailor about working with Biskup. “The opportunity to work with him was unique and very special for us.”
The “Dry Bone Valley” video is “basically about waking up to find yourself being chased by death and having to reckon with dying and what that actually means to you,” Biskup explains. “It’s a life/death metaphor where the girl in the video goes from hunted to hunter. There’s a whole lot more going on metaphorically, and the symbolism goes very deep and is very specific, but I’ll leave the rest up to interpretation.” Watch the new video below:
“Dry Bone Valley” is the second single from Mastodon’s critically acclaimed album The Hunter, which found its way onto several Year End/Best Of critics’ lists, including those compiled by Rolling Stone, Spin, Revolver, and Decibel. Released on September 27th, The Hunter entered the Billboard Top 200 Album chart in the Top 10. The first single, “Curl of the Burl,” has been nominated for a 2012 Grammy Award for “Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance.”
Mastodon and Talenthouse are giving fans a chance to design a “Dry Bone Valley” banner that will be featured on http://mastodonrocks.com and http://facebook.com/mastodon for a month. The winner will also receive a $1,000 prize, while two runners-up will get $500 and be featured in the band’s photo gallery as well. The designs will be chosen by fan votes, Mastodon, and Tim Biskup. Get more information at http://www.talenthouse.com/design-for-mastodon.
At present Mastodon are immersed in an extensive tour of Europe and Australia, which culminates in an appearance at the Soundwave Festival in March. The band is expected to tour the U.S. again this spring. Tour dates will be announced shortly.