“The main concept behind the video is simple and came quite easy: someone puts on night goggles and is transported to a new, colourful, dreamlike world,” explains Mindchatter about his new music video, Night Goggles, out today. But even though he makes it seem so easy, there is much more than meets the eye in this audio-visual piece directed by Wiiki Vicki and Robin Mahieux. Using CGI and 3D techniques, the singer is releasing this single as a preview to an upcoming album that we’ll be able to listen to in a couple of months. In the meantime, enjoy a surrealist, sun-drenched landscape with a holographic sky and impossible events.
You say you’re most creative at night. Did you write/produce Night Goggles and/or other songs during that time? What is it about night time that is so inspiring to you?
I try to lose myself when I’m creating, and that happens more easily in the late hours when everybody is asleep and my to-do list for the day has been put to rest. One little email or social media notification can pull me out of the flow, but at night I can turn my phone on airplane mode and pretend like I’m the only person alive.
The music video is a metaphor for seeing the world through a completely different lens. Is there a particular way you're referencing how you see things or just 'different' than the norm?
I describe seeing things from a more clearheaded, spiritual and optimistic point of view. Everybody has moments where they feel secure and connected to the world, and Night Goggles captures that feeling for me.
It’s actually hard to see things from a different perspective or point of view sometimes. How do you personally achieve that? Any advice or trick for people aiming to do the same?
Anything to get you in the flow and forget who you are is your best bet; for me it’s music. I also meditate and journal like a madman, that helps.
I love how you convey this message visually: going from physical, black-and-white images shot at night to CGI-generated imagery where the sun is shining, flowers blooming, an iridescent/holographic sky… Could you guide us through the conceptualization of the music video? How did you translate the feeling and meaning of the song/sound into images?
The main concept behind the video is simple and came quite easy: someone puts on night goggles and is transported to a new, colourful, dreamlike world. The directors, Wiiki Vicki and Robin Mahieux, did an amazing job of not only building this dreamworld but creating a stark contrast from the bleak, real life shots in the beginning.
I spotted a clip that Vicki had on her demo reel with animated dancers that looked like it would be a perfect match for Night Goggles, so we used that video as a jumping-off point. The dancing is rendered from a live dancer that was shot by Vicki in Vietnam. They pulled all of this together during the early Covid-19 times, so extra props on that.
The oneiric, surreal atmosphere takes me to fantasy films ranging from Studio Ghibli to superhero stories. What are some of the visual inspirations behind Night Goggles?
For this answer, I turned to the directors of the video, Vicki & Robin: “The idea isn’t really coming from any specific reference, though we’re both big fans of visually striking sci-if worlds like the ones created by the artist Moebius. For the portal between the flower world and the desert world, we drew some inspiration from the shimmer barrier in the movie Annihilation. When working on the music video, we asked ourselves, where outside of Earth would we find happiness? We wanted to create a world where we could be running on massive fields, breathing fresh air, discovering new worlds endlessly, and echoing one of the big questions humanity faces: what’s next?"
Digital techniques allow for ‘impossible’ results, like the scene where the character is sitting in a sort of bed in the middle of the desert/dunes and there are raining white balloons. Do you feel that thanks to the digital tools you were able to convey your message better? Did you ever think of shooting the video IRL/physically, but due to lockdown you had to change plans and start working digitally?
I was leaning towards animation from the start, but once the pandemic broke out, it became our only option. I’ve always wanted to try some kind of blend between live-action and animation, so I’m happy that Vicki was able to get that opening street shot. One of the reasons why I love animation so much is that absolutely anything is possible, and I’m naturally drawn to the more surreal stuff.
This track follows previous releases Scared to Go Home and Language; how do they all fit together? Is there a thread/storytelling uniting them all? What’s gonna follow, if we may know?
These releases are part of an album that’s coming out in the next couple months. I chose them as singles because they vary in mood and style, and each shows a different side of me. Lyrically, they tackle similar themes. All of my songs in fact feel like they’re about the same exact thing, I just can’t explain what that thing is.