Animal Collective prep wider release of 'ODDSAC' film, move on from 'Merriweather'
The New York-based troupe told HitFix that they plan to stop off at other film festivals, as well as plan screenings of different shapes and sizes, leading up to a June release of the film on DVD.
Click here to read a fuller description of the film, culled from its Sundance premiere.
Just getting up to this year's film fest in Park City, though, was a long process, one that took Perez and band members Josh Dibb, Noah Lennox, Brian Weitz and David Portner more than four years to complete. "Many film festival deadlines came and went during the creation of 'ODDSAC.' We had no problem missing a deadline," Portner, aka Avey Tare, says.
"The final day that we were able to watch what we recorded fully... didn’t really happen until not that long ago," says Dibb, aka Deaken. "It was a relieving moment."
In making it, Perez would give some visual cues to the band, the members would go off to their own home studios to come up with musical ideas, and then each would share those elements with each other via email -- and vice-versa, with music inspiring the visuals. Keep in mind, too, this is all while the band created two entirely separate albums -- 2007's "Strawberry Jam" and last year's critical darling "Merriweather Post Pavilion -- and went on the road promoting them.
"We're pretty good about separating projects, about what feels good for a newe album or for solo records, in just going with the tone. It wasn’t like we could write just any kind of pop song and go, 'This sounds pretty good, maybe this should go in the movie,'" Portner continues. "It was like building and building, the visuals changed as the music changed, and back and forth."
Those visuals, as previously reported, included some recurring and prominent characters, two of which were played by members of the band. For instance, in the opening track, Portner could be seen with his skin covered in glitter with a turban of gauze wrapped around his head, playing an autoharp in a parade of fire-dancers. Dibb was a vampire-like monster which feasted on a young family of four and showed a propensity for rowing a boat. Weitz' face gets a melting treatment at one point.
But reprising the music live along with the film would be an impossible task, the band agreed, considering the complexity of the timing, the ever-changing meter of the music and the "truckloads" of equipment it'd require for each gig. Panda Bear -- Noah Lennox's moniker and solo project name -- may use one of the film's songs in his live shows, Perez said, but beyond that, the set is intended to stand on its own.
"ODDSAC" is the first step away from "Merriweather Post Pavilion," which the band heavily promoted last year. It was Animal Collective's most commercially successful set yet, as well as it's most critical success, but the group agrees it’s time to move on.
"We're done promoting it, if we have a say in it," says Portner. "But, knowing the way the music industry works…" Dibb warns,"what if nine years later, we're still pushing it." Perez takes the joke to its natural, absurd end. "How about a 'Merriweather' deluxe version DVD of bonus tracks and Dave brushing his teeth.”