Feist & Mastodon Show Two Sides of a Cover With New Video

Posted July 31

Choose-your-own-adventure music videos and the like are quite the fad these days, allowing users to change the outcome of a vid with a couple of clicks. But videos that let fans change the tune itself — those are a bit less en vogue, likely because bands don’t want folks messing with their jams. Feist and Mastodon’s new video for “A Commotion,” however, lets users do just that — in a wholly creative, eye-opening way.

On Record Store Day — that most-glorious day woven from vinyl geeks’ fevered fantasies — Feist and Mastodon released a special edition split-single called Feistodon. The color vinyl (currently in this record geek’s clutches) features Feist’s cover of Mastodon’s “Black Tongue” and Mastodon’s cover of Feist’s “A Commotion.” The digital version drops today.

Today, the band also released a video that lays out both versions of Feist’s tune side-by-side. The vid — which is an HTML5 video app that lives on a dedicated website — was directed by Vice Cooler and features a slider in the middle, allowing the user to toggle between versions of the song. In the middle, you get a nice even blend of the two versions, but as you wander toward Mastodon or Feist, the jam gets more metal-ly or Feist-y (respectively). The user can therefore create some pretty interesting iterations of the song, mixing and mingling the two versions to varying degrees.

Yes, the vid is a fun diversion to be sure, but it’s also a pretty cool study in how two different bands approached the same song and what effect a change in instrument (violin to guitar) or vocals (Feist’s soaring tones versus Mastodon’s gruff growl) can have on a jam. In that way, the video is similar to MuteMath’s remix board/music video for “Odd Soul,” which let users isolate various parts of the songs and see how they fit together. Both videos go one step beyond gimmick to provide viewers with value as well.