Meet Best Interactive Music Video Nominee: Tanlines

Posted June 12

The O Music Awards are currently ONE WEEK AWAY, friends. Have you voted for your favorite Interactive Music Video yet? If not, take a moment to consider Tanlines‘ extremely rad video for “Not The Same.”

“Not The Same” is a browser-based experience created by Vice’s Creators Project and creative agency OKFocus that allows viewers to manipulate the original video (in which different versions of the band members multiply and rock out) with photo-editing-esque tools. It’s like MS Paint – with tunes!

We spoke with the band’s Jesse Cohen about the video, as well as their history of innovation in the space (they were nominated for an O Music Award last year as well for their video “Brothers”).

Check out our Q&A below, and if you feel so inclined, click vote here!

What was the inspiration for “Not The Same”?

Well, one of our earliest ideas for a video for ‘All of Me’ was to put together a huge band and have that band play all of the elements in the song. So, you know, we might have two or three different snare sounds on that song, and in the video, we’d have two or three different guys playing two or three different-looking snares, for example. That didn’t end up happening, so we revisited the idea when we started talking about a video for ‘Not the Same.’

There are far fewer sounds in ‘Not the Same,’ so it would be logistically easier to pull off. But then we decided that it would be cool if we played all the parts ourselves, as different characters, which made it more logistically complicated again. A couple of videos that we talked about when we were putting together the treatment were Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya,’ Nine Inch Nail’s ‘March of the Pigs’ and REM’s video for ‘Imitation of Life.’

You all have made a few interactive music videos now. What draws you to this format?

Well, I’d say that our general aesthetic involves being many things all at the same time, so the idea of adding another dimension or layer to our music videos is attractive to us. Also, obviously, the more time someone gets to spend with our music, the happier I am.

What kind of interactive music video would you like to try next?

I definitely don’t want to ONLY do interactive music videos; I think there are still a lot of great old-fashioned music video ideas that are unexplored, but I do have one idea for an interactive music video where the whole thing looks like a menu screen for, like, Netflix streaming, and you can move around in it and somehow a narrative unfolds. Not sure how. That’s the only interactive video idea I had written down in my video idea list.

What is your favorite music video of all time and why?

If I have to pick one, I guess I’ll pick ‘Sabotage’ by the Beastie Boys. I remember seeing it for the first time and just thinking that it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. And they look like they are having so much fun in it.

What’s next for Tanlines?

Working on a new album so we can make some more videos ;)