Interview: A few quick questions with Walter Sickert, who explains the Broken Toys’ new ‘Pornival’ video

 
 

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] pile of fake money, a human chimp, and good old-fashioned hedonism is just the tip of the steamcrunk iceberg in the new music video from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys. Sometime last week, the premiere of “Pornival” — a mischievously jaunty track that’s been around a while but was included in the band’s latest LP, Soft Time Traveler — crept its way into our social media feeds. After staring mindlessly at the video for the better part of 48 hours, we decided to reach out to Mr. Sickert himself and explain to us what’s up with what’s going down in his latest piece of visual art.

Since then, we hear that even Fairuza Balk herself endorsed the video. Fire up the Craft on Netflix and allow Sickert to pull back the curtain. Welcome to his “Pornival.”

Michael Marotta: So wait, hold up, this isn’t a particularly “new” song — why make a video for a track at least two years old?

Walter Sickert: We wrote the song for RPM (which is a yearly challenge to make an album from start to finish in one month), but it was never on any official release. It’s a fan favorite and we wanted to serve the song right. It has this chill hip hop beat to it, and if you watch a lot of modern pop or hip hop videos those have people just hanging out partying. So basically, we just had an excuse to get fucked up with our friends and film it.

There are a lot of people in the “Pornival” video — do you know everyone who appeared in it?

Everyone’s idea of props were 40s and whiskey, so most of what you’re seeing in that video is really just us and our friends getting stupid and having a blast. Most of us left that night with hickeys or stains.

The song sounds a bit like Arcade Fire before Arcade Fire went off the deep end and released a crappy record. Are you carrying the torch for “good” Arcade Fire? What do you think of Reflektor?

I, Walter Sickert, do not own any Arcade Fire albums nor have I listened to more than a song here and there. The majority of music I carry a torch for was all written by people who are now dead.

We do know that one of the Arcade Fire had a band called Final Fantasy which makes me think of video games. Our band is like a videogame. We’re kind of like Ghouls’n Ghosts meets Rampage!

There’s a lot of fake money used in this video. Why does Hollywood always use fake money? And what is your favorite currency?

Hello, Illuminati much? We wanted to capture an average night at the WIREFORST (Army of Toys HQ) which means lots of fake money and glitter and whiskey.

Sex is pretty good currency. We scored a lot of free souvenirs at truck stops when we were on the road by giving hand jobs to lonely truckers. Does “Continental Breakfast” count as currency, because that also sold us on which shitty motels to stay in while on tour. I think Strange Currency is my favorite though.

Speaking of currency, if Amanda Palmer gave you the $1 million she raised on kickstarter, what would you do with it?

Well actually, I earned 0.1% of that million by illustrating art for the album vinyl and accompanying art book.

But if she gave us the other 99.9%, we’d be able to afford to make records for the rest of our lives! And our WIREFOREST production company would use the funds to bring more musicians, artists, and performers etc., together who are stifled by lack of finances.