Colorado Springs electro-pop/rock trio Hydrogen Skyline talk to us about the ideas behind their thrilling single and highly conceptual music video, 'Inhale / Exhale'.
Made up of vocalist Asher Skyline, her husband Norman on keyboards and his twin brother Mark on guitars, 'Inhale/ Exhale' is Hydrogen Skyline's first single taken from their third full-length album Photovoltaic - funded by Kickstarter and mastered by Dominick Maita (Fall Out Boy, Hawthorne Heights) available now!
Hydrogen Skyline Explains:
Where was the video filmed?
'Inhale / Exhale' was filmed in two locations. The first (scenes with the tar girl, statue/stone girl, and war paint girl) was actually in the basement of our band home and the outdoor scenes were filmed in this national park type area by us which had several different biomes that we could use to our advantage for differing scenery.
How does the video complement the song?
The video of 'Inhale / Exhale' complements the song in a sort of artistic way by highlighting the tension and mysterious elements found in the song with a sort of metaphoric imagery for each part. The verses have a darker, more aggressive sound, so we wanted to emphasise that with dark and disturbing characters – whereas the chorus has an open release type feel that seems a bit less ominous so we wanted to emphasise a sort of “memory of better times” home movie reel during that.
Any behind the scenes stories?
There are definitely behind the scenes stories! It just comes down to which ones seem the most interesting.
Though Asher is the only person in the band actually seen in the footage, the others in the band had several different jobs with putting the behind the scenes parts together. I.E. Jeoff Harris (our producer) was directing the video and Norman (our keyboardist) did all the makeup and helped with set design.
Another behind the scenes titbit is that the footage used in 'Inhale / Exhale' was actually a reshoot. Our initial footage was filmed at a mini golf course and in the basement of a really old church. We decided to reshoot because though the footage was good, the settings didn’t convey the feel we wanted.
The part near the end of the video where water is being dumped on the “tar girl” character, Asher nearly went into shock because Norman for some reason didn’t consider getting warm enough water, so he basically dumped a gallon of really cold water on her in which she had to sit completely still for so as not to ruin the shot.
The entire video was shot in one day with two-hour makeup and dress changes for each different scene – so basically, for every hour we shot there were at least two hours of makeup.
Tell us about the ideas/ themes/ imagery used?
The concepts and themes in the video are quite numerous. We wanted to go through a surreal type storyboard that gave the watcher a lot of room for interpretation, but we wanted to ground all of that with relatable emotions and ideas. The themes of the characters in the verses are a major part of the surrealism as we wanted to emphasise emotions with each one.
The “tar girl” with the black backdrop, we wanted to symbolise the ominous and mysterious qualities of the song along with a polluted or loss of innocence feel. We wanted her to seem odd yet intriguing.
The “statue/stone girl” on the white background we wanted to symbolise a rigid and autonomic sort of mental stasis while also alluding to a sort of fragility.
With the war paint girl, we wanted to symbolise this aggressive and unrelenting sort of persona; yet at the same time, having a very natural beauty.
For the choruses, we wanted to have this sort of memory lapse, home movie reel kind of concept. We wanted the choruses to have this innocence lost kind of thing going on when tied together with the surreal imagery of the verses.
What is the message the video is trying to convey?
The message the video is trying to convey is “the longing for a time lost” or “longing for what has been lost”. Generally speaking, we want the video to feel like you’re experiencing the emotions through the various characters and then reliving the scenes of a life now lost. Kind of like telling a story in reverse.
Interview feature by Karla Harris