Matt Sweeney & Bonnie "Prince" Billy Share "Resist The Urge" Music/Skate Video from Superwolves (Drag City Records)
Matt Sweeney & Bonnie "Prince" Billy—otherwise known as Will Oldham—first collaborated on Superwolf way back in 2005. It's a phenomenal chilled-out Indie/Blues Rock hybrid that, I believe, was one of my first exposures to Indie Rock. Sweeney & Billy have been coyly teasing a proper Superwolf follow-up for quite a few years now and have worked togetehr on occasion; namely, their I Gave You EP, a 2010 single dubbed Must Be Blind / Life in Muscle, [adult swim] Singles Series submission "Love In The Hot Afternoon," a cover of "Storms" for Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac, "You'll Get Eaten, Too" (billed as "Superwolf") in 2020, and "OD'd In Denver" as part of Bill Callahan & Bonnie "Prince" Billy's ongoing singles series. Back in February, Matt Sweeney & Bonnie "Prince" Billy announced the proper follow-up to Superwolf, fittingly titled Superwolves, to be released later this year.
They've since shared three music videos culled from it and the full album will be released this Friday. Today, Matt Sweeney & Bonnie "Prince" Billy present the fourth Superwolves single, "Resist The Urge." Its accompanying music video was made by legendary skateboarder Kevin "Spanky" Long and photographer/skateboarder Atiba Jefferson and features Spanky skating through a [Bonnie-Sweeneyscape] in his inimitable style. "Spanky & Atiba's video rules. We try to make the listener feel insanely at home in a musical space. Atiba & Spanky have made us feel like we own a share of the skateable world," says Bonnie. "Resist The Urge" was recorded at The Butcher Shoppe in Nashville by Sean Sullivan & David "Fergie" Ferguson. Bonnie shares: "We got David Ferguson out from behind the board to play double-bass on this one. It needed the lift that only a "Ferg" could deliver."
It should be noted that (oddly enough) Matt Sweeney, Atiba Jefferson, and David Ferguson share a birthday, making this visual/musical event astrologically undeniable. "I always wanted to see a full video part with just one skater and once I got asked to work on a video for this record, I knew that Kevin "Spanky" Long was perfect—his way of cutting out, re-sizing, moving, and manipulating photos and videos is amazing, but, also, he is an amazing pro skater. I asked a lot of Spanky: I wanted him to star, direct, edit, film, and do all of the artwork! It was a tall ask, but I know his love for Matt & Will would shine [through]," co-director Atiba Jefferson shared within a press release. "This video was made in The Pandemic, so it was just me and him going out and shooting together. We shot around LA for 14 days over four months. It was great to work so closely with Spanky's vision, but still have him in front of the camera."
"This collaboration of directing together was great because we are two different generations of skateboarders, but both coming from the pro skater's perspective," Jefferson continued. "This was just a great excuse to make a skate video with a best friend for my favorite band. I ran the high-def footage and Super 8 film into my iPhone, where I painstakingly cut frame-by-frame, with relatively low-fi digital tools, to execute the stop-motion animation and digital collage elements. It was, in the end, the only way to achieve this look we were after. And we weaved in the layers of sea and sky to meet the big themes in "Resist The Urge." COVID restrictions made things tricky to get Matt & Will in there, but we revel in limitations," co-director, star, editor, filmamker, and visual effects artist Kevin "Spanky" Long added.
"Resist The Urge" should be the last single released before Superwolves unveiling this Friday, but who know with Bonnie "Prince" Billy & Matt Sweeney! Superwolves is out digitally within just a couple days and will see a physical release in a couple months on 6/18 due to COVID-19-related vinyl, CD, and cassette tape manufacturing delays. Superwolves' previous three videos were directed by visual artists and friends Geoff McFetridge, Jonah Freeman + Justin Lowe, and Sai Selvarajan & Jeff Bednarz, respectively. Additionally, Superwolves' album cover was done by Bonnie "Prince" Billy & Matt Sweeney's close friend, filmmaker Harmony Korine, and inner-album artwork was handled by Scottish painter Peter Doig. Matt SWeeney & Bonnie "Prince" Billy are planning to go on a short six-day mini-tour across California this June. Superwolves is out digitally this Friday 4/30 and physically 6/18 on Drag City Records.