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Track By Tracks: LIOTTA SEOUL - Cool (2021)


1. Power Drill:

Lyrics:

In a literal sense “Power Drill” deals with the impact of pain I often have caused by severe migraine attacks and the urge to shake them at any cost.

In a metaphorical sense “Power Drill” is about approvingly accepting short-term damage to end up with a brighter future in the long-time. The lyrics are in reference to Darren Aronofsky’s debut movie “Pi” that ends in the protagonist drilling in his own head; whether he dies or not is unclear. I like that it’s really bleak and dark but with a very positive outlook.

Music:

The song follows the quiet-loud-quiet structure we love to use but adds the twist of becoming even louder in the end. We’ve tried some new things with this one, and started to approach the verses more like a beat in a rap oder R’n’B song rather than giving away all of the harmonic information. I think this kind of minimalism makes the choruses and melody hooks even more exciting. I thought of the guitar hook and chorus melody as more of a jingle, rather than a big rock song. It’s catchy and cool.

Video:

This is the first time I’ve collaborated with another video artist on a video. Our friend Nils Friedrich built the set, helped out with some post-clean-up and made the CGI you find alongside the captured and hand-animated footage. We wanted a video that represents the same orderly minimalism displayed in the song and have that same order become disrupted when the song gets heavy. I think that the pink, silver and black colour scheme give the song more of a tongue-in-cheek sentiment.

Lukas: Power Drill is a song about headaches and how you can't escape them. You can only imagine terrible ways to get rid of them which - spoiler alert - won't work. If you don't have to struggle with migraines and don't know how they feel - watch the movie Pi.

I think it's the best way to describe typical symptoms and the protagonist even uses Svens favorite way of losing the pain:

He drills himself in the head with a powerdrill. Sorry for the spoiler but if you've seen the video to this song you already knew it.

Musically the song hits straightforward right from the beginning with the groovy first part. The more mellow verse is influenced by lo-fi rap and in my opinion sets a great contrast to the louder more rocky parts. I remember the day Sven and I wrote the bass part to it. We instantly imagined it to be heavily distorted and at the same time very muffled as if it was under water. The first time I heard the chorus it directly went into my head and stayed there. It's a catchy one that you may only be able to get rid of by drilling holes in your head!

The video for Powerdrill is a mix between real life imagery, hand drawn animation and 3D animation. The mash up between the different styles are a kind of trademark for Svens style of videography. The various sets, the dress code and the animations are all set in pink, silver and black which makes for a poppy and glossy look. The main motive is the act of drilling. Sven holds a custom Powerdrill with our logo from the TV Shows video on it and points it to his head various times until he finally starts drilling and releasing the pain. Also puppet heads are a stylistic device and they also experience serious drilling. Another cool move was aligning a beamer on our heads and running multiple light patterns over them. In case of Svens scenes we see a cross which synchronizes with the spot where the drill meets his head. This idea came from Nils which also animated the sick 3D parts and arranged the set - big shout out to him!

2.Like Me:

Lyrics:

Ultimately, “Like Me” is about feeling displaced in social surroundings. It’s about that awkward feeling of not knowing how to behave or what to say when around other people. It’s a song about self-doubt and also coming to terms that nobody should want to please everybody.

Music:

Initially, “Like Me” was supposed to be an acoustic song. When we started rehearsing it, we did it with electric instruments and heavy drums and it was just way more fun that way. The track was then rearranged to fit the sound it was supposed to be set in. While making the instrumental “bigger” it was very important to us to keep the intimacy needed to get the lyrics across.

Video:

The video was inspired by two things: Space Jam and Wes Anderson flicks. It was important for me to scout sets and use costumes that make for a very stylised and homogenous image. I wanted to mix carefully composed shots with animated figures to expand on the lyrical themes. Our band represents the lyrical voice and the animated pieces represent the outside world that just does not gel with the person singing.

3.David Blaine:

Lyrics:

This song gets its title from the -probably - most important contemporary magician. It’s a metaphor for trying to be the very best at something, or in our case half decent. It makes sense to want to be like David Blaine because he stands for something other-worldly; larger than life - a super human. The dude sticks needles through his hands, eats glass, regurgitates frogs and fishes and can guess any card you pick from a deck.

Music:

Writing “David Blaine” was difficult. Initially we had four songs for our EP but our producer (Daniel Jung) rejected one of them, so we had to try and write a new song from scratch only a few days before entering the studio. “David Blaine” is a straight-up rock song with a lot of pop capabilities and we are very proud of how it came out.

Video:

In order to capture the ideas behind the song, we approached a bunch of different people who live extraordinary lives and just do cool things, rather than do a nine-to-five job and watch sports. The idea is to give different impressions of different people in different surroundings. I shot the video using interesting vintage lenses. We got somebody who is a full-time musician, a painter, a performance artist, a roller skater, a vintage car collector and many more. I hope that maybe somebody will see this and become inspired to do and create something very special.

4. Airplane:

Lyrics:

After we had recorded our record “Hopper” in Oakland, CA we boarded a flight and after a couple of hours while everybody on the plane was sleeping, I started crying uncontrollably. I didn’t know what was wrong with me or why this was happening; I was just overcome with a vast array of emotions all at once and I couldn’t stop myself from crying. “Airplane” is about that.

Music:

This song was all about writing a really strong hook without a lot of singing. There are a lot of songs where the guitar, a synth or piano is the actual hook and that is something I’ve tried time and time again but never succeeded. We felt like this time around all the ingredients were strong enough and we could record and release this highly emotional piece of music.

Lukas: Airplaine is a song about realising that all things come to an end. In this case it's about Sven sitting on the airplaine back from the USA where we recorded our last record Hopper[...]

This song is definitely one of the heaviest we wrote this far with the open banging middle eight-part and the intensifying build-up at the end of the song. The blast beat at the end was an idea we had a few days before the recording sessions. Not only because of this we had a little struggle recording it but I love how it gets a little faster. This is a perfect ending to the long build-up and makes for a great dynamic. I like Svens minimalistic singing in the chorus. It creates space for the eary guitar lick.

5. Game:

It was always a dream of mine to release a game as a medium for a song, even with other bands. This time around it came to fruition. We enlisted our friend Nils Friedrich, who had also worked with me on the “Power Drill” video to create this unique experience where the player’s interaction with the song creates alternate versions. The player experiences a cartoon-esque version of our flight and tries to pace the breathing of the main character. Depending on how precise he taps along the song changes. This took countless hours of hand-animation, digital compositing and 3D-rendering but makes for a completely unique release, unlike anything out there.

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