EXCLUSIVE: On the video set of “Take” with THE PACK A.D.

The interweb equivalent of a call came around 9ish on July 25th.

It was Maya Miller, from the Pack AD, and did I want to come down and join them while they shot a video for a song off their new stormer of an album, Unpersons? It was gonna be for “Take” (a heavy grinder of a breakup song that nuzzles in nicely with the overall theme of the album. That theme being somewhat along the lines of: “Hey, you? You shattered my heart, and you’re an asshole.”). They were filming it in a warehouse room downtown. I could come and hang if I wanted?

Uh, lemme put down this pizza, put on some pants and flag down a cab. In no particular order.

So I get there, walk into the room and see three things:

  1. Maya, lookin’ sharp in a black shirt and trou with a white tie.
  2. Becky Black in a bright orange worksuit held tight at the back by bulldog clips and
  3. A PYRAMIND  of light.

“Huh,” I say to Maya, “yunno, this looks just like…”Sebadoh, pic by Mikala Taylor/backstagerider.com

“It’s our homage to Gary Numan’s “Cars” video,” Maya says, finishing my sentence. “Becky said it was probably the best idea for a video I’ve ever had.”


Over the next coupla hours, the tiny crew of five, including director Jimi Cuell and DOP Johnny Stewart, and I watch as Becky and Maya try to recreate Numan’s 80s minimalist masterpiece kinda shot for shot. Maya directs Becky well (“You need to look more pissed off!” “More lunge!” “Turn your head!”), gets directed ( “How the hell do I play the drum part you wrote again?”) and offers valuable trivia: “Did you know that the drummer is also chewing gum in the video?”.

Between shots, Becky frets that she’s losing her fright face. Is her MAC is properly touched up? She also keeps poppin’ the clips off the back of her outfit when she walks. Her mum tried to stitch in the suit, but it’s still too big on her. For a rocker who could rip the head off a mic, she is all kinds of adorable in an orange one-piece.

…As is Maya as she fiddles with the white tie she borrowed, and offers me beer. We crowd around Jimi’s iPhone to match shots against the original. I slink around and tell my story about walking past Gary Numan in London and being mesmerized by immovable, dyed-black helmet head. Meanwhile, Maya and Becky are burnt to the celluloid.

Then comes the obligatory goofing off: all crew on set – including yours truly – are invited to faff about in front of the camera holding the mic while wearing Huey Lewis-y glasses. Had to be done, really. And there’s pics to prove it. In fact, here’s a whopping 36 pics to prove that it all happened and that I didn’t T.A.R.D.I.S. back to 1980. Enjoy the video and the behind-the-scenes, y’all.


Oh and Unpersons? It’s out TODAY, September 13, on Mint Records. It’s punky, bolshy and will rock the crap out of your speakers. In fact, it’s so good that even Gary Numan’s hair would approve. Go get now. \m/

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