#30 Video Killed The Radio Star

When we started Hot Pink Hangover back in 2017, you could fit our music video budget into a child-sized piggy bank and have room to spare... but we knew that the best way to entice people to listen to our songs would be to include a visual element, so it was decided that we would bite the bullet and record our very first music video. We used the method that most poor rookies likely do when funds and resources are limited... we shot in Davey's mom's basement on a cellphone. Davey had the idea of a 4-panel video, each panel would showcase a different band member, performing in front of their own brightly colored light show. I was skeptical, but he promised it would be captivating and cheap, so we got busy taking turns holding the cellphone, aiming the lights, and doing our best to direct one another to smile, twirl, or look more rockstar-ish. Being that it was the first piece of content we had released as a band, people were curious, and we had a lot of views right out of the gate, we considered that first video -The Summer That Johnny Drowned- a small success. Feeling encouraged, we got busy planning the next video project.

This time we decided to pay homage to a band that Davey had seen a few weeks prior named, The Dead Deads. They had a fast-paced punk song called, "Blackout" and we went to work turning their angry rocker into a slow and melancholy ballad. Adorned with matching scowls and black eyeliner, Davey and I crooned for the single camera, which Danny Rampage cradled in one hand- a flashlight in the other, as he wove through the tiny room, somewhat haphazardly capturing shots. The Dead Deads ended up liking the song and shared the video to their band page, which garnered a bit of interest. We continued with this low-budget strategy for a couple more songs, but it soon became evident that to hold interest we needed to up the ante a bit.

The first time we shot on-location was for "Hazard Town." We set up shop in a frightening basement warehouse full of asbestos, loose electrical wires, and spiders. It was perfect! Davey laid out the hazmat suits, Danny hung the caution tape, and I spread chicken gizzards and fake blood all over the floor. Once we felt that the scene had been set to our disturbing satisfaction, we hauled in the lights, PA system, and camera crew... which was just one person, and he willingly accepted an on-screen role in the video as well. Thanks, Evan!  This video was the first one where I also got to "act." I had a wonderful time flinging chicken skin at the camera while straddling the enemy, and still consider this role one of my best to date ;-)  Davey Hazard is the master mind behind our music videos and I have to imagine that inside that brain of his there's a 5-ring circus happening at all times!

After that shoot, we started to really get adventurous and did a series of multi-actor music videos. For "Wasted Girl" we were lucky enough to have a handful of willing volunteers who offered to portray the faceless, drone-like characters in Mercy Danger's deranged classroom. None of the ladies were trained actresses, but they truly embraced their roles and went the extra mile to give us a hilarious and authentic B-story. To capture "Get Rich" we hired a trio of the metros most talented drag queens and asked them to do some interpretive dancing on-stage at the Phoenix Theater. All I can say about that is, may my stage moves someday be as graceful and effortless as theirs! We were fortunate enough to snag a few local celebrities for "Dirty City," which we actually did compile behind-the-scenes videos for. If you're interested in peeling back the curtain: "BTS1" "BTS2"  You may be getting familiar with a few of our super hotties, who have played multiple roles, and who we thankfully know we can call on when we're in a pinch & need someone to come be a guinea pig for one of our little spectacles... or simply put on an alien mask and mime. 

More recently, we've done some upgrading of cameras, sets, and concepts thanks to the generosity of a handful of very supportive folks- so if you've seen  "Rocketman," Deathgrip," or "Porno On The Radio" then you hopefully can see the difference. We also have an amazing director, who will be moving back to L.A. soon, but to whom we owe many thanks. He has shaved years off my face with his lighting techniques, he is calm and collected when Davey presents him with hand scrawled and sometimes scattered shot lists, and he is a ray of positivity and humor- which is always a welcome combo! Jon, you will be missed, but we'll see you in LA....

The next music video in queue is for "Drones" and we're going back to a story-based concept. We'll have great local talent, special effects, lasers, and lots of twirls... so get ready!

2 comments

  • Jamie Lallak

    Jamie Lallak

    I had so much fun being apart of Bartender! I was still getting to know you guys and Lenny was just starting and it was fun to see the guys at work! I hadn’t seen what that was like before. I can’t wait for Drones. But remember, if you decide to do one for Fake Friends For Life, hit me up! I have some ideas and I normally don’t get ideas like this and I have it all planned out in my head! Haha

    I had so much fun being apart of Bartender! I was still getting to know you guys and Lenny was just starting and it was fun to see the guys at work! I hadn’t seen what that was like before. I can’t wait for Drones. But remember, if you decide to do one for Fake Friends For Life, hit me up! I have some ideas and I normally don’t get ideas like this and I have it all planned out in my head! Haha

  • Hot Pink Hangover

    Hot Pink Hangover

    Thank you for your willingness to be in the video! You’re a born actress! I can’t wait to hear your ideas for Drones. -Mercy D.

    Thank you for your willingness to be in the video! You’re a born actress! I can’t wait to hear your ideas for Drones. -Mercy D.

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