Today, sees The Killer’s Mark Stoermer return with his new Lee Hardcastle directed video, for “Filthy Apes and Lions”. claymation illustrates the gruesome existence of caged zoo animals and their tortured relationship with the humans that control them. The song feels like a combination of Harry Nilsson, a twisted circus song, and Electric Light Orchestra. Wurlitzer organ, synth layering, and lush production match the surreal visuals throughout, contributing to the the chaotic violence and colorful scenery of the video.
Eventually the tables turn and the animals retaliate against their captors, prompting a massive operatic vocal to enter the track. ‘Filthy Apes and Lions’ incites an important discussion on animal rights through unique, vibrant animation and effortlessly memorable music. If you haven’t heard Mark Stoermer’s latest work.
A quote from Mark Stoermer on “Filthy Apes and Lions”:
“In the studio, we would joke about Zeppelin’s Kashmir and No Quarter being examples of Jimmy Page summoning the Dark Arts…” Stoermer says. “That said, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, ‘Be careful when you cast out your demons that you don’t throw away the best of yourself.’ On that level, Dark Arts means embracing all of yourself, which I wanted to do. I didn’t shy away from anything, and it’s an honest representation of me as an artist. If I reach anybody the way my favorite albums reached me that would be incredible.”
Las Vegas with its harsh desert terrain doesn’t seem a fertile enough place to be the breeding ground of anything much, but when translated from its Latinate origins ‘Las Vegas’ transposes to become ‘The Meadows’. It was these meadows that spawned the always colorful and oftentimes confusing city of Sin that holds itself up, a bastion in the centre of the barrenness that surrounds it. It goes without saying then that as a by-product of this miraculous appearance of life in the most unlikely of places musician Mark Stoermer has always been up against the odds and has an inherent knack of beating them too.
Without many local heroes to aspire to Stoermer looked back in time and to the British Isles for inspiration and it came in droves. From The Beatles and Led Zeppelin to Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett and the inimitable Bowie, music became a way for Stoermer to escape the hustle of the Strip, leading to him holing himself up in a murky garage to write songs instead of frequenting the ever-glittering clubs and casinos.
It was this love of music that brought about a catalyst that set in motion a chain of events that is still going on today. After joining a then little-known local band called The Killers who catapulted to stardom in the mid-2000s, Stoermer went on to produce Aussie foursome Howling Bells’ third album; toured with The Smashing Pumpkins as bass player; and wrote, produced and released two solo albums— the first of which, Another Life, was released in 2011, and the latest, Dark Arts, in August ’16.