Presidents of the United States of America

Seattle Weekly: I understand the new video for your song "Some Postman" was filmed entirely on cell phone cameras. What were the limitations and complications involved in shooting it that way?

Chris Ballew (singer/two-string bassitarist): The cell phones would run out of memory after a few minutes, and we would have to stop the song and pick up after resetting all the phones. [While filming] they were attached to armatures in groups of 12 or so—crazy-looking things.

I'm not familiar with the song that the video was made for; is there anything about it that directly pertains to handheld devices used for talking and picture taking?

It's about a thieving, lying, mail-stealing postman, so maybe he is pissed about the electronic revolution.

The video was made by an Australian production company for Australian television, but will the video eventually air in the States?

I think so, but for now [it's] just on our site—when we get it up there. MTV is a tough nut to crack, and we're way too uncool for them.

Well, since we won't be able to access it for a little while, tell the kids at home what they're missing. What's the concept and how apparent is it that the video was made using cell phones?

There are frames within frames within frames of shots from the cell phones compiled to make frantic composites of our faces and bodies as we rock out through the song and act like the hambones that we are.

I'm assuming that if you didn't have a camera phone before, you do now. Do you use it to keep in touch with your family when you're away on tour?

My cell phone makes calls, and my camera takes pictures. I am old-fashioned like that. Actually, I sent a text message with a picture of Bigfoot eating a banana cream pie at the Dahlia Lounge to Tom Douglas the other day.

So what's next: text messaging liner notes to fans? Doing away with plastic discs and going to downloads?

I am going to have a digital steak for breakfast and sell the plate as a download as soon as I'm done.

How are things, anyway? Considering the state of the union, are you starting to regret your tongue-in-cheek band name?

Things are great! That bastard monkey will be out of the White House soon. Remember, we chose the name when Clinton was in there doing bad things like playing saxophone and smiling a lot. The name still gets us a second look from new fans, and that's its real function.

lcassidy@seattleweekly.com

 
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