In his newest music video for "Devils," the lead single on the just-released Um, Uh Oh, Eric Elbogen is confronted with a dilemma that goes back centuries in classic literature--should he sell his soul to the devil in exchange for fame and fortune? Of course he says yes, signs the contract, and lives it up with women, champagne, fancy suits, and throngs of fans and paparazzi. It's a great life, until the Devil comes to collect his dues--Elbogen gets conked by a stage light in the middle of a performance, dies, and now has to serve as the Evil One's personal chauffeur. Oh, Eric.
He did have another option, though--"[The Devil] takes me to that weird place where people are getting their nuts kicked for eternity, and he's like, 'Well, if you don't want to be my chauffeur, you can come here,'" Elbogen told me on the phone a few minutes ago. "So I'm like, "No no no, I'll be the chauffeur."
For all its themes of eternal damnation and Hell, it's a whimsical clip--"I don't ever like to get way too serious," says Elbogen. "Devils" is Say Hi's second video, the first being the equally hilarious and eye-catching clip for "One, Two . . . One," in which Elbogen is hunted, shot, and killed by the goddess Diana. "I'm actually thinking about making it prerequisite for future video treatments," says Elbogen. "You can pitch anything you want, but I have to die in the video." As for getting pierced with an arrow versus having a stage light fall on one's head, he says, "They were equally fun ways to die."
"Devils" was very much a local affair--it was written and shot by Carlos Lopez (he's made an assortment of videos for other local favorites like The Intelligence and Unnatural Helpers. It was filmed at a variety of locations in Seattle--the Crocodile, a funeral home in Columbia City, the middle of nowhere in a bunch of places outside the city, in Lopez's house. And the fiery backdrops of hell were painted by Derek Erdman.
Speaking of that plunge into Hell, that effect was created through the magic of green screen at Radar Records in SoDo, and no, Elbogen didn't have to do any actual falling--"They hooked up a little fishing wire for my tie," he explains, "and this dude just stood above me wiggling my tie to make it look like I was falling."
"Devils" is fun and beautiful, and fans shouldn't worry about Elbogen's wayward soul--he promises he won't be signing any Satanic contracts in pursuit of glory and glamour anytime soon. "I think that I'm like the 20,000th most famous person in America already," he says, "so I may not need to do that."