On Monday, Mastodon unveiled their latest video, “The Motherload.” While many appreciated it for the ridiculous over the top performance of some of the ladies in the video (spoiler alert: lots of twerking), others were offended by it, calling it misogynistic and sexist. The Guardian, in particular, called it a misfire. Yesterday, Pitchfork caught up with drummer (and singer for this song) Brann Dailor, who found himself in the position of having to defend the video. Dail0r said the video was essentially making fun of early ’90s alternative videos by the likes of Marilyn Manson and Nirvana “esoteric imagery, sort of out of focus, something creepy or weird.” As far as the twerkers, the band thought that it would be something that would completely not belong in a Mastodon video:
Going into it, our main goal was to make fun of that ‘90s kind of video and have it be taken over by this dance video, which Mastodon would never do. We would never put out a dance video; we’re this very serious metal band. But our videos have always been kind of weird. We’re so serious about songwriting, we’re so serious in our lyrics—which are really serious, and are about a really serious thing that happened to me personally. But if you’re going to make this very high concept, dramatic video, who’s gonna watch that?
As far as the sexism claim, Dailor says he’s upset by it.
It’s a music video and it’s really not supposed to be something that gets people this upset because this was really a fun thing that doesn’t really mean too much. It’s not to be taken so seriously. I don’t know, I just don’t see the sexism in it. I know there’s half-naked women that are shaking their butts. For some people it’s titillating, but for me it just looked amazing. I thought the girls were awesome and talented, and I thought it was amazing to watch. I love when it turns into that kaleidoscope effect thing; it brings the video to a whole new level. But it’s gotten people talking obviously, you know. I figured that would happen, you know what I mean. I knew there was going to be some negativity. But we do that; we’re that kind of band. It hadn’t been done before, and we were kind of looking for something that hadn’t been done before because it’s hard to come by these days.
At least people are talking about the video. And now Mastodon have to somehow top that for their next one. It’s not going to be easy.