Danny Elfman has created a surreal 3D video for “Insects,” a remake of a 1982 Oingo Boingo song that is appearing on his double LP Big Mess, which arrives on June 11th.
“In the beginning of 2020 I was preparing a live show for Coachella,” Elfman says in a statement. “I’d been looking for old Boingo songs that connected to the dystopian nightmare I found myself immersed in at that moment in time living in America.”
“As I played around with different songs it occurred to me that ‘Insects’ made sense,” he continues. “Who were the ‘Insects,’ the bloodsuckers of today? It was obvious to me — they all hived together in Washington and seemed to thrive on sucking the rational sense of reality out of our brains.”
The video was directed by Sam and Andy Rolfes. It shows over 80 creatures swimming through a trippy digital world. It’s so intense that it begins with an actual seizure warning.
“Every microsecond of waking life, a relentless digital swarm of information and virtual noise slowly consumes our minds, rendering us like insects being driven by manic buzzing stimuli,” Sam Rolfes said in a statement. “That said, more legs means better dancing. The video for “Insects” starts off very ordinarily, following Danny Elfman as he gets ready for the day, meets some friends for lunch, but then is slowly consumed by a ravenous swarm of online static.”
The original version of “Insects” appeared on Oingo Boingo’s 1982 LP Nothing to Fear. The band dissolved in 1995, and by that point, Elfman was already deep into his side career as a composer for music and TV shows. Over the years, he’s worked on everything from Batman and Edward Scissorhands to Men in Black, Good Will Hunting, Scrooged, The Simpsons, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Mars Attacks!
This has left him little time to focus on his own projects, and Big Mess is his first solo LP since 1984’s So-Lo. It features contributions from Josh Freese (Devo, Wheezer, the Vandals), bassist Stu Brooks (Dub Trio, Lady Gaga, Lauryn Hill), and guitarists Robin Finck (Nine Inch Nails, Guns N’ Roses) and Nili Brosh (Tony MacAlpine, Paul Gilbert).
Elfman was supposed to play Coachella in 2020 with a show called Danny Elfman: Past, Present and Future! From Boingo to Batman and Beyond. It’s unclear if he’s going to revisit the concept at a later date.