A rubbery bass line, doomy guitars and cool detached vocals, visually filtered through a smoky pink hue and a chain link fence. The latest video for Rule of Thirds could easily be mistaken for something recorded by Siouxsie Sioux during her Kaleidoscope era in the early 80s.
Taken from the Adelaide six piece’s forthcoming album, the video for "Fingerpints" was shot, edited and produced by keyboardist Lewis ‘Ratboy’ Godwin, and brings to mind the dark and atmospheric gloom of Skeletal Family, Joy Division, and Christian Death.
On the back of a sold out demo and well received self titled EP, the upcoming LP will be available in April through Mass Media Records in the USA, Ratboy's No Patience Records in Australia and Desire in Europe.
The band will also be embarking on an upcoming North American tour where they will be playing some shows with New York band Survival, including at New York's Alright festival.
We had a chat to Lewis about the video and tour.
Noisey: I like the start with the chain link fence and gothic font titles. Were you inspired by any other video or film when making this?
Lewis Godwin: Chain link fencing is a recurring visual theme across the album artwork and I wanted the video to echo this. The cover is taken from an instillation our guitarist Celeste Juliet made entitled ‘Industrial Craft’. Near where we live there is a cemetery and the plastic flowers left by mourners blow from the graves and collect along adjacent river. Celeste collected these flowers and arranged them on a large piece of wire mesh as part of an exhibition at the Experimental Art Foundation in Adelaide. Although there are no flowers in the video, I wanted the heavily saturated colours to echo her work. The shadow of the chain link is in reference to this, but also the excellent video to Depeche Mode’s "Just Can’t Get Enough".
What is the process of layering the images? I know you have worked with VHS before.
This video is a little different to some of the other pieces I’ve been working on. There is very little post-production. I shot it all on an analogue 8mm Sony camcorder. The layering effect is just digital layering of the multiple edits we shot. I wanted to avoid sharp cuts in editing and give the video a more fluid vibe, which I think works better with the music.
You are about to play some shows in the US with New York City’s great Survival. You obviously are two bands rooted in both hardcore punk and darker synth punk.
Celeste and I met Jess from Anasazi and Alex from Deathtraitors back in 2013 and kept in touch. In 2014 we attempted to tour both Survival and Anasazi to Australia, but due to timing issues it fell through. We asked if they’d do some dates with us in the USA and this time everyone had the right amount of time to make it happen! I think both Rule of Thirds and Survival stand somewhat apart from the post-punk or goth-by-way-of-punk revival we have seen over the past four years primarily in that both are more interested in playing dark pop, than dark punk.
With Rule of Thirds I am more drawn to the camp and colourful elements of 80s gothic pop than a reinterpretation of punk tropes through a Crass records lens. Rule of Thirds are big fans of industrial, EBM, synth punk, new wave, disco, and cold wave and I can hear a shared love of those sounds in Survival. It should be a great match.
You would have a lot of US contacts through your long running label No Patience. Even with the Internet and contacts is it still difficult to book a US tour?
In regards to independent music, touring internationally has very little to do with the talent or popularity and more so determination and organization. A lot of second rate bands tour constantly and other excellent acts never make it out of their own city. That being said, it still takes a lot of time and energy to organize anything on the other side of the world. Australia has a small music scene and the bands here are often overlooked in the grand scheme of things.
What are your expectations of New York's Alright?
I’ve got no expectations. We’re not a headlining act, we’re not playing a massive stage to hundreds of people or anything like that. I’m just happy to be there and be involved. It’s going to be a great party with people from all over the place. I’m looking forward most to seeing Bad Noids, Raw Distractions, Sadist, LOTION, and Warhead!
Catch Rule of Thirds in the USA in April:
01 – LA
02 – LA
03 – Orange County
04 – LA
06 – Dallas
07 – Austin
08 – New Orleans
09 – Memphis
10 – Kansas City
11 – Chicago
12 – Toronto
13 – Ottawa
14 – Montreal
15 – Western Mass
17 – New York’s Alright Festival
20 – Philadelphia (with SURVIVAL)
21 – Richmond (with SURVIVAL)
22 – Pittsburgh (with SURVIVAL)
23 – Cleveland (with SURVIVAL)
24 – Rochester
25 – NYC
26 – Seattle
27 – Vancouver
28 – Olympia
29 – Portland
30 – San Francisco
01 – Oakland