SHOWstudio: 2013 - Primal Scream

Inspired by her work with Reptile Youth, Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie selected rising artistic talent - and SHOWstudio discovery - Rei Nadal to direct the video for the band's latest release. Inspired by the pointed lyrics of '2013', the full nine minute video unpicks themes of dissent, unrest and anger using the signature dark yet romantic visuals that Nadal promoted on her Tumblr.

Lou Stoppard: How did you discover Rei Nadal and why did you want to work with her?

Bobby Gillespie: I discovered Rei after my wife Katy England came back from a meeting with Nick Knight who showed her some Tumblr blogs he was grooving on. Rei was the main one Nick was enthusing about. There was a film she made for a band called Reptile Youth that I thought was great in terms of the images she had chosen and the way they were edited. Seeing this film gave me the idea that we maybe shared a same aesthetic. I got in touch with Rei and we met up and had a good talk and I played her some music and we started sending each other our favourite Tumblrs/blogs and we took it from there.

Lou Stoppard: Tell me what '2013' is about and what messages and ideas you wanted to be put across with Rei's visuals?

Bobby Gillespie: '2013' is a critique of the lack of dissent/protest/resistance/anger in contemporary pop culture. Be that music/fashion/film/art/journalism. We are living in strange, violent dark & reactionary times. We're being governed by unenlightened people who are waging a class war. When the rich attack the poor there's no other term for it. Yet no one from the popular arts has anything to say about what's happening. It's like people are tranquillised. I can't believe how passive people are. I come from punk rock and it's a music of protest and resistance,  I'm sure a lot of people feel the same way I do. Worldwide, Corporations & the Governments who serve them are in the process of creating a 'pecariat' - this is a description of that term  by the man who many hold  responsible for creating the great financial crash of 2008 which WE'RE all still paying for with austerity measures/cuts/taxes etc. The former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, free market economist  Alan Greenspan - over to you Alan. So, for example, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, at the time when he was still 'Saint Alan' - hailed by the economics profession as one of the greatest economists of all time (this was before the crash for which he was substantially responsible) - was testifying to Congress in the Clinton years, and he explained the wonders of the great economy that he was supervising. He said a lot of its success was based substantially on what he called 'growing worker insecurity'. If working people are insecure, if they're part of the precariat, living precarious existences, they're not going to make demands, they're not going to try to get better wages, they won't get improved benefits. We can kick 'em out, if we don't need 'em. And that's what's called a 'healthy' economy, technically speaking. And he was highly praised for this, greatly admired.
This is the economic theology of our government, the banks, the corporations. Free market economics is like a religion to these psychos and like all religious fanatics they want to enslave us all. That's what's happening at the moment. That's what the cuts are all about, creating a 'precariat' they are deliberately making things worse for people. I really do believe they are deliberately creating a situation where hundreds of thousands of people are trapped in poverty for generations. They want an uneducated, poor, hungry, confused, desperate population to exploit/use/work to death for maximum profit. That's the free market baby. Deregulation means no rights in the workplace. Long hours, low wages. If you complain, your sacked, no employee rights - the boss has all the power.
The film came out of Rei's head, she's the filmmaker and I guess she wanted the images to represent the lyrics in some way but there's also some personal stuff going on in it too.  But, I don't want to explain the song or the visuals except to say that it seems we're living in a science fiction movie - 'Nothing is real, nothing is unreal.'

Lou Stoppard: It's quite a brave thing to do, taking an unknown talent who isn't really a trained filmmaker and getting them to do your video. Why did you decide to do something so new?

Bobby Gilespie: When I met Rei for the first time she told me she was a fashion designer and not a film maker but that Nick Knight had told her, 'all you need to make a film is an idea and a camera.' Well, I loved that 'cos I thought it was kind of a punk rock attitude.  I liked the fact that she hadn't directed a film before but wanted to work with us on this project. It could have been overwhelming for someone so untrained to take on the task of directing a Primal Scream single video. But there was just something I felt/sensed about Rei that made me feel that it could work between us. I think in a creative situation you have to take chances or you may never go anywhere new. I always want to do something new and fresh, I never want to repeat myself. I like the fact that she is 22. That we are from different generations but we have a connection I think. That's why it worked.