Monday, 5 September 2011

AN - Music Video Deconstruction 13: What's Up People

Name of Song: What's Up People
Artist: Maximum the Hormone
Year: 2006
Genre: Nu Metal
Director: Unknown

Maximum the Hormone was started by Daisuke Tsuda and Nao Kawakita. After a number of shows, the band signed a contract with Rock label, Sky Records. The bank performs with strong punk metal influence via the nu metal genre. The band's song, What's Up People was featured in the second season of the anime, Death Note.

  • The video begins with a mid, close up of a guitarist playing the guitar.
  • A blurring effect is used to add to the video's abstract nature.
  • There are also a number of mid-shots of ballerinas dancing in the video.
  • The ballerinas are used in the video to create a binary opposition between themselves and the band, which symbolises innocent and aggression.
  • A couple of mid shots of the band performing and head banging can also been seen. These also represent aggression.
  • There is also a close up of the lead singer lip-syncing via the microphone.
  • The camera is shakey during some sequences of the video, such as one of the band members headbanging while singing.
  • The close up of the lead singer lip-syncing via the microphone is used multiple times to fit the dark tone of the video.
  • A combination of fast takes and long takes are used. The fast takes are mostly used during the sequences with the band, while the long takes are used with the ballerinas. This also symbolises the binary opposition between innocence and aggression.
  • While the ballerinas symbolise innocence and grace, one of them is wearing red. This is another signifier of aggression, since red is the colour associated with blood and violence. A portrayal of the dark side of ballet similar to Black Swan (2010, Darren Aronofsky) maybe?
  • Next, there is a close up of one of the band members repeating the lyric, HEY HEY! Ningen sanka ai nige ningen fuan ka?"
  • That lyric translates into, "Hey hey! Human paean. Do humans worry when love escapes?" This also adds to the aggressive nature of the song because it makes it seem that the song was written by demonic entities.
  • During the sequence, the camera keeps changing focus. This is done, to add to the abstract mood of the video.
  • A high angle, fish eye lense is used at one point to add more depth to the abstract mood.
  • The camera with the fish eye lense keeps nodding up and down, while the band are head banging. Maybe this symbolises that the camera is a point of view of a demonic creature maybe?
  • We then get a high angle shot of the band performing in front of a red wall.
  • There is an extreme close up of one of the band member's mouths repeating the lyrics, "Hey hey! Human paean. Do humans worry when love escapes?" Which's fade's into a low angle shot of the singer repeating the lyric.
  • The video ends with a clash of instruments with the singer repeating the lyric, "WHAT UP PEOPLE!" This adds to the dark, aggressive nature of the video.
  • The video focuses mostly on concept and performance, since the band are performing, but there is a high amount of symbolism seen within the video itself.
  • From looking at the lyrics of this song, the song is about human arrogance because of the aggressive lyrics used such as, "From the fangs of sadistic punishment, I will chop up the existence of my natural enemies" and "Let's slander the war debate amongst idiots."
Here is the video:

Like I said before, this song was used as the second opening to Death Note (an anime which I need to check out at some point, thanks to a good friend of mine). The song fits the opening really well because a number of disturbing images are used to add to the dark mood of the anime. Here is the opening (WARNING: A number of disturbing and unsettling images are used in this opening, so be WARNED)

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