Set deep in the sun-scorched Aussie desert, whilst speeding down the highway in a convertible 66' Mustang GT350 - the video stars Darcie Irwin-Simpson and was shot out near Parkes NSW in late February of 2020.
Magnus is an oddly timed, stoner-jazz-rock band with a dash of goth, somewhere between Nick Cave, Queens of the Stone Age and Pink Floyd.
We spoke to the front man of the band, Arne Heeres, about the song and how the video came about.
'Forever and Never' was recorded at Grove Studios, near Gosford, in a space that's seen the likes of DZ Deathrays and Courtney Barnett create killer albums.
The song itself was a part of an intensive 6-day, 14-song album recording session for "Detachment," due to be released on April 24th.
Arne continues, "It started out as a quite different track. There's a swaying riff in an odd time signature which then moves into an unusual chord progression. I had those two bits for ages and I didn’t know what to do with them. I’d play them over and over and over and get annoyed by it. I was trying to be too intellectual about it. I wanted something that would go against that, something that would just aggressively drive along, something that makes you feel you’re stuck in the passenger seat and have no choice but to go along for the ride. Enter caveman bass-line."
The dark video for the track was a direct reaction to the band's last video - 'Humbugger.'
"In my humble opinion a video should be related to the meaning of a song. Forever & Never being about a struggle within, wondering whether you can be one person or should remain the other, the one who plays safe rather than the one who follows dreams. Based on that I wanted the lead character to be one and the other. Love herself. Fight herself. Until only one survives."
He then engaged award-winning Sydney creative Josh Groom, to direct the video. Having helmed music videos for a diverse array of artists including Birds of Tokyo, Wu-Tang Clan, Rackett, Angus and Julia Stone and The Snowdroppers, Josh leapt at the idea and immediately connected with desert-filth vibe of the track.
"The challenge is always to find somebody you can relate to though, somebody on the same boat, the same pirate ship as you. And Josh is a damn good pirate who brought a great crew of juvenile delinquents along with him," Arne said.
Once Josh had a chance to hear Arne's idea for the video, he knew casting the lead role would be of the utmost importance.
"The video was always going to sink or swim depending on the strength of our lead actor. She has to embody two diametrically opposed characters - one intimidating badass and the other timid and vulnerable. I immediately thought of Darcie for the role."
Darcie Irwin-Simpson is an acclaimed actress who played crucial roles in the popular television series' Love Child and Bite Club.
Several years ago, whilst working as a music photographer, Josh met Darcie when she was guitarist for infamous Sydney rock band, She-Rex.
Ever since, Josh has been following her acting work - "she's a real chameleon with the roles she can play - she has an enigmatic quality about her and she's established herself as an actress who repeatedly challenges herself."
"When we had our first meeting about the clip, she already had a strong idea of the characters and the dynamics at play - she brought so much detail to the table it made my job incredibly easy," Josh remembers. Arne adds, "Darcie switched effortlessly between the characters and had a real good sense of how each should come across. She seemed to need very little directing and worked tirelessly through the long day."
For the shoot itself, Arne was the one with the enviable task of driving the classic Ford Mustang GT350 convertible out to location.
He recalls, "it was not a tough job to drive 5 hours west out of Sydney. In hindsight, that was one of the bits I was longing for the most. Pretending it was pre-internet, pre-'I need to check my phone every two minutes,' driving through sleepy country towns, windows down and listening to music over the engine rumble… a blissfully uncomplicated life."
The shooting schedule was short but intensive - the whole clip was shot in just over one day. One very long day.
Arne says, "Rise at 5am back in bed by 2am. Time flies when you’re having fun. It was so good to see everyone so enthusiastically wanting to be part of this video. That weekend will be etched into my memory forever."
Josh recalls, "It was a small, tight crew. Some of my best friends in the world. The flies, the heat, those vast locations and that sexy, goddamn car really helped us all immerse in the thing we were creating. It was a blast - I really hope we get to work together again sometime."
Darcie was scheduled to work on a project over in the States later this year, although now currently on hold due to COVID-19.
The video premiered yesterday over on Tone Deaf.
The full album, "Detachment" dropped on the 24th of April, 2020.
We asked Arne what we can expect from the upcoming LP - "It’s an album full of deeply personal shit - hopes and promises that I turned into songs. They go hard, some tickle the romantic side, some take a little pill and get psychedelic, most take a sudden left turn before swinging right - the way music used to do."
"Best to turn everything off, close your eyes and be taken along for the ride."
Director: Josh Groom
AC: Damien Stacey
Actor: Darcie Irwin-Simpson
Colourgrade : Vanessa Taylor / X2X
VFX: Rob MacBride
all rights reserved, magnus 2020
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All photos by Bern Stock // Intrepid Photography.
( except where credited )