VICE Premiere: Yacht Club's "A Little Messed Up" Video

By Patrick McGuire

Toronto's Yacht Club is everything you could possibly want from a throwback dance band. Their music sounds like it poured straight out of a FM signal from the 80s, broadcast on a station designed for cool, beach-loving weirdos. Yacht Club's new video, embedded above, is basically an ode to stalking in the age of Instagram bikini flicks and the ceaseless flow of "check-ins." We caught up with Ben Cook, Yacht Club's frontman who is also in Fucked Up, to chat with him about his artistic intentions that lead to this love letter to the Peeping Toms of planet Earth.

VICE: Why did you decide to take such a creeper angle with this video?
The whole song song started off with the idea of a guy who creeps social media so much that he's losing his mind and can't have a normal sex life anymore. It isn't autobiographical, if that's what you're thinking. That idea, combined with my obsession for people and their natural appetite for watching/peeping/stalking others, all kind of grew into this video. The majority of what I sing about in Yacht Club is perverted fantasy life kinda stuff.. so it fit. Plus we knew it was going to be funny.

Do you think that the fancy antique binoculars make the whole thing less weird? Like, does it soften the blow of all the shameless stalking you're portraying here?
What can I say? I love the opera.

Right. So, what's your favourite thing about instagram?
Everything. Especially when I'm high. The only problem is that I'm addicted to it, although I take comfort in knowing I'm not alone. It really brings people together, don't you think? [Laughs]

That's certainly true, but it's not always for the best. Whats the strangest thing you've seen on social media?
Nothing on the internet feels that strange anymore. The other week, my hipster Grandma "liked" over 150 of my photos in a row on Facebook. I genuinely think she LIKES them with all her heart though… The word "like" probably has a different, and more sincere, meaning to an elderly Grandma like mine.

Is this video just a social commentary on social media?
It's a commentary on human beings in general, while also featuring a cast of dead-sexy human beings for your viewing pleasure. Shout-out to everyone who blindly came out to the park that day, to let Colin Medley and I shoot them doing weird shit.

Is it me, or does this video just make the viewer feel sympathetic for your "character," the peeping Tom?
Maybe you're one, too!

Sure! That's possible. If you could have a spy cam set up anywhere in the world, for your own personal viewing pleasure, where would it be?
Right now? Probably Carrie from Homeland's cabin/naughty sex lair.


The lady that Ben wants to creep on.

Ok, noted. If you had to make a guess about what the craziest invention that the CIA is working on now... what would it be?
Wow, I referenced Homeland and I didn't even know this next question was coming... Nice. Anyways, I have no idea, but if it has something to do with high-tech, custom opera binoculars you know that I am extremely interested.

Yeah, I guess we'll just have to see if the CIA has any opera binoculars-related tech coming out soon. So Ben, have you ever been stalked or spied on?
Yes. When I played east Toronto little league baseball, a woman would come to my games and cheer for me but call me by the name: "Josh". She'd be like, "Strike him out, Josh!" "Good inning, son!".  Eventually it started to bother me (and my real mother) and the police were called. She was clearly mentally ill and it took five cops to restrain her and take her away from "Josh's" baseball game.. forever. Bummer. Also, my close friend is being internet stalked right now. It's really funny.
 

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