"This Charming Man" is inspired by Franco's poetry and (of course) the Smiths. It also features the iconic band's original bassist, Andy Rourke.
We've got the exclusive premiere of "This Charming Man," the mind-bending new music video by James Franco and Tim O'Keefe's conceptual art school band, Daddy. The song is just a teaser for their upcoming full-length album, Let me Get What I Want, which set to drop in 2015. The new album, their third release since Franco and O'Keefe and started making music together as MFA students at the Rhode Island School of Design, is based off of Franco's book of verses, Directing Herbert White: Poems.
"We took a ten-poem sequence called 'The Best of the Smiths: Side A and Side B,'" Franco explained. "I originally wrote this sequence as a way to use one medium (music) to influence another one (poetry). The Smiths' songs provided inspiration for the poems, lending tone and situation. Once I had the sequence, Tim and I took the material one step further and turned the poems inspired by songs, back into songs of their own."
On top of all of that, Franco and O'Keefe enlisted Andy Rourke, the original bassist from the Smiths, to play on every song of this super meta album.
The colorful video for "This Charming Man" is just one of ten clips that flow seamlessly into one other, making up an hour-long film with no beginning or end.
"We created the record at the same time James's mom ran a program teaching kids how to make films [at Palo Alto high school]," said O'Keefe. "They developed scripts out of the same poems that we made songs out of, then shot film based on those scripts... While they were doing that project, we took all of the raw footage we had for each song and brought in editors to put together our film."
The characters in the film—Tom, Sterling, and Erica—originally appear in the poems and were inspired by real people Franco knew when he went to high school in the mid 90s.
"I thought it would be fitting to have high school students in the 2010s take the material I had generated from my own experiences and interpret it themselves," Franco said. "It would add one more layer of youthful influence, Palo Alto influence, and another medium."
As if that wasn't enough, each video also opens with an original painting from Franco that he created during his time at RISD. Each one is inspired by his 1993 high school yearbook, with some of the subjects of the paintings also appearing in the poems.
If you haven't guessed it by now, Daddy really isn't interested in the traditional idea of a band—it's more of a multimedia project, and instead of the typical musical performance, they plan on presenting their work more like installations.
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