Here at itm? we’re proud to premiere the latest video from Flux Velociraptor. ‘3000 Fists’ is the West Lothian trio’s second release for the State51 Conspiracy label collective via Hi-Fi Infidels, which follows their their debut for the imprint, a re-released / remastered version of their ‘Velociraptor Attractor’ EP.
The band have seen a couple of line-up changes since recording their debut EP in 2018 but constant has been guitarist and main songwriter Gary Clinton, now joined by bassist Gary Pycroft, and Kenny McCabe on drums.
The single sees the band’s sound advance from those earlier recordings. Recorded almost entirely at Clinton’s home studio in Linlithgow during lockdown, with the guitarist taking on synths as well as adding in some electronic percussion in “an attempt to make it a bit ‘Prodigy’… just for fun really,” he laughs.
“So I was pleased the ITM? review mentioned The Prodigy!”
“Had there been no lockdown it would have sounded like a ‘band in a room’ – kind of Nirvana / RATM style,” he continues. This new-found talent for engineering should stand the band in good stead for another single – back to their instrumental roots but retaining some of the experimentation with electronic production – towards the end of January. “We will probably record it that way when we come to do an album in 2021,” Clinton adds.
But despite the band’s new sound, that’s not, it’s fair to say, ‘3000 Fists’ main talking point. In fact, there are two more aspects, both going hand in hand… the lyrics, and the video, which hammers home a point already made with some force.
“(It’s) a protest song calling out the government for its abuse of social media to rig elections and Brexit as well as the BBC for bias during the Scottish independence referendum,” says Clinton, who claims that usually he will “mostly ignore politics”.
“I’m not exactly a Tory voter,” he smiles, “but equally I’m not particularly passionate about the left-wing either. They can all be as bad as each other but I do think this particular Tory government are totally corrupt.
“They are incompetent and led by a man who has lied to a nation multiple times, he allows big money contracts to go to his pals and, you know, enjoys a long weekend.”
That final point, like the lyrics, makes a darkly humourous point about the subject matter.
“I actually wrote the lyrics well before Boris Johnson was prime minister and they come from a place of comedy and satire,” the song’s writer points out. ‘I wish I had 3000 fists’ is a quote from Matt Groening’s ‘Disenchantment’ and I just sort of applied it to the Tories. What musician hasn’t dabbled in controversy to try to get exposure!?
“The line ‘Are you coming to my tea party?’ came from a time Boris Johnson had reporters camped outside his house and he came out with cups of tea for them all, which I actually thought was quite funny.
“And ‘history lessons you always missed’ came from hearing about (the PM’s) ‘cavalier’ and ‘self-entitled’ attitude to his studies at Eton.”
Musicians know that gaining airplay can play a big part in the success of any record, but in recent times we’ve found that while political correctness may cause the revisiting of a much-loved Christmas single, it was the other side of the political divide which saw fit to criticise Cardi B’s ode to, er, sexual health. For ‘3000 Fists’, Clinton and crew were well aware of the pitfalls.
“Obviously saying ‘fucking Tory’ and ‘Bias in the BBC’ are big statements and we thought carefully about it,” Clinton admits.
They also solicited the advice of broadcasters such as Jim Gellatly – who has since aired the track twice on Amazing Radio, describing it as “explosive.”
“We knew that if we went the ‘whole hog’ we would get much less radio exposure,” the band’s frontman continues.
“We nearly said ‘every time there’s bias in the daily news’, rather than ‘BBC’… But ultimately we decided to stay true to our message and not dilute it and make it a proper protest song.”
It remains to be seen if Vic Galloway – who chose ‘Billy Everyteen’ as his pick recently on BBC Introducing, describing the band as like ‘Battles & Black Sabbath in a blender’ – will give the new track an airing.
“I have zero tolerance policy on comprising the music of Flux and that includes lyrics,” Clinton insists. However, despite their convictions, the band aren’t po-faced politicos at heart.
“I intended there to be a certain political satire to the song saying that Johnson ‘missed history lessons’ etc and ‘bring all yer cronies with ye’ – but I think the song does come over very ‘serious’.
“So the idea behind the music video was to try and highlight the dark comedy side of the song. We felt the surreal satire of Monty Python was a good ballpark and the early South Park style animation worked well.
“And yes, that is Michael Gove getting punched in the face by 3000 fists at the end! I love that bit, the animator got his expression perfect, I think it’s hilarious.”
More at www.facebook.com/fluxvelociraptor.