Behind the song and animation video for Dailey’s latest single off the forthcoming, ‘GOLDEN WALKER’
Best believe the second single off Dailey’s forthcoming record, is out now. “Bad Behavior” gives a peak behind the curtain of diversity contained within GOLDEN WALKER. Accompanying the song, is a unique animation video created and directed by Justin Nixon.
Here, we catch up with both Dailey and Nixon who discuss the origins of the song and how such a pairing comes to be. The end result — art on art as “Bad Behavior” gets accompanied by an enthralling visual story-line.
When was BB written and where?
I first found the song waiting patiently for me on my baritone guitar and it was this folky little thing. I felt I already had a song like that on GOLDEN WALKER, so the week before going into the studio I sat at a Rhodes and it came to life as it now is recorded. It was a shock to me.
What was the spark for you that made you want to write about this topic?
Navigating our current madness is more work on a daily basis then we are designed for. Having a song that’s a hip shaker is probably just a coping mechanism while I explore the absurdity.
In a song like this — where there’s multiple layers and instruments, do you still write it simply on a guitar or piano to start? Or does it start with a melody? What’s the process there?
Really it comes down to reacting to each moment. When the song was a finger picking ballad I reacted to that with the Rhodes and switched it up. Then I reacted to that with a beat and each new idea unfolds from there. I get to the point where the Rhodes, beat (Dave Brophy!) and some guitar is down and I know I need horns, bass and strings. I know the best person to call for strings is Paul Ahlstrand and for bass Joe McMahon. Just keep reacting as each piece is revealed. Wave riding.
Take us inside the vibe. It’s got this cool R&B, disco, Michael Jackson feel with a juxtaposition — celebrating bad behavior.
I particularly like using the arrangement and production as a way to counter the lyrical content. What is bad behavior right now anyway? People are marching in the streets for justice, protesting so that our water is safe to drink and our air safe to breathe. While doing that there is always a contingency of groups labeling them with bad behavior for the way they did it or what they wore etc. The definition of bad behavior is currently distorted. So I suppose I want to have fun while wading through it.
How do you see this song translating live?
We’ll find out starting in June!
Video Director, Justin Nixon:
When did you first link up with Will?
Will’s manager Nicole introduced us via email back in December.
Can you take us through your process for creating an animation video? Where do you begin?
A lot of it is the same as a live action production, just in a different order. I conceptualized the video and went on to design, starting with basic sketches that hung on my walls for the duration of the project. I then use multiple 3D programs for character, clothes and environment. The toon shading effect was new to the software I’ve been using (Octane Render in Cinema4D) and I wanted to try it. I sent Will a packet with some example shots and he loved them, so we ran with it. After writing the story I built the scenes and took snapshots on “set” so that I could figure out the timing for the animation process. This also allowed me to filter out bad shots or put in new ones. From there I just filled in the gaps. Once the story and edit are laid out I animated accordingly, mostly with camera and car rigs. I had never animated a car before so YouTube really came in handy when it came to rigging. 3D really allows for some dynamic shots that would cost thousands of dollars on a live action set.
How does the song dictate what you will design in animation? How much did you listen to “Bad Behavior” before knowing what concept you would proceed with?
I listened to the song dozens (hundreds?) of times. I use a lot of references, and listening to the track points me towards different imagery that I’m familiar with. The arrangements took me right to Oceans 11 and then Sin City. I didn’t want to follow a romance narrative despite having watched clips of Bonnie & Clyde while the track was playing. I did, however, enjoy the anti-hero narrative. That’s where I landed on the relationship between a thief and a cop.
The super cool thing about this video is that it includes Will. Often animation videos do not contain the artist like that. How do you go about doing that?
It was something we had talking about originally while planning this thing out, but it didn’t come into fruition until the very end. I had already completed a cut and Will brought up that we hadn’t done that portion. I’m glad he did because it breaks up the video really well. It was important to both of us that it stay in-world. We had discussions about it being on a billboard, in the dashboard, and I think maybe a blimp before settling on the Motel TV. Will shot the footage on his iphone and sent it over to me. I just messed with it in After Effects and put it in the set I had already built for the Motel scene.
I’m thankful that Will was so collaborative. He really let me explore things I was curious about, and the planets aligned with timing, budget and concept. That combo is rare and I really wanted to take advantage of that.
For more information on Justin Nixon visit: www.justinanixon.com
Will Dailey’s GOLDEN WALKER will be released June 1st. Pre-order and get the new single “Bed Behavior” now!
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Produced by/in collaboration with Jeff Gorra: