Tele Novella make music that makes us feel happy all over. A group born and gathered from Belaire, Agent Ribbons, and Voxtrot; they have won us over with their recent No Excalibur 7" and demos like "Don't Be a Stranger", and it is our privilege to proudly present the debut of Jack D. Fleischer's video for "No Excalibur". Shot in the splendor of Super 8, the video creates a whimsical chaos full of the wildest, charming and enchanting house party antics that you can think of to compliment one of the year's most enduring singles.
You greeted at the front door by dual Victrolas, a tedious chess match with Raggedy Andy, chefs and clothiers dressing up a classic belle, a mermaid inhabiting the bathtub, tarot cards drawn like a game of solitaire while a regal officer awaits on his guest, the chef stays busy in the kitchen, the devil lords over the reel to reels, a battle against a zebra piñata, Winnebago parlor games, chickens on the run from the coop, crash-parked motorcycle deliveries, followed by the presentation of the elusive and legendary Excalibur sword, then a ceremony of cakes, an improved porch session from Tele Novella, ending with the devil claiming the iconic blade. Further viewings will challenge the congruence of lyrics to the action on the screen which only enrich the song's magical surrealism, with mystic and eccentric adventures on the homefront. Lightly edited by Dylan Fergus, the following cast of characters make their entrances in the following order of appearance: Amelia Foxtrot, Red Hunter, River Jones, Jeremiah Fox, Devaki Knowles, Jessica Kitty Buick, Jason Chronis, Paul Millar, Allyson Garro, David Gordon, Natalie Ribbons, Courtney Terry, and Matt Simon. Begin your quest for Arthur's sacred steel now.
Tele Novella talked with us about the video for "No Excalibur", behind the scenes glimpses, previews of releases in the works, and more.
Is everyone at Tele Novella obsessed with King Arthurian fantasy tales and fables?
I guess we all like that stuff, but we're mainly just really in to Halloween, dressing up and big spectacles! We're a new band so we're still trying to figure out what aesthetic world we belong to, but we're hoping to have as few limitations as possible. Our music sounds absolutely nothing like Flaming Lips, but I love how many liberties they take with costumery and spectacle-making…there are sprinkles of that spirit in this project, I guess you could say.
What was the songwriting process of sword wielding powers and prowess that contributed to the making of "No Excalibur"?
The song was written while I was reading this Bruno Schulz book that Jason was lending me called "Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hour Glass" and I was really pouring over the visual world that the language of that book evokes. I was going through a period of mourning and rebirth, so the song came out sad and a bit epic and wordy. No Excalibur is all about getting unstuck without waiting around for some chosen one to unstick you.
And then the Jack Dee video for "No Excalibur"…wow….where to begin? Between the beehives, old school Victorolas, tarot cards, chefs, lobsters, mermaids, cakes, devil costumes, cafe racers, a piñata, a ceremony with cakes, the flourishing of excalibur, etc; what was the pre-production and blue-printing for this like?
There wasn't a lobster, you made that up. But everything else kind of came together easier than one might think, actually. Our friends are all weirdo artsy-fartsy types and we all have a lot of cool, weird stuff. We just mushed it all together in one video and tried to get as much of it all in one take as possible.
How and who decided who should be dressed up as whom and what?
I mostly relegated the characters based on what costumery was available to us at the time. We wanted it to sort of clash harmoniously, and it worked, I think.
What were some of the influences behind this? If feels like you all made a DIY Luis Buñuell film/video with all the action, random events taking place and so forth. A live action cartoon, so to speak.
Yes, yes, for sure! It was super inspired by surrealist stuff. We shot it with Super 8 and tried to edit it sparingly to give it the feel of a candid home video in a house of chaos. Also, we've been pretty obsessed with Kenneth Anger and try to consult his stuff for inspiration as often as possible.
How did the powers from Voxtrot, Belaire, and Agent Ribbons all come together and combine to create Tele Novella? What circumstances and events lead to this monumentous occasion?
Well, Agent Ribbons broke up about a year ago, and soon after, Belaire had decided to start winding things down. Jason and I have been wanting to start a project together for a while now, so the foundation was there. We just sort of hustled the band into existence so we would be ready in time for SXSW 2013, and that was our first show. Both Matt and Jason were in Voxtrot as well as Belaire.
I'm sure everyone asks you all this, but are you all fans of telenovelas on Telemundo and the like?
Jason grew up watching them but he doesn't watch much t.v. these days besides Walking Dead. There's a restaurant down the street from our house that always blasts Telenovelas on 5 different t.v.s and it was there that Jason told me what the shows were actually called. It's a cool name…it sounds like an ice cream flavor.
We're loving your recent 7", what is next in the cards for Tele Novella?
Thank you! Well, we're about to release another 7" on January 24 called Trouble in Paradise. I think it is our strongest material out of everything we recorded at Dub Narcotic in Olympia this summer. After that, a full-length!
What are you all excited for in 2014?
We'll be touring the west coast in the spring after playing some SXSW stuff and we'll be recording a whole bunch of new material. I thin 2014 is going to be extremely insane for us, but I'm ready to starting working hard!
Winter prospects for Tele Novella?
As far as the winter goes, we'll be opening for this really cool Austin band called Octopus Project for a couple dates including my birthday! They put on an insane show and we'll be playing in Houston and Austin with them December 5 and 6.
Tele Novella's upcoming 7" Trouble in Paradise will be available January 24.