You know what sucks about animated videos? The fact that the band doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with them. The thing with “performance” videos is that at least the band has to give enough of a shit to show up for the filming. I don’t know whether or not Conor Oberst, M. Ward, Jim James, or Mike Mogis had any part in the creation of the video for “Dear God,” but I know it’s not the one that won the video contest they had a few months ago.
Paste has a good interview with Conor Oberst, Jim James, M. Ward, and Mike Mogis, who together have released an album as Monsters of Folk. Yes, it’s a stupid name, and they acknowledge that. But I like what I’ve heard so far.
Jim James: The only rule was that the four of us play everything on the record. So we played all the drums, all the bass—we didn’t hire any outside musicians. Conor Oberst: And we all sing on nearly every song, even if it’s just backup. M. Ward: That was a fun part of process—layering the vocals; finding common ground between vocals. Mike Mogis: That’s one of the standout features of the record. The songwriting is great, as well, but the sheer sonics of hearing these three people sing together… Oberst: It’s that old folk sound. [laughter] James: It’s just like Peter, Paul and what’s his face. [laughter]
Sounds like they’ve got the right attitude—not taking themselves too seriously. We’ve got a couple of videos after the jump, including a live version of “Say Please” plus a song that sounds a lot like American Beauty-era Grateful Dead.