US rock band The Eels appear to have stolen the concept for their latest music video from the chart topping Kiwi band Goodshirt. And they've enlisted Hollywood A-Lister Jon Hamm as an accomplice in their crime.
Yesterday the band released the video for their song Are We Alright Again. The video, which stars Mad Men star Hamm in the lead role, generated coverage from the likes of Rolling Stone, Billboard and the NME.
Filmed in one continuous take the video shows Hamm sitting in his lounge, listening to the Eels new song on his headphones. Behind him the band, dressed as bumbling balaclava-wearing thieves, silently steal all his possessions.
If you're thinking this sounds very familiar, well, you're not wrong. This is exactly the concept of Goodshirt's award winning music video for their beloved 2002 single Sophie.
The song hit No.1here in 2002 and it's quirky and creative music video, which was directed by their frequent collaborator Jo Lonie, won the New Zealand Music Award for Best Music Video the following year.
Filmed in one continuous take the video shows a young woman sitting in her lounge listening to Sophie on her headphones. Behind her the band, dressed as bumbling balaclava-wearing thieves, silently steal all her possessions.
Local music fans were quick to report the theft taking to social media and alerting Goodshirt's frontman Rodney Fisher of The Eels crime.
After being made aware of the situation Fisher had some fun on Facebook, posting a meme about the situation and wondering if he could take The Eels "to Fair Go".
"Its just so bloody random," Fisher told the Herald. "Its really flattering to see our fans standing up for us across social media. I mostly feel stink for Jo, our director, as he came up with the concept and the idea to keep finding interesting ways of making one shot videos for that album."
He joked he was spending the day fishing through The Eels video ideas, "to see what we could do with one of their videos."
The Eels are a critically acclaimed American alt-rock band who have released 13 albums since forming in the mid-90s. They have a dedicated fanbase but are best known here for their early radio hit Novocaine for the Soul.
Goodshirt released two Top 5 albums in the early 2000's before calling it a day. They do however reform periodically and will next be playing at Waterbourne Festival at Auckland's Takapuna Beach on 13 March, 2021, and Wellington's Homegrown Music Festival on 20 March, 2021.
The Eels Australian publicist has sent a statement from band frontman Mark Oliver Everett, or E as he is known, addressing the situation which he calls "purely coincidental". He explains how they reached the idea, apologises to Goodshirt for the similarities and encourages Eels fans to check out Goodshirt's music.
His statement is in full below.
"It's been brought to our attention that our new video for the song 'Are We Alright Again' is eerily similar to one made by the New Zealand band Goodshirt. We were not familiar with the band or their video. It seems to be purely coincidental.
Director Greg Barnes explains the origin of his concept: "It wasn't a burglary to begin with; I wanted the protagonist to wear headphones and to make some toast, and put a pot on the stove, play the track and completely forget the world around him – then – in the background the toast would set fire, the pot would bubble over and the entire kitchen would burn and break behind him. After talking with the production designers they told me that was way beyond our budget. Then, in an email conversation with my producer, I came up with the idea that it would be so much cheaper to turn it into a burglary – where items needn't be destroyed but instead simply removed."
My sincere apologies to Goodshirt for the similarities. It's a crazy coincidence that we ended up with something so similar. The nice thing about this being called to our attention is now I know the band Goodshirt. They're awesome. Check them out.