September 8, 2017
Lucia Edna P. De Guzman
Cover art Samantha Gonzales
Don’t let the name fool you. Mr. Bones and the Boneyard Circus is a normal band, made up of normal people, playing normal instruments, singing about normal things. Because when you think about it, isn’t it normal how all of us will eventually have to face our inevitable doom? Comedy is a great coping mechanism for something that we can never escape. Aren’t we all just flesh‑coated skeletons? (Unless there are invertebrates reading this article. In that case, hi. Please like our Facebook page.) The band mascot and host of last week’s press conference, Henry Boneyard, is also just a normal human being who just happened to skip the flesh‑coated part. And he looked dapper in his Americana suit, if I may add.
Really, August 26 was just a normal day for members of the press who were invited to the launch of the music video to Take Me Down, the band’s latest single for their upcoming album The Grand Phantasma. Held at 19 East, Sucat, we wined (well, tequila‑d but there’s a verb that doesn’t exist but should), dined, and watched the short documentary on the making of the music video before shooting the music video itself.
“For years we’ve been scheming, coming up with different fancy worlds and fancy characters that we’ve wanted to bring to life,” Mr. Boneyard said before he handed the floor to the band. “And we’ve never had the right medium to do it until we met a beautiful man named Pedring Lopez, the director who took our vision and fantasy and brought it to life.”
A collaboration between the band and award winning horror director Pedring Lopez (Nilalang, 2015; Binhi, 2015) of BlackOps Studios Asia, the video to Take Me Down took one month of preparation—with the storyboards, props, costumes, etc.—and two days of intensive shooting. With frontman and lead vocalist Bones Frankenstein, vocalist Xombie, drummer Jovic de Leon, guitarist Alvin Chan and keyboardist Karl Vito Cruz are two new members who weren’t with the band since its inception in 2009—guitarist Karl Kliatcho and bassist Carissa Ramos. The character of “La Ballerine,” is played by real life ballerina Aryanna Santiago. And if you know where to look, you’ll find within the collection of “freaks” are other people from the music industry: Kat Agarrado (Sinosikat?), Ash Heywood (Philia), Jeje Santos and Bombee Duerme (Giniling Festival).
The video serves as an introduction to the entire universe of The Grand Phantasma album. In it, pure and pristine La Ballerine finds herself thrust into a world that's different from her clean stage: a circus, a freak show, an complete theatrical production celebrating darkness and debauchery. The inhabitants of this circus include the usual fair of clowns, conjoined twins, a bearded lady, and the like. And then there are the vampires, the skeleton, and the scantily clad nun gagged with a sex toy. And we're not even talking about the band in that set.
“When they called me up, they sent me the song. I automatically thought of those characters. It just happened that Bones was thinking of the same thing,” said Mr. Lopez. From this serendipitous meeting of dark minds came the video, to be followed up by more videos from the same album featuring the different characters introduced in Take Me Down.
“What we’re planning is that each video will have a character and then if you watch them one after another, you’ll find that it plays like a movie. That’s the big plan,” said Mr. Lopez.
“The third album is called ,” said Mr. Frankenstein. “It’s more of a theatrical sound. As soon as the Grand Phantasma shows, it’s going to be one or an hour and a half show. Like theater. It’s going to be fun. Fun fun fun.”
Can we expect the same buzz of energy from the band in the future? Yes, said their guitarist. “We’re planning to release two singles to be accompanied by music videos,” said Mr. Chan. “The plan is to build up to the album launch [next year] so we need to make more buzz with music videos and songs.”
Well, the fans who started pouring in as soon as the press conference was over were certainly buzzed, and they’ll be beside themselves with excitement until the next video comes out, and the next, and the next, until The Grand Phantasma is released next year by Tower of Doom studios.
The full music video isn't out on the internet yet, but you can listen to Take Me Down and other songs by Mr. Bones and the Boneyard Circus on Spotify, or through this video uploaded at Tower of Doom’s official YouTube channel.
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