LOS ANGELES — Videohammer Studios’ (www.videohammerstudios.com) Tommy Jones recently created an official lyric video for heavy metal band Lamb of God (www.Lamb-Of-God.com). The
video is unique in that it does not feature any imagery of the band. Instead, it uses post apocalyptic imagery and motion graphics to visualize the band’s heavy, guitar-driven track.
Jones regularly works on videos for bands in this genre. In addition to Lamb of God, he’s created content for Slayer, Testament, Kataklysm, and Death Angel. He also works with many of the Nuclear Blast Records artists.
The ‘lyric video,’ he explains, began as a way for labels to make inexpensive content that could be used to market music interactively. “They are usually tied to a tour,” says Jones, and are used to garner “buzz-worthy attention.”
In the case of Erase This, the video was used to alert fans to the band’s European tour — which began November 17th in Germany — and 2016 US dates.
“Most lyric videos do have bands in them,” says Jones, noting past use of press photos, album artwork and inserts. “The Lamb of God video was a little different.” The band’s management decided to take out imagery of the band and instead, let the viewer absorb the footage from the Chernobyl disaster. “It was a call by the management, who wanted to keep all the organic-ness” of the footage, says Jones.
PHOTO: Jones often shoots videos, but in the case of 'Erase This,' the music video was created using stock imagery and graphics.
According to Jones, Lamb of God guitarist Mark Morton had a specific concept of the imagery he wanted to see in the video, and even referenced the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. With it being impractical to travel to Europe to shoot footage, Jones instead licensed HD material through Pond5. The video shows numerous sites that have decayed in the decades after the nuclear disaster, including buildings, factories, and an amusement park. Additional footage was licensed from Getty Images, including a time-lapse shot of a dead fox, whose body is shown breaking down.
Jones used Apple’s Final Cut X to edit the video, which runs just over five minutes. Motion was the main tool for the type treatments and graphics.
“Lyric videos are all 1080,” he says of the deliverables. “I have been shooting Slayer in 4K, and YouTube has a 4K stream, [but] that’s not working on cell phones. Fans may not have crazy, fast Internet and the latest phone, so 1080 is the target. I work in a ProRes environment, then encode to Web encodes using QuickTime H.264.”
Jones had approximately two weeks to create the Erase This video, which is typical of the music video projects he works on. He’ll have a first cut together after one week, and then spends a few days making revisions based on management feedback and the band’s availability, as often they are on the road, touring.
Erase This is off of Lamb of God’s “VII: Sturm Und Drang” album from Epic Records.