Super-8 anarchists Focus Creeps rage against the machine in their music videos for King Krule, Christopher Owens and Cass McCombs, transporting viewers into carefree worlds of youthful indiscretion. “A lot of culture and character is being flattened and homogenised,” says Aaron Brown, one half of the duo alongside collaborator Ben Chappell. “I work with folks I believe are an exception to the norm: eccentrics.” This year, they made gloriously freeform video interpretations of Dennis Cooper’s writings for Dazed Digital, and are currently working on a feature film they say will be “less ambient, but always chasing beauty”.
What was your defining pop culture moment of 2014?
Focus Creeps: Not necessarily her videos or records – respect, though – but Miley Cyrus’ tour was profound. Karl Lagerfeld drowning in cough syrup, Geoff Lillemon anarchy with John Kricfalusi, Mike Will with The Flaming Lips and Arctic Monkeys covers, midgets and giants, and Miley’s booming enormous voice over the sugar-coated songs... A curatorial monument way cooler than any gallery or museum could summon.
How would you sum up what you do in a sentence?
Focus Creeps: While a lot of culture is being flattened and homogenised, I work with folks I believe are an exception to the norm: eccentrics.
What’s your favourite song and movie of 2014?
Focus Creeps: I liked how loose 22 Jump Street was. Now technology makes everything sterile. You have to make an effort to be loose. But I think A Field in England takes my favourite. (I liked) Marianne Faithfull’s “Late Victorian Holocaust”, but I dig the choruses for iLoveMakonnen’s “Tuesday” and Petite Meller’s “Backpack” (but I’m writing from Paris right now, so the latter two could be biased from the vibe here).
How do you think style and pop culture will change in 2015?
Focus Creeps: In 2014, a lot of low-budget stuff started to look good and lose the twee-ness I despise, and a lot of high-budget stuff has begun to not take itself so seriously. These trends are promising.
Sum up what we can expect from you in 2015.
Focus Creeps: More explicit jokes and more explicit transgressions. Less ambient, but always chasing beauty. In other words, I’m working on a feature script.
What's the most exciting thing about the music/film/fashion industry today?
Focus Creeps: Hedi Slimane is a good metaphor for the way things work now. From film to fashion and whatever else, it needs to have sincerity. Truth is stranger than fiction, so reality is stranger than the imagination. It’s using whatever means necessary to tell a story. With Hedi Slimane, the clothes are the tip of the iceberg; almost a repository of ideas. Because of the internet, artists and designers have become more like anthropologists of their own medium rather than individualists. That’s cool, and so far Hedi has executed this “new way” the best.
What new skill did you learn this year?
Focus Creeps: To say no.
Who’s an unsung cultural hero that you discovered this year?
Focus Creeps: Thomas Ligotti (℅ True Detective Reddits).
What’s the most surprising thing we'd find out if we looked at your phone?
Focus Creeps: A complete Crass album that I purchased from iTunes and other grey market GPS coordinates.
Who should have been at number one on the Dazed 100?
Focus Creeps: James Turrell. Light is criminally underrated. It affects everything.
Lead image: still from Focus Creeps - Knife Tape Robe
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