Video Chats: Meg Myers on "Desire" and "Heart Heart Head"

Posted by Doug Klinger on April 7, 2014 in Interviews

Staff Post

Last month while at SXSW, we caught up with Meg Myers to chat with her about her videos for “Desire” directed by Jordan Bahat, and “Heart Heart Head” directed by Elliott Sellers. Having already talked to both Jordan and Elliott about their videos, we were excited to get Meg’s perspective on them, especially since she was the one who actually had to drag a tree through the woods, sing while floating, and wrap her leg around a dude in a green suit. We talked to Meg about the process behind each video, the moments that make her cringe, and breaking up over a music video.

IMVDb: Did you have an idea going into "Desire" what you wanted to do for the video?

Meg: Yeah, we did. My producer, his wife, and I actually had the idea of having an invisible person. The song is sexual, and we came up with the idea of me in this sexual situation with an invisible man. Then Jordan just took that and made it his own.

IMVDb: Did you have a hand in the styling of the video? Did you have any input on what you would wear and how you would look?

Meg: The styling of it really came from Jordan. We worked with him and liked what he did with it. The teddy bear, the t-shirt, the socks, the sort of childish tank top, the cartoons on the TV, I definitely wanted to have something innocent added to it because I feel like that makes it darker and makes it more awkward.

IMVDb: Technically for this video I know you guys had a couple of dudes in green suits holding you up and interacting with you. What was that process like for you?

Meg: They were both really cool, thank God, because they had to have their hands on my body, lifting my sweatshirt up. In the scene where they're holding me up, one of them was lifting me up but he couldn't do it alone and so the other one had to come to help. I don't know if you can tell, but that's why when I’m first lifted, I'm a little bit sideways. We had to cut that shorter because I was just like hanging sideways. They were really nice, though it was weird because I had to walk up to one of them and make eye contact with him. It's important to me for it be real, and I have to feel it in order to do that, so I had to really let myself just get into it with him.

IMVDb: I know you are very energetic when performing, even in your music videos. What was it like to be held in the air while trying to perform?

Meg: It was hard. Music videos are hard to make. That whole day was really difficult. People always ask, “Oh, was it fun?” and I always say, “No, it’s actually hard work." I have to really let myself get into this place. There are fun moments and everybody was so awesome to work with, but yeah, it's hard. Also, my boyfriend at the time, my ex-boyfriend, was so not down with it. He basically ended up breaking up with me over the song and over the video. That day I was so miserable, I was so sad, and I felt physically ill from it. We ended up breaking up a couple of weeks after.

IMVDb: That’s terrible.

Meg: Yeah, but no, it ended up being great because I met somebody else.

IMVDb: The "Desire" video definitely required a lot of more acting than your other videos, whats it like to take on more of an acting role like this?

Meg: It was intense. It was so draining. Like I said, if I don’t go there all the way, I feel like then I don’t want that out to the world. And also, it’s a song about sex, but it’s more than that to me too. It’s about vulnerability, and all these other feelings that mean so much more than just being about sex. But it still is, and that’s the first video that I’ve done like that, and it was a little scary for me because that was the first time I was putting this out there or doing something a little more sexual. I wanted it to be legit. I wanted it to be genuine. If something is sexual, but is genuine - you can do basically anything you want if it’s genuine.

IMVDb: "Desire" was Vimeo Staff Picked, which I know for directors can be a pretty big deal. As an artist, what kind of impact does that have on you?

Meg: I had no idea what that even meant. I don’t know what anything means. I'm in the studio most of the time, and lately have been playing more shows, but that’s what I do. When I go home, I try to just not have anything to do with anything. I listen to music, but I’ll try to go hike or just chill out. I just don’t know about anything in the world. But I think I’m learning more, because my producer when he told me he said, “This is a big deal!” and I’m like, “Oh, cool, OK!”

IMVDb: Moving to the "Heart Heart Head" video, would you say your performance in that one is closer to your natural stage presence?

Meg: Yeah, I would say this one is probably easier in that way, because it was like less acting and closer to just being the weirdo that I am.

IMVDb: How about when dragging a giant tree behind you? Did the present any difficulties when trying to also perform?

Meg: Actually, yeah, that was a little acting because I’m dragging it, and it's heavy, but I have to over exaggerate my steps and swing my hair a little bit more than I normally would if I was dragging a tree. If I was really dragging a tree I'd be dead. But to get the camera to catch those angles I had to definitely be more exaggerative.

IMVDb: Do you and Elliott collaborate on the concept of this video?

Meg: Yeah. I had this really crazy idea, and I explained to him the meaning of the song, and he took it and just switched everything into this idea into something more metaphorical. And I was like, “Oh shit, that’s really cool.”

IMVDb: The video is over a year old at this point, how often do you go back and revisit your older videos?

Meg: I actually just watched "Monster" a couple of months ago and thought, “Wow, this is really cool!” I think just as time goes, each month that passes you write new stuff, and you make new stuff, and you feel like it represents you better than the last thing did. But shit, watching all my old stuff still makes me think, “Oh, so cool!” It’s still such a part of me.

IMVDb: There’s a lot of visual effects involved in this video. Were you hands on with that process?

Meg: We worked with him a little bit on the effects because we were so freaking picky. That’s one thing with me, the music videos always end up taking so much longer than you think because we’re crazy picky.

IMVDb: Are there other music videos out there that you enjoy or look to for inspiration?

Meg: I’m not big into that many videos, but every now and then I’ll see one and if it does something, if it makes you feel something, then it’s good. Like when I saw the Gotye music video for "Somebody I Used to Know," that one’s so awesome. It’s so simple but it’s so beautiful. If you can blend the song with an amazing visual that makes you feel something, I think that’s so awesome. But again, I also think a lot of videos ruin songs for me.

IMVDb: None of your videos have done that. So that’s good.

Meg: I hope not. To be honest though, there are parts in all my videos where I fucking cringe. I’m just like, “Oh, boy.”

IMVDb: Which parts?

Meg: I think it has probably more to do with the way I look. In "Desire," it's when I walk up to the invisible guy and I lift my leg up. I sort of look like I’m making out. I don’t really think I’m supposed to be making out, but it looks like I am.

IMVDb: Was that what was written for you to do or was part of that instinctual?

Meg: I think we did a few different things. "Desire" is sort of a story, and so if we took that out, it would sort of be like, “What’s going on?” You kind of have to see me with the invisible guy to know what was going on. We decided to keep it in and I’m over it now, but I’m just so hard on myself. I just look at my butt and think, “Ew, that’s my butt. Werid."

IMVDb: On the internet.

Meg: Yeah, that’s my butt on the internet. Sorry, Dad.

Doug Klinger is the co-founder/content director of IMVDb and watches more music videos than anyone on earth. You can find him on twitter at @doug_klinger.

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