Premiere: Digits - Street Violence
Canada's own Digits aka Alt Altman, who spends most of his time playing on synth instruments in Berlin, is an exceptional artist with a great taste in gang movies. Above, you can check out our exclusive premiere of his Warriors-themed "Street Violence." It's a much-watch. We spoke to him below as well, if you'd like to know more about the video and his epicly wrought synth music.
Noisey: Is your real name Alt Altman?
Alt: My real name is not Alt Altman, my last name is Altman everyone started calling me Altman when I was ten years old. It just stuck.
Yeah, it seems a little too convenient that a solo synth-artist would be named Alt Altman.
Well I hadn’t even thought about the two names, I was just ‘Alt’ for the longest time, and then Facebook forced me to have two names and I’m like, ‘What am I going to do? I’ll just do Alt Altman’.
Oh so, you had a Cher thing going on before that?
Well, I guess.
Cool. So, this video’s very dystopic, but it’s also sweet in a weird way. Plus The Warriors influence is much appreciated. How did he concept come together?
The Warriors is one of my favorite movies ever. My album is very much centered around the themes that’s in the video. A society breaks down as a result of gang violence that grows out of control and then eventually there’s a zombie outbreak. But the video is set before the zombies, so the only problem is gangs. I really wanted to do a big video, and wasn’t sure how feasible it would be, but I wanted to do an homage to the Warriors where we had gangs dressed up in ridiculous costumes.
The real estate women are my favourite.
Yeah, I love them.
How long did it take to put all of this together?
It was directed by a comedy troupe, a Toronto-based comedy team called Tony Ho. They were the ones that directed it, wrote it, and put it all together. I think it took them a few weeks and then shooting took three days.
Cool. Highly Efficient. What else do you have planned around the album?
The album kind of already came out, but it came out in a weird way. I released a song almost every week until it was all done, on a different blog each time. So the last song from it came out in January and then the album didn’t really have a release. It’s like an internet story or something, because each song is a chapter from the story.
Where did that idea come from? Was that your own?
Yeah, well I decided it would just be an interesting creative exercise to try to commit to releasing an album this way before it was an even done, I only had the first three songs when I started releasing it, and then I was forced to continue the story and write a new chapter and song every week.
It’s good you completed the work! This kinda reminds me of Sufjan Stevens saying years ago that he was going to make a concept album out of every state but then he only made two state-themed albums. So, good job. I guess giving yourself a public deadline works out sometimes.
It just felt like an interesting way to do, like I wanted to do a serialized story - because, writers, way back in the day would release things that way. So I just thought it would be interesting, and interest developed as the project grew.
That’s great. Keep on making epic things.
Download Digits' full concept album here.