MUSIC NEWS -The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have reached new heights with the video for their new single
“Despair”. Skyscraper heights, 102-story, 443-meter, NYC Empire State Building heights, to be exact.
"There's been a lot of career highs and lows over the years of being in a band, but in the end, how many can say they shot a video on the top of the Empire State Building? We win,” says singer Karen O. “Move out the way, King Kong, Yeah Yeah Yeahs are gonna get real with you up in this piece!”
“Despair” is the second single off the NYC-based trio’s album Mosquito (out via Interscope), which entered the Billboard Top 200 this April at #5. The concept for the video came courtesy of Noisey.com, who decided they wanted to co-produce a video for the band’s single by pairing New York’s quintessential landmark with New York’s quintessential band. However, until now, no band had ever shot a video atop one of the world’s Most Famous Building.
”The Empire State Building’s iconographic presence is not limited to any date or age. We are happy to offer our magical canvas, the real magic of the real New York City, to this video,” says Anthony E. Malkin of Malkin Holdings.
“Big bands deserve big ideas. So, when Noisey was given the challenge to come up with a big idea for a new Yeah Yeah Yeahs video, we jokingly said… ‘let's get them to play on top of the Empire State Building!!’ Then we said, ‘actually…wait, why not!?’ We called the Empire State Building and not only were they into it, they were a pleasure to work with. Melding two NYC icons into one incredibly big idea is an accomplishment we're very proud of,” says Trevor Silmser, publisher of Noisey.
Directed by Patrick Daughters, Ms O explains Daughters has insider access with her, guitarist Nick Zinner and drummer Brian Chase, having shot earlier videos for “Maps” and “Gold Lion.”
“I felt like I could give as personal a performance because of our history together,” says Karen. “It was important to us that it felt intimate despite being filmed at one of NYC's most famous landmarks and an international cultural icon. It was my first-ever trip up to the top of the ESB, top of the world, we were up there from 3am to sunrise, I'm guessing very few get to see that view from up there at those hours.”
Mosquito was produced by Dave Sitek and Nick Launay (working separately), with one track produced by James Murphy. Most of the album was recorded at Sonic Ranch in Tornilla, TX. Dr. Octagon (Kool Keith) appears on one track.
“I gotta say I had a ‘the impossible is possible’ moment up there with Nick and Brian,” says O. “If someone would have sat us down at the Mars Bar years back and told us that we'd be performing our music on the top of the Empire State Building one day, we probably would have thought that's the stuff that dreams are made of, not us, no way.”