EXCLUSIVE: Butch Walker’s Kung Fu Epic
WATCH: In clip for his nostalgic ballad "Pretty Melody," rocker battles ninjas played by Panic! at the Disco.
L.A. rocker Butch Walker’s new single, “Pretty Melody,” is a mix of nostalgic ’60s pop and modern songrcraft, and its video follows the same ethos, mixing classic matinee cinema and campy kung fu movies with modern special effects. Watch our exclusive premiere below!
Director Shane Valdez, an up-and-coming filmmaker who Walker describes as “a mix of Spike Jonze and Crispin Glover,” helped the 40-year-old musician/producer imbue the video for “Pretty Melody” with a different vibe than the song itself, the second single off Walker’s latest album, I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart. “I didn’t want the sweetness of the song to be so literally translated into a sappy video because that would be, well, shitty,” Walker tells SPIN.com. “[Valdez] was able to put the tongue-in-ninja’s-cheek element into it all and not take itself too seriously.”
And speaking of ninjas, it was Walker’s love for old school martial arts movies that fueled the video’s concept. “Fist of Fury was the first Bruce Lee movie I saw growing up, and I also loved Game of Death,” he says. “This was my whole reason for wanting to do this. I tried to talk the director into using these sweet overdubbed, but loosely-synced voices for the intro dialogue that I did. It definitely added a comedic element, but I suppose the real voices that are there are equally as funny.”
Among the posse of ninjas, you might be able to recognize Panic! at the Disco’s Brendon Urie and Spencer Smith. “I know those guys are talented actors and they seem very eager to throw themselves into any situation that might require hamming it up for the camera,” says Walker of the duo, with whom he shares management. “[Brendon] is quite the next Marlon Brando — or Brandon Walsh.”
Urie also starred in a spoof of American Psycho that Walker posted earlier this year.
Watch the video below, and tell us what you think of Walker’s kung fu epic in the comments below.
WATCH: Butch Walker, “Pretty Melody”