“The challenge was to find the balance of humor, darkness and sincerity,” says Auckland, New Zealand artist, multi-instrumentalist and producer Mark Perkins (a.k.a. Merk) of his new single/video “GOD,” premiering today, here on SPIN. “It had to come across as, not ironic, but playfully self-aware of the weirdness of this song while also being profoundly heartfelt. Fun but touching was the goal!”
Perkins honed his producing skills under the mentorship of Crowded House’s (now Fleetwood Mac’s) Neil Finn while working at Auckland’s Roundhead Studios. His 2017 debut album Swordfish went on to win Best Debut Album at the Taite Music Prize (New Zealand’s equivalent of the Mercury or Polaris Prize) and led to tours with Cub Sport, Marlon Williams and Julia Jacklin in both Australia and New Zealand.
“The video was made over many late nights hypnotically tweaking knobs and getting lost in the digital dimension,” Merk tells us, of the self-directed and edited “GOD” video, alongside Martin Sagadin. “The process, while super fun, was a windy road with a number of detours. We were working around COVID restrictions, Auckland was going in and out of different degrees of lockdowns. During one of the lockdowns I became a bit obsessed with video glitch art. There is a super cool online community of people who take old 80s video equipment and circuit bend them into these weird video FX units. After talking with a few of them and getting their advice I found an old CRT TV and some video synths and decided to recreate the GOD video by destroying our super high-quality footage and filming the TV as it ran through this old outdated gear.”
Read on for, in his own words, a fun and touching view at Merk’s day.
Date January 22, 2021
Time I woke up 7:30 am
Every day starts with Pressing the snooze button. Many times. 🛌
Breakfast consists of Vogels and Marmite (it’s a New Zealand thing).
To get going I always Meditate. With varying degrees of success each day. It can be this👌🤪👌 or this👌😠👌 or if I’m lucky👌😌👌
I don’t feel dressed without Clean undies.
Before I start working I must Usually walk around the beautiful old cemetery near my house.
Currently working on The music soundtrack for a documentary series. Yet to be announced.
But I’d really love to be Going camping in Northland with my friends.
Book I’m reading The Sorrows of Young Werther by J.W. Von Goethe.
If I had to play one album on repeat, it would be Calling Out of Context by Arthur Russell.
The perfect midday consists of Having lunch with my musician friends who have studios nearby to mine.
To help get through the day I need Cups of tea. Lots of time to think about nothing whatsoever.
Not a day goes by without speaking to My cool housemates! They consist of a film-maker, a documentary editor/marathon runner, and a human rights lawyer. So a pretty inspiring bunch! 😍
My daydreams consist of Cycling around Copenhagen in the summer with my Danish pals and eating cinnamon buns in the park.
In a perfect day, in a perfect world Everyone I love in one place.
Currently in love with Gustav Mahler’s “Symphony No. 5, 4th Movement.” (I am a big nerd.)
Hoping to make time to watch The final episode of How to with John Wilson!
By my bedside I always have My dream journal📔 to catch any weird scenarios I might find myself in while sleeping. 😴 💭 ✨ 🐬 ✨
To help get through the night I’m a very bad sleeper and my goal this year is to get better at it. So maybe we chat about this in a year’s time and we’ll see how I’m getting on?
Bedtime I live right above a number of nightclubs in the city. On club nights bedtime can be anytime from the wee hours to the late hours of the morning! But ya know, glad there are people out there having fun :’)
When I think about tomorrow, it’s always Letting go of whatever happened or didn’t happen that day and looking expectantly to the new day, baby!