Ukrainian twin sister animation extraordinaires the Mad Twins have teamed up with punk legends NOFX on a video for “The Big Drag”, from the band’s latest record, Single Album, out now via Fat Wreck Chords.
Fat Mike says of the collaboration:
“I’m more excited than….. a very excited person would be about this video! Why? Firstly because I didn’t have to do anything but write the song. I asked the Mad Twins from the Ukraine to choose a song from our album to make a video for. They said it would have to be “The Big Drag.” They wanted something very dark…. They wrote the treatment for it and I was blown away. It’s nothing that I would have ever thought of. Well, I threw in a couple things. 😈 They said it would take them 6 months of working 10 hours a day to finish it…. They also said it sucks balls to live in the Ukraine during Covid in the winter. Well, they finished it in 5 months!!!! And wow!!!!! They fucking killed!!! Thank you Olga and Vira! You’re amazing!”
The Mad Twins introduce themselves, and comment on the creation of the video:
“We are twin sisters from Ukraine – Olga & Vira Ishchuk “Mad Twins”. We have been into punk rock since teenage years and apply a punk rock DIY attitude to the animation we do – we are fully self taught. We didn’t have the opportunity to study animation itself to enjoy all its rules and features, we are putting all efforts to tell the story and awaken emotions in people.
First NOFX record we listened to was “Heavy Petting Zoo” on the pirate cassette tape. NOFX was about fun songs until “Orphan year” came and touched us deeply. Then “First ditch effort” became a “record of the year” to us! “I’m so sorry Tony” and †”GenerationZ” are those sincere and serious songs we need to hear in a world of hate and war!
We were at the NOFX shows, met Mike and the guys occasionally at European festivals but only after reading the NOFX book we realised what their struggle was and what kind of persons they are!†Really – we said to each other: feeling like we can do a cool serious video for NOFX! We were thinking about writing an email to Fat Wreck Chords website. Not long after suddenly Fat Mike reached out to us about another artwork project. We had a talk and said : Your new record is coming. Are there songs like “Generation Z?” For songs like this we’d like to do a music video. Mike said: I have a very special song! Listen to it and only if it speaks to you – do the video. We turned on the “Big Drag” and started to follow the lyrics – it was a very intense moment! Can we or can’t!?! First line “Before James died he smiled and laughed” was like a push – that’s our thing! Line by line of the lyrics both of us got visions in our heads which were building the story! After only one listening we shared the ideas with each other and the majority of them you can see in the final video! Mike liked our ideas and completed the story with a trademark NOFX style suggestions! NOFX music and Fat Mike’s lyrics gave us an opportunity which not every band can give – create an honest, provocative and meaningful animated video! We are grateful to Fat Mike and the guys for this kicking ass ability!
We did almost 6 minutes long video for the time proper for 3! Full 5 months! First month was given for hardest brain work – animatic rough video and then 4 months for cleanup frames. We worked two months with no day off and felt like – hell yeah,keep working! It was a big mistake! We had enough of wish and willpower to keep working but couldn’t overcome the exhausted physical state of our bodies and brain signals to go have a nap! It was not easy but we did it! 2 people, 4 months, 8684 frames, 72 drawings per day.
Visual art doesn’t need words to be explained! That’s why it’s boring to watch cartoons which just follow the lyrics! People already got it through the words! Video is about visual images and feelings growing from the message of the lyrics. Fat Mike said alot of intense stuff in “The Big Drag ” so the video has to be much more! What we felt through the song is that we all have to try hard to do what we love and not waste the lifetime trying to make the whole world happy! Many people were abused and lives sacrificed under the pressure of someone’s “true good will”! It’s funny, but because we’re not native english speakers we got the last lines of songs our way. “There’s no sadness cause no one left to cry” – we translated like finally everybody will be happy when they do what they love and cherish their own precious moments. Every artist wants to grow. NOFX raised the bar of their own musical achievements with “Single album”, we are glad we raised the bar of our own animated videos achievements with “the Big Drag”.”
Check out the “The Big Drag” video below, and pick up Single Album here.
Images courtesy of NOFX. Featured image credit: Jonathan Weiner.