The Band Explains - HAVVK - 'If I Don't Tell You'

HAVVK speak to us about their creative stop-motion visuals for new brooding cut, ‘If I Don’t Tell You’, exploring toxic narratives and trying to have your voice heard in the digital age.

Where was the video for 'If I Don't Tell You' filmed and why did you chose to include animated elements?
We shot the video in studio in Berlin with our soulmate videographer, James Byrne who flew over from Manchester. We’re massive fans of John Rooney, who did the mural in the video. Since we moved here we’ve made so many lovely talented friends from different disciplines and it’s really inspired us to collaborate more. John has this amazing way of building images and scenes through minute detail and textures. Stop motion seemed like the perfect way to show that coming together rapidly.

How does the video connect with the song?
The song is about processing and trying to make your voice heard through the discord of social media and online news. We asked John to create something that could represent two totally different sides of an argument and then express the chaos and lack of real conversation in the middle.

Do you have any behind the scenes stories you could share with us?
It was a really long shoot and very DIY, and we had a few friends (angels) pop by to help throughout the day. Maria Kelly, who’s also on our label, spent about two hours helping Julie getting into the full white make-up, which was mostly learned from a Voldemort make-up tutorial. And Maggie Devlin who fronts Party Fears took all of the still stop motion shots. All in all we were working for about 15 hours. So we were super glad when we saw James’ final edit! 

Is there a message the video is trying to convey?
It would be too easy to say that the two characters in the mural represent this or that side of an argument – of course there are extreme views out there that are getting air time online that we massively disagree with. But I think another way to look at it, is that the mural represents the way that any of us can act or be unwilling to listen in an online debate. It’s about toxic narratives in general and how anyone can get caught up in them if they don’t take it upon themselves to really question their beliefs and try to learn about other people’s experiences.

Interview feature by Karla Harris