In March, the New England-based quartet Primate Fiasco released their latest album Massachusetts Winter, a fittingly eccentric album for a band consisting primarily of tuba, tenor banjo, accordion, and drums. Primate Fiasco started as an acoustic street band, and the spontaneity of their origins shines through in their music. It’s also clear after listening to them for a track or two that the group basks in the bizarre, with a fairly fearless sound that steals inspiration from across a great range of genres while still remaining uniquely them.
Today, on this high holy day, we’re revisiting Primate Fiasco’s music video for “Astronauts,” a hilarious low-budget project that shows the band as astronauts launching into outer space, placing a flag down on the moon, and meeting some new extraterrestrial friends along the way. With the entirety of the video created over the course of a day and the total cost ringing in at around $50 dollars, Primate Fiasco’s video for “Astronauts” is a campy masterpiece that needs to be appreciated. “The song itself is more about socialism vs capitalism than about space, but the space race played such a pivotal role in the cold war, I let that show a little,” says Dave Russo, resident banjo player for Primate Fiasco, though for the music video, he notes, “We wanted to keep a low-budget homemade aesthetic in order to look like a childish astronaut pipe-dream.”
And achieve this aesthetic they did, creating a perfectly ludicrous space adventure for about $50 and a day of their time. Russo spoke on how they cut down costs for the video: “We used the same camera equipment that we already owned for shooting concerts and shot the entire thing in our jam space and in a neighborhood parking lot right after a snow storm. Props were pretty much cardboard and duct tape. We originally had more realistic costumes and props underway, but thought they looked too real and decided to scale it down for both comical and conceptual qualities.” He also notes, “It’s fun to know that the smoke in the launch scene was from the same bong that is weightlessly floating around the cockpit later in the video.”
You can enjoy Primate Fiasco’s music video for “Astronaut” below, or get high and spacey with them in person when they hit The Acoustic in Bridgeport, CT on Friday or American Beauty in NYC on Saturday. You can also check out their website for more information and additional tour dates on their website here.