Music

Banned after six hours: Voltaire Twins defend NSFW clip

“It’s like a kid sniggering at a nude portrait or something” – JAYMES and TEGAN VOLTAIRE from Perth’s The Voltaire Twins voice their frustrations after clip for new single ‘Solaris’ was pulled from YouTube after just six hours.

This video’s origins can best be summed up by saying: We were broke. We’re an independent band, so we didn’t have any cash, but we wanted to make a video. There’s a lot of expenses you don’t think about when you watch a music video. There’s always lots of people behind the scenes working on lots of things. Expensive things. We didn’t have money or time on our side, but we did have access to a studio, a camera, our friends and fans and, most importantly, our long-time collaborator, friend and all-round genius director, Ben Young.

Ben had the idea that we could do away with expensive things like sets, costumes and locations by shooting an orgy in a studio. Except not an orgy, because that would just look boring and cynical – attention grabbing but pointless. Instead, we’d create our own tribe of people, paint them in our own design and have a big love-in. Like a beautiful and powerful ritual ceremony where everyone macks out and feels each other up. Tastefully.

So we put a call out for open-minded people with no hang-ups. Then over the course of one day we and a group of friends painted them up, covered them in baby oil and watched it evolve. It was a very intense day, but it was the most fun any of us had ever had. We had to put a lot of our own fears to one side and it was exciting to watch how everyone’s performances grew as they became more comfortable with their characters. The whole day was hard work, but also quite an intensely erotic experience. It was amazing.

“It’s an ugly mix of cynicism and ignorance that looks at exposed breasts and same-sex kissing and thinks ‘OMGPORN’.”

We were pretty shocked when YouTube pulled it, just a few hours after we put it up. It hadn’t even gone live yet to the public – it was just being circulated on Facebook and Twitter, and in that time we clocked 1500 views – but it only took one prude to report it. To be honest, we were a little disappointed that YouTube upheld the ban. It’s an ugly mix of cynicism and ignorance that looks at exposed breasts and same-sex kissing and thinks “OMGPORN” rather than bothering to think about the meaning behind it. It’s like a kid sniggering at a nude portrait or something – the joke is on whoever found it confronting enough to report it, because they’re obviously too narrow-minded and lazy to think about what they’re watching.

So in the end, we just want people to see this video, because we’re really, really proud of it. We might do a censored version for YouTube and cover it with links to the full version on Vimeo. We believe this video is suitable for anyone of any age, so long as they’ve got an open mind and a sense of humour.

The Voltaire Twins’ Apollo EP is out now through iTunes.

Tour dates:

Saturday 8th September – Plus One @ Ed Castle, Adelaide

Thursday 13th September – Big Sound, Bakery Lane, Brisbane

Friday 14th September – The Grace Darling Hotel, Melbourne

Saturday 15th September – Kittens @ Spectrum, Sydney