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videos | glitterball epk

Steve Blame


Blue Post


Interviews with Jim, Charlie, Derek, Mel, Andy Earl and Stuart MacKenzie at The Guggenheim, Bilbao during the Glitterball video shoot.

Most of the video was about creating the Glitterball video but Jim also spoke about Neapolis and some of the band members talked about their favourite tracks.

Often referred to as the Neapolis EPK, the correct name is the Glitterball EPK.

Audio: Glitterball

JK: Glitterball is probably one of the expressions being used to describe this structure we're in but, personally, I find that this place defies any kind of description.

DF: I don't know what it was at first. Someone said it looks like a rose from the sky, then it was sections of a fish, and then I saw that big dog thing, whatever that is. That's stunning. It's a stunning building.

MG: I've yet to look around the museum. But it is stunning. I've heard so many reports about the architecture and we're here and we're looking at it. Like I said, I haven't been inside yet. Can't wait to get in there and have a look around. Certainly, architecturally, it's wonderful.

CB: Whenever I've been reading about it in the past, I really wasn't that impressed by it. I thought 'this thing's going to look horrendous when you get there and see it.' But it's absolutely amazing.

AE: The whole idea was because the song's called Glitterball, what we wanted to do, was to do something which - when we were coming up with an idea, there was various things that we came up with, but the main thing was this building. And because it's the biggest glitterball in the world, it would be a great idea to work an idea using this. Not as totally obviously, but just to have little bits of the structure and things.

JK: In terms of the music and the performances, we're very much, you know, it's our vision but the videos, while you're doing it you can't really see what's going on and you're very much in the dark which is difficult. So, in other words, you're putting yourself in someone else's hands to try and capture or 'marry' the vision of the song - if that indeed is the goal.

MG: Unless you've got an absolutely cracking script where you know exactly what you're going to be doing acting - I think acting is ???. If you're trying to act something that you're not, it comes across like that on video. I think the best thing to do is to be as natural as possible.

JK: They're not something that I love doing although this is the prestige and the honour, the whole hip-ness of being the first to work inside this amazing place is - makes it that wee bit special.

SM: This is an opening shot and what we really wanted first of all to establish is a band performance. And also something quite unnerving's happening. It's 'What is that? What's happening?' To try and intrigue the viewer into watching the video.

Audio: Song For The Tribes

JK: This record was pretty much recorded on the move, I mean, the whole thing about our band is that every time you put out an album you are tempted to say that was a phase or this was a phase. that was another phase. But with Charlie and I things are much more seamless than that and we sort of began this band 20 years ago really. We were on a hitchhiking trip when the idea, or you could say, the determination to see it through began and in some ways that trip is still going on.

CB: I think we wanted to veer away from the rock element. That was something we were bored with and a bit tired. And also, there was a sort of return to many years ago when we were more sequence based. A bit more experimental. A bit more European, dare I say it.

JK: I can definitely feel some musical flashbacks and in terms of the personel, the fact that Derek Forbes is playing with us again and Mel is playing again. It does seem to have come some sort of a circle. But I think to go back and try and create the past - not only do I not really think it's possible, but it wouldn't have interested us. I mean. whatever we did is there - it's still there - you can still get the records or the CDs or whatever and so much has changed - we've changed - every cell in your body has changed since, say, we made New Gold Dream. Technology's changed - everything - but I suppose if you have a long history there are certain themes that are always there, the genetics, and at different times, they for whatever reason make sense again. Maybe it's just the fact that they become fresh because you haven't been in that kind of territory for along time.

AE: We were hoping for nice, sunny weather and, needless to say, when we came to see it, it looked beautiful and it did glitter, but when we came here, since, it's rained.

JK: Well I suppose we knew it would be like this - we'll blame it on Charlie - he brings the clouds wherever he goes. No. I can't blame it on Charlie - I went once to Ayr's Rock where there hadn't been any rain for 9 years and the afternoon that I arrived it rained for 3 days!

JK: I don't think that our humour has ever come out in the music. I'm not sure why, but maybe we take the music too serious or more serious than we should but the music always seemed very dramatic and I guess the videos and the artwork and the stage presence would fit that bill. But thank God we have fun because if you can't have fun doing this there's really something wrong. And sadly fun isn't a word that's used a lot in terms with Simple Minds but it doesn't mean to say that it's not what we've been having.

JK: [To SM]: What I wanted to ask you, is the logic behind working with different artists and why, in particular this case, did you feel it right to wake me up at two in the morning [laughs] shouting "HELLO WEE MAN."

SM: [Laughs]

JK: [To AE]: I'd like to ask you one thing. Where do you get your sweaters?

AE: [To JK]: I have a very, very good tailor who knits them up. [Laughs] Usually when I'm walking along, he says to me 'That's a nice one. That'll do Andy.

JK: The real serious Simple Minds here.

Audio: War Babies

CB: War Babies is a story of a torn family say. You know, a kid in the middle of a broken relationship.

JK: It had a very lonely melody in it, there was also something uplifting about it as well, but there's something naive in the melody to me, something classical.

Audio: Tears Of A Guy

MG: My favourite track is Tears Of A Guy. Purely because of the musical content and I think it's a really good song. It comes across well, it's dynamic, and it has the dynamics of Simple Minds.

Audio: Glitterball

SM: Really excited. Really excited to be going on to the next stage in the video and getting it edited.

AE: I think it's nice. Good bits that we've got together so far. And there are sequences we've seen. Not necessarily what we went out with - the initial concept and stuff has had to change slightly - we haven't lost shots, we just haven't we just haven't had the same quality that we first imagined. But, in a way, it's taken on its own character. And now, when we get it into the edit, probably what we'll go in and say 'Well it's going to look like this' and then you start doing it and think 'Jesus - no. That looks so much nicer. That's so much more relevant.' All the neon lights work better so much more than we thought they would. And as long as it doesn't look too 'twee', it'll work really nicely.

JK: I think what we've found quite hard to understand is that we're obviously not, and haven't been for a long time, is sort of 'New Kids on the Block' but the people that were making music when we were kids are still making it so we're in this middling no-man's-land - too old to be the young guns and not old enough to be the out and out rock legends. I guess people like Neil Young and Lou Reed and such, they're the ones that really throw down the gauntlet. For my part, it's easy to get by and it's a pleasure to get by on the energy of youth but to take it to that other level, that these Artists have done is quite incredible. And to see how they'll go through all sorts of peaks and troughs and deal with their music and deal with the ever changing industry around their music is inspiring and it's that that we look to, I mean, compared to them we're sort of thoroughly 'wet behind the ears' and indeed not yet fit to lace their boots so that's the challenge.'

The EPK was the first to be made commercially available when it was included on the Neapolis limited edition eCD - although it was called the Exclusively filmed video with the band on the sticker and insert.

Neapolis Limited Edition CD Neapolis Promo Box Set

collectors' information
A VHS video of the EPK was included in the Neapolis promotional 'round tin' box-set:

A longer, unedited version of the interview with Jim was included on the Neapolis Interview CD and distributed as a press release.

Seven tapes of unedited rushes were shot on the 19th February 1998. Each is of about half-an-hour duration and included all the material which would be eventually edited down to create the Glitterball video and Glitterball EPK.

Over one-and-a-half hours of usable material was then collected onto two tapes on the 21st February.

A rough cut of the EPK was prepared on the 26th February which was around forty-two minutes long. The final master edit was assembled on the 30th January with a sleek running time of just under seventeen minutes.

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Jim at the Guggenheim

Derek at the Guggenheim

Mel at the Guggenheim

Derek at the Guggenheim

Stuart MacKenzie and Andy Earl at the Guggenheim

The band at the Guggenheim

Stuart and Derek at the Guggenheim

The band at the Guggenheim