Musician, filmmaker, multimedia artist and producer, Joey Danger, currently calls home in New York City, where he’s making his dreams happen. He’s an award-winning director and visual effects artist, having creating multiple music videos for brands, magazines, artists and celebrities.
As he mentions in this interview, music is his first love, so it’s no wonder, he’s immersed himself in all things for the love of music. He’s now released his new EP, and his first in over 8 years, titled Lust & Vulgarity. Alongside his new EP, Danger has released his new music video for his single, “Surrender,” which can be seen in the interview below. The video was written and directed by Danger himself, and the video took nearly two years to make, which Danger sheds light on in this interview.
Read on to find out what Joey had to say about his love of music, his new EP, “Surrender,” and his classic fun favorites!
Although you’re an award-winning director and visual effects artist, you have a love of music. What drew you to your love of music, and what about it makes you enjoy it specifically?
Joey Danger: Creatively, music was my first love. My father was a musician so I started playing and writing music at a really young age. I think my favorite thing about making music is the process of recording it and being able to express myself in a way that words and images can’t convey. Playing live can be a lot of fun too.
This is your first EP in 8 years! That’s quite a while. What led to you taking such a long break, and why do you think or feel now is the time to release your new music?
Joey: After my last EP ‘Alive’, I wasn’t interested in doing more of the same creatively. Music was changing and so were my influences. Rather than rush new music out, I took time to refine myself as an artist so that I could make something that I felt was relevant and reflects who I am now. I never stopped making music though. In 2012, I started a side project project called ‘God Complx’ with co-member Marissa Rodriguez and released an EP ‘Yours Truly’ in 2013. I shot and directed a video for our single ‘Wicked Games’ during that time as well. Following that project, I started writing this EP ‘Lust and Vulgarity’ in summer 2014 and actually completed it 2 years ago. I even put out a music video for it’s first single ‘Stars’ to build up hype for the original release date which was October 2016 but shortly after the music video dropped, I was given the opportunity to sign with a label if I put my EP release on hold. I spent over a year talking to both major and independent labels before eventually deciding to release it independently.
You also directed your new single, “Surrender,” from your latest EP, which took two years to make. Was that purposeful or just how it came to be?
Joey: Definitely not purpose. The video had no budget so I had to do all the visual effects myself which took me a total of 16 months to complete. That meant leaving my home in NYC and moving to a small town in the blue ridge mountains for a year so that I could afford to spend almost everyday working on the 100 visual effects that were needed to make my vision a reality. It was the most challenging project I’ve ever done but also the most rewarding. It won an award for “Best Visual Effects” at the La Jolla International Film Festival which was a huge honor. The film also gave me something to do while I was waiting to finally release this EP.
What was the vision behind “Surrender,” and what was it like recording and filming it?
Joey: “Surrender” is a love letter to the cyberpunk films I grew up watching. Getting to make a project like this with so many talented people was a dream come true. We shot the entire thing on green screen which allowed me to get really creative with world building and aesthetics. l’m sure it wasn’t much fun for the actors though.I put those poor girls through hell filming the bike chase. The hover bikes you see them on in the film are entirely CGI. The actors were actually riding a makeshift rig me and the producer Morgan Miller threw together last minute using light stands and a leather couch pillow taped to an antique bar stool so that we could spin them around. If they look like they are holding on for dear life, its because they are. It shows just how talented and professional they are though. The rig was very unstable with no place for them to put their feet. They not only had to suspend their bodies as if they were on a motorcycle, they also had to keep themselves balanced just right otherwise they were going to fall. That may or may not have happened a couple of times.
What was your first album on cassette, CD and/or vinyl?
Joey: I can’t remember what my first cassette was, but I do remember my first CD was Dookie by Green Day.
What five albums or artists would you not want to live without?
Joey: I’m sure I’m going to change my mind about these choices later, but off the top of my head I will pick The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails, Crimson by Alkaline Trio, Around the Fur by Deftones, Born To Die by Lana Del Rey and Pinkerton by Weezer.
Who was your first concert, and which one has been your overall favorite, thus far?
Joey: My first concert was Korn and Rob Zombie.
What music video for any musician has been one that has inspired or intrigued you the most?
Joey: Almost anything by director Chris Cunningham. The videos he did for Aphex Twin still blow my mind to this day. I guess if I had to pick just one though, it would be the “All Is Full Of Love” video he did for Bjork. That music video is a true masterpiece. Especially for its time.
Do you have a guilty music or entertainment pleasure?
Joey: Maybe I do. Maybe I don’t. If I told you, I’d have to kill you.