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THE RENTALS: Invasion Night

Today, the Los Angeles-based production house American Primitive debuted “Invasion Night,” the official music video for The Rentals’ newish single. Created by former Buddyhead founder Travis Keller and his partners at American Primitive, including cinematographer/editor Jacob Mendel, “Invasion Night” is a fantastical slice of Armageddon-inspired science fiction. The short film takes place just moments after a vengeful alien adversary instantly and effortlessly brings near total annihilation to our unsuspecting, naive planet. In the aftermath of this global apocalypse, a connection forms between the last two living beings on Earth, a lone woman and a small dog… “Invasion Night” is their story.

“Shortly after Travis and Jacob had expressed interest in creating some visuals for ‘Invasion Night,’ they called to ask me if the two last souls referenced in the lyrics had to be man and a woman,” The Rentals’ Matt Sharp remembers. “I never stopped to consider that possibility before, but I told them the two last souls could be whomever they wanted them to be—a man and a man, a woman and a woman and since the relationship isn’t explicitly romantic. It could even be an old woman and a young boy, like Harold & Maude or whatever felt tonally correct and in sync with the music. They immediately hit back with… how about a woman and a dog? I hadn’t considered that either, but yes, I supposed it could be a woman and a dog or a dog and a cat or a hamster and a turtle, for that matter. They finished up the conversation with …well, somebody’s gonna have to drive the car! So let’s stick with a woman and a dog.

“It brought me way back to when I was talking on an old landline phone with Spike Jonze about filming the first Weezer video for ‘Undone – The Sweater Song.’ I told Spike we weren’t actually interested in making music videos at all, but we had promised our label we would concede if he would agree to direct, and if there was no conventional storyline. It had to be the band simply playing the song in a plain, blue room and nothihng else. Without hesitation, he replied, ‘OK, I’ll direct it, but with one caveat… a ridiculous amount of dogs must run across the room halfway through the tune.’

“Some things never change, I guess. Dogs and puppies still make everything in the world just a little better,” Sharp concludes.

It would be natural to make connections and draw parallels between these uncertain times and the content of the “Invasion Night” lyrics, the tone of the music, and the visuals of the video itself. The Rentals and American Primitive want to assure everyone watching the video that these correlations are 100% pure coincidence, as both elements were created well before COVID-19 became a serious part of our daily conversations and a central concern to our global community.

The song/video may not have been created as a reaction to the pandemic, but it is difficult not to let your mind unconsciously look for metaphorical connections, as we are all likely looking for allegories in everything these days. In “Invasion Night,” these accidental correlations are thoroughly unintentional, but the two main characters (the Woman + the Dog) of this eerie tale do, ultimately, set a fine example of how to practice meaningful social distancing, by the video’s breathtaking conclusion. MORE

PREVIOUSLY: Q&A W/ Matt Sharp Of The Rentals

PREVIOUSLY: The Rentals “Time To Come Home”

RELATED: The Complete Oral History Of Weezer

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