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Boar God Score A Surreal Sci-fi Fantasy For New Video, “The Tar Pits”

Montreal noise rockers get their hands dirty with their latest animated adventure.

by Stephan Boissonneault 

Photo by Tiny Elen

Montreal’s Boar God are a self-described “mystical drone-punk/cold-wave thrash band” with elements of shoegaze, doom rock, and experimental noise. It’s a heavy, darkened, and frigid tone that evokes that classic “wall-of-sound” practice made popular by bands like My Bloody Valentine or A Place To Bury Strangers.

What separates Boar God from their peers is the hopeless atmosphere they evoke in every track. Guided by the melancholic vocal tone of lead singer and guitarist Eric Bent, there is a wavering feeling of dread and impending doom in Boar God’s music. This adds to the droning and haunting aroma, perpetuated by intentionally vague lyricism. 

Boar God quietly released their Near Extinction EP last year but are reminding their fans that they’re still here with their new animated music video for their song “The Tar Pits.” The video was directed and created by Eric Bent and follows the loose extraterrestrial story of an unsuspecting cat creature crash landing on a rival planet and being put through the gauntlet. Starring nightmarish beasts and a maniacal alien scientist, when asked about it, Bent says matter of factly, “It’s just kinda meant to be free-form and surreal.”

The animation style and art is also inspired by the expressionist aura of the 1960s underground comic artist, Rory Hayes. RANGE spoke with Bent about the new music video and that uncomfortable feeling of being stuck.

What is “The Tar Pits,” lyrically about? I’m getting themes of loss and desolation?

Your interpretation is pretty spot on. Though the lyrics are literally from the perspective of an animal sinking and drowning in an actual tar pit.

Why an animal in a tar pit? Where did that image come from?

I was watching a documentary about prehistoric animals and the subject of tar pits came up. I started thinking about feeling as though you’re trapped in a situation you can’t get out of and feel isolated because of it. I actually wrote the lyrics months before COVID was even a blip on the radar, so the subsequent lock-downs and feelings of isolation many are feeling because of the whole thing have given the song more relevance.

You animated and directed the video. Is this your first foray into the filmmaking world? 

This is the first time I’ve animated a music video for the band and it hopefully won’t be the last. Part of the reason for doing the video for this song in particular was because it is the most “rock” song on the EP, and I just got a lot of inspiration listening to the final mixes of it. The images just came to me as I listened to it over and over again.

So the story of the video, where did that inspiration come from? Are you a fan of sci-fi?

The inspiration is from a short comic called “Evolve” by an underground comix artist by the name of Rory Hayes (the first half of the video is pretty much a scene-for-scene “adaptation” (laughs). Though I had a lot of trouble figuring out the ending, the focus wasn’t so much on having a tight narrative, but more to evoke the feeling of a nightmare. 

So is it kind of an homage to Rory Hayes’ work?

Weirdly enough the initial inspiration to create the video came from another animated video for the band Lungbutter who are also from Montreal. The style of the video made me think of that late 60s underground comix aesthetic, so my mind just kind of went from there. It’s not really meant as an homage per se, the style just seemed to really fit our song.

There’s a big noise rock component to your music, what are you drawn to within the genre?

I just like to sound BIG, so I’m very attracted to the “wall of sound” kind of thing. I like distortion and noise of course, but it always has to complement the melody and the notes that I’m playing.

What’s next for Boar God?

We recently recorded a couple of new tracks that we will be releasing soon. In the meantime we are just trying to re-navigate the scene since venues are re-opening and things are finally starting to happen again; booking shows, writing new stuff, maybe planning a tour, etc.