Helix look back on their videos for tracks “Wild In The Streets” and “Running Wild In The 21st Century”
Canadian veteran hard rockers Helix will be premiering their new video for the title track of their new album Eat Sleep Rock via Studio 73 on Facebook on August 14, 2020 at 9:00 pm EST. Leading up to the world premiere of the video for “Eat Sleep Rock”, Helix have been looking back at some of their past videos with frontman Brian Vollmer presumably providing the comments.
“Wild In The Streets” video:
“The Wild in the Streets video was filmed at the Massey Ferguson plant in Toronto (once again!). If my memory is correct, it was filmed on a Friday the 13th, and at some point the power went out. For this vid we had the full Helix stage replete with the metal horn ramps.
As in previous videos, we sat down as a group and planned out various shots we wanted the film company to do. Rob Quarterly, the director we had used since Heavy Metal Love, was once again brought in to do the filming. Brent had an idea he wanted to come through a wall of glass, so Capitol paid to have some “sugar glass” brought in. Sugar glass is what they use in movies/TV. It’s supposed to be harmless when you smash it, although Brent had some cuts here and there. The glass was very expensive, so there were only two sheets of it. There wasn’t much room to f**k up.
Another shot we wanted was to have me bounce my microphone stand off my leg up into the air and then catch it. It was not as simple as it sounded. Try bouncing a steel microphone stand off your leg! In the end we painted a broom stick black and used that for the stand. The broom stick had lots of bounce to it, although I think we broke a couple in half before we got it right. It still took a lot of practice and turned my leg blue after doing it 500 times…lol.
An “oddity” in the video is where Paul and Brent throw their guitars across stage to each other. What we ended up using were the guitars actually going back to the guitar throwers-we ran the film in reverse. As with all our little tricks involving guitars, we practiced with cheapies before actually taking a chance on destroying a custom made guitar. Usually things worked out alright. However, when Brent was perfecting throwing his guitar in a circle around his back, he broke off many a guitar neck before he got it right. Also-if you missed-the chances were you were also going to drive the end of a guitar stock into your leg or your crotch. Risky business. But someone had to do it…(Brent, not me!-I’m the singer!)
The vest and belt I used in this video are still in my office downstairs. However, I don’t know what happened to the holster. Now you see other singers using my idea. It wouldn’t be the first time that other bands nicked our ideas. We also worked a long time on our clothes to get a unique look. The leather jacket with the studded fringes took a couple of days to put together. I eventually gave it to a girlfriend from South Carolina by the name of Suzie Best. (Suzie was the girl mentioned in Southern Comfort, from the album Old School.)
Staying ahead of the curve on clothes was something very important with us. We always tried to stay on the cutting edge when it came to fashion and spent thousands of dollars on clothes and hours photographing and re-photographing the clothes to make sure they looked as best and as cool as they could. We had some amazing clothes designers. Together with our ideas, our accessories, and our clothes choices resulting from hours of shopping for them, we achieved a unique look.”
Helix‘s “Wild in The Streets” video:
“Running Wild in The 21st Century” video:
With respect to the video for “Running Wild in The 21st Century” (from the album Back For Another Taste released in 1990), Helix‘s Facebook page indicates in part (with slight edits):
“This video was filmed by director Phil Kates, who won “Best Metal Video” for it at the Much Music Awards show that year. What really made this video work was using “Snake” or Bill Pulley, a tattooed biker from London, Ontario. I had met Snake while working for Manpower Temp services.
In 1990, after my divorce from my first wife Gidgette, I was essentially homeless, couch surfing between friends in London, Ontario. I had gold and platinum albums but I didn’t have 10 cents in my pocket. I ended up moving in with my best friend Randy Heywood, the second cousin of Gordy Tapp of Hee Haw fame. No one seemed to be willing to hire a musician who hadn’t worked a straight job for 16 years, so I ended up working for a temp service. One of my first jobs was to help tear out the old Brass Rail, a club where Ronnie Hawkins used to play. Down the street was a little hole-in-the-wall greasy spoon called Mary’s Lunch. They had a lasagna special for $5.99, so I was there every day. I would come in filthy dirty, try to clean up in the washroom, eat, and leave.
One day, I noticed the strangest guy at the next table. He was covered from head to toe in tattoos. He said his name was “Snake” because of a certain tattoo he had. I walked over and introduced myself and said, “If we ever have a video where we need someone like you, would you be in it?”
He agreed and I didn’t forget, so when it came to filming Running Wild in the 21st Century, he immediately came to mind. Phil Kates was hesitant. Who was going to take care of this guy and see to it that he didn’t get out of hand? I promised that I would, adding that Snake was a pussycat.
In the end, it won Kates an award and Snake was terrific. How can you complain about that?”
Helix‘s “Running Wild in The 21st Century” video: