By Danger Coolidge
Unbelievably Bad Editor
Dumb Numbers – the magical musical project commandeered by LA-based Geelong native Adam Harding – have just released a video for “Unbury The Hatchet” from the recently released second album, II.
Directed by Adam, the video stars friend and collaborator David Yow (Jesus Lizard) as Jimmy, a character he first portrayed in a Useless Children video in 2012. Adam appears as Jimmy’s mother, and cameos include Dumb Numbers alumnus Bobb Bruno (Best Coast) and Kevin Rutmanis (Cows), and actress Kimmy Robertson who played Lucy on Twin Peaks.
UB talks to Adam about video making and the real-life Jimmy…
Dumb Numbers – “Unbury The Hatchet”:
Did you move from Geelong to LA in the first place to do video stuff?
Oh god, no! I moved to LA for a girl! I worked at a printing factory when I lived in Geelong. Digital printing was just starting to creep in before I left, but it was mostly offset printing and letterpress.
How’s it working out?
Depends what you mean by working out? It’s not how I pay the rent, if that’s what you mean. But I enjoy making videos for and with my friends and bands I like. I’ve made something like 40 videos now and it feels like I’m building a body of work with my music and videos.
Dumb Numbers – “Redrum” [“The first Dumb Numbers video, directed by David Yow.”]:
How did you get started in video?
It’s kind of a long story but after I moved to LA I did some work experience two days a week at a DVD production studio learning how to edit and mix audio in Pro Tools. It was a cool little boutique kinda place where we worked on everything from Twin Peaks to all the John Waters titles. After a few months of learning I got a job there mixing DVD commentary tracks and bonus features like deleted scenes and Making Of documentaries. I had a great teacher there from Marseille named Francois who taught me everything I know about Pro Tools. Some time later they needed a video editor so I volunteered to learn how to use Final Cut Pro, and Francois taught me how to edit video. Then I started doing some freelance editing and this led to an offer to make a video for DJ Shadow. So I kinda started at the top and worked my way down.
David Yow – Making Monoliths [“Documentary short film I made of David creating his cement monoliths for his solo album.”]:
Do Dumb Numbers videos present any kind of unique challenge for you?
There really isn’t anything different about making a Dumb Numbers video compared to any other artist, except that I know what I want so communication is a lot easier. David Yow directed the first Dumb Numbers video for the song “Redrum” and we worked really closely on that. I really love that video.
Tell us about the new “Unbury The Hatchet” vid?
We return to the character of Jimmy, who we first saw in the video David and I made for Useless Children back in 2012. David plays the character of Jimmy, who is based on a real Jimmy who was the janitor at the printing factory in Geelong I mentioned earlier. Jimmy was a simple fella, and would come down on the train from Melbourne once a week and one of us would pick him up from the station. He wasn’t the greatest janitor in the world, but I loved Jimmy and we really bonded over music. He was really enthusiastic about whatever music I was playing on the boombox. He really liked the first Folk Implosion record, Take A Look Inside… and would dance with his broom and shake his butt to that. He also loved Sepultura and would headbang to that. Jimmy was a headbanger! So anyway, David and I really had a lot of fun making that Useless Children video and we’d talk occasionally about returning to that character, so this video seemed like a great opportunity to catch up with Jimmy. I play Jimmy’s loving mother in the video and there’s a few cameos in the video from friends.
Useless Children – “Walk Away” [“This was the first thing David and I worked on together. First appearance of Jimmy.”]:
Will there be more Dumb Numbers videos for this album?
I have ideas for three videos but there’s a few things that would need to fall into place scheduling wise for those other two videos to happen. David would play the main character in each of the videos but they would be completely unrelated characters and one of them would take place in the 1950s. I hope we can make the other two but we’ll have to wait and see what happens.
Dumb Numbers II: