The Los Angeles-based Singer/Songwriter and Multi-Instrumentalist Tiger Kid releases a spooky rendition of Ghost's "Square Hammer" with an equally thrilling music video.
One can easily recognize the likes of Tiger Kid, as the LA native is always seeking new and exciting ways to capture his audience's attention. Speaking on his recent cover and music video for Ghost's "Square Hammer," Tiger Kid had quite an interesting statement regarding the creation of the video.
"I wanted to do a take on those traditional YouTube cover videos where one guy plays in different boxes...I thought it would be funny if, at the chorus, it transitioned over to me being basically possessed," states Tiger Kid. Channeling his comedic and creative side with the video, he captures rather conceptual shots that strike a glance and a laugh.
The music video for Tiger Kid's cover of "Square Hammer" begins with six separate boxes capturing Tiger Kid and a different instrument. As he begins to put his own spin on Ghost's classic hit, we can notice that he's formulated his rendition to offer more of an acoustic tone rather than the original song's sweltering rock instrumentals.
As the chorus approaches, there's a sweet visual transition where Tiger Kid is dressed in different spooky costumes and makeup. Not to mention Tiger Kid completely obliterating someone off-camera with a mallet, we can feel the comedic genius shine right through in this video.
We love the humorous concepts that Tiger Kid has infused into the music video for his acoustic cover of Ghost's "Square Hammer," as he allows listeners to lock themselves in to watch how the spooky experience will play out.
What initially drew you to the original song "Square Hammer" by Ghost, and why did you feel the need to create a cover?
I first heard Ghost on Sirius/XM years ago when they were playing “Ritual”, and it immediately hooked me. I saw them live not long after when they opened for Mastodon and Opeth at the Riv in Chicago. 2012, I believe. I was blown away by their marriage of over-the-top theatrics and almost 70s style Hard Rock, and knew that I needed to do a cover of one of their tracks at some point. Their style of Rock is really catchy but pretty straightforward and lends itself well to different twists and adaptations. I personally always wanted to see what it’d sound like if you stripped the instruments down and put a bit more focus on the vocals. Now, over eight years later, I was able to do the exact kind of cover that I wanted all those years ago, partly because of being able to pick amongst all the great music Ghost has continued to write, but also because of the nature of my solo project, Tiger Kid. It’s always nice not having to ask for permission.
Correct us if we're wrong, but we can't help but hear that within your cover of "Square Hammer," you put more of an acoustic spin on it. Why did you want to bring a lighter aspect to the single instead of recording heated Rock instrumentals similar to the original?
I’ve always felt that if you’re going to do a cover of a well-known song, there has to be something unique going on, and some reason for people to want to listen to your version. For me, I really wanted to play up what I felt to be the moody nature of the song and chord progression, but bring in some interesting instrumentations. The inclusion of church organs, bells, theremin, and even wolf howls set the scene, and the acoustic guitar brings a raw, somewhat “medieval” feel to the piece. I also threw some emphasis on that “medieval” vibe by including a drone note over the verse progression, as it adds almost a “foreboding” tone, further setting the mood. “Square Hammer” is an absolute banger of a track, but when you strip it down, it’s a melodically creepy song in Dm. I really wanted to play that up.
Speaking on the highly comedic and conceptual music video for "Square Hammer," how did you come up with the video's concept surrounding a haunting and eerie scenario?
I actually had the concept of the video in my head for months before finding a way to bring it to life. I envisioned it starting like any normal YouTube cover video, with one person in multiple video boxes, playing all their instruments solo. I’ve always been a fan of those sorts of videos, as I love watching musicians actually perform, but I also wanted to use this expectation to hide the video’s real concept. Once the chorus hits and the change-over occurs, you realize that this is something else entirely. I also wanted there to be a strong rewatchability factor to the video, so I tried to give each character his own personality worth watching again in its entirety. Coming out of the chorus is where we injected some humor, as all the characters react in different ways to what just happened to them. In my mind, they’re still normal YouTube characters trying to record a standard YouTube cover video, but they keep getting possessed by the nature of the song. Some obviously against their wills. The dude in the top right box is the exception though, as he seems to be enjoying himself the most.
Did you have any help regarding your music video for "Square Hammer"? What was the shoot like behind the scenes, especially with your makeup and costumes?
This was pretty much as basic and stripped-down as music videos go. It was recorded at Clear Lake Studios, in Burbank, CA, by the highly talented Oliver DeFillipo, who served as director, cameraman, gaffer, and makeup artist. He’s pretty amazing. We shot it in the room of my insanely talented engineer, co-producer, and Tiger Kid collaborator, Bert Selen, who also volunteered his arm to be beaten into the ground by a wooden mallet in the second verse. I slowly assembled the costumes over about a month, as I wanted to get as close to the band’s look without having to custom make anything. Also, despite the fact that Tobias wears a mask for all of his Ghost “Papa Emeritus” characters, that didn’t exactly fit into our borderline-nonexistent budget. Lucky for me, Oliver is quite the amazing makeup artist on top of everything else, and he was able to recreate the look almost identically. It was all shot on one camera over the course of a day, using many unique lighting tricks, especially for the Chorus parts. It was a ton of fun, mainly improv, and almost an exact match to what I initially had inside of my head. That’s a rare occurrence.
What can listeners anticipate to hear next from you?
I have a new self-titled EP that was just released, and we have a music video for the lead single “Ever On” that will be dropping within the next month. It was directed by Oliver DeFilippo as well, but this was a bit more involved in a shoot. It had an actual crew, makeup artist, body doubles, and an amazing set. The video is still being edited, but from what I’ve seen so far, it’s going to be something special. In the meantime, I have music on my site, TigerKid.net, lyric videos up on YouTube, and music that can be streamed on Spotify, Alexa, and pretty much any other streaming service.