GHXST is Shelley X, Chris Wild, and Nathan La Guerra. And GHXST is heavy. Really heavy. Still, singer/bassist Shelley’s airy vocals add a beautiful contrast to GHXST’s sound, which they have dubbed deth-grunge. “That contrast is sort of what defines our sound…a mix of the heavier sounds we grew up listening to… with a lot of soul or blues as well,” guitarist Chris told me.

Photo credit: Kelsi Carpenter

GHXST just dropped their new single “Black Camaro,” with a video directed by Liudi Hara. As huge fans of filmmaker Gregg Araki (particularly his “Teenage Apocolapyse Trilogy” of Totally Fucked Up, Doom Generation, and Nowhere), the band wanted “to capture a similar teenage apocalyptic joyride feeling… especially cause it was fitting for a song about a badass car,” said Shelley. “Black Camaro” will make you long for that old MTV logo to pop up in the bottom left corner of your screen.

I met Liudi after the video premiere, and he was kind enough to speak with us at EBcult.

EBcult: How did you meet GHXST and decide to collaborate with them on their first video?

I met Shelley and Chris through my wife a couple of years ago. After that, I shot some promotional material for them. That was before Nathan joined the band. One day, I got an email from Shelley asking if I knew somebody that could shoot a music video for them. I showed them some of my stuff and I think they liked it because less then three weeks after we had “Black Camaro” done.

EBcult: When I saw the video for the first time, I had a flashback to the convenience store scene at the end of The Smashing Pumpkins’ “1979.” What were your sources of inspiration for “Black Camaro”?

Gregg Araki’s Doom Generation was a big reference. Todd Haynes’ “Disappearer” for Sonic Youth and Dayton/Faris’ “1979” for the Smashing Pumpkins were in between the videos that we sent each other. I would say that a “90’s video” atmosphere was the major reference. The result itself looks very nineties. A couple of key scenes alternated with the band playing. Very straight forward rock video.

EBcult: Where was the video shot and were there any challenges with shooting in a city, especially at night? Could you talk a bit about the day of the shooting (how long it took and what cameras you used)?

It was shot in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Actually, it was pretty easy. We spread the shoot in 4 short nights. That way we never had a really long day. The guys from GHXST are great producers. We shot with a couple of 5D MK2’s.

EBcult: I noticed on your website (www.liudiharaphoto.com) that you also do fashion photography as well as fashion videos. How did that influence the style of the video?

I shoot fashion videos/stills with a little bit of rock feel. So, I think it’s the opposite.

EBcult: Do you have any plans to direct another video for GHXST, and are you working on any other music videos or video projects?

We might. Everything went so well with this one. I am working on a new music video and two other fashion videos.

Hopefully a full-length album is in GHXST’s future this year. In the meantime, you can stream 2011’s EVILWICKEDDESIRE (available on vinyl here) as well as the “Black Camaro” single. Also, keep an eye out for upcoming releases on their BandCamp and SoundCloud pages.

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