From FemmeFlick zine #5, some time in 1996:
Helium’s Mary Timony talked with me about making Helium’s rad music videos.
FF – What’s your main objective in making a video?
MT – My main objective in making a video is to take the ideas in a song and express them visually. I get excited when I think that people will be able to see what the song is about with their eyes. Making a video for a song is like going back over something you wrote, like a story, or something, and acting it out. Unfortunately, it’s hard think of videos like this in real life. Since they are kind of like a commercial for your band, it’s hard to feel free enough creatively to do anything you want.
FF – How did you hook up with your directors?
MT – We worked with David Kliler for two videos (“XXX,” “Pat’s Trick”). We met him through Matador. Tryan George did another (“Superball”), he’s a friend, and Brett Vamprech [her handwriting was messy on the last name] and I did the last one for “Honeycomb.”
FF – What’s your role in the look and concept of the video?
MT – We have ideas and the directors have ideas. We talk about what we want to do and collectively come up with a plan.
FF – How are videos funded?
MT – Half by Matador.
FF – Do you feel at all silly lip-syncing?
MT – Hmmmm…not really, you get used to it fast, and the music is played really loud.
FF – Why do all the videos show the band singing?
MT – Because it’s a commercial for the record. That’s why you don’t really see a lot of weird artsy videos (at least on MTV). Record companies usually want their bands to have videos that people will like, that the band is recognizable in, and that will be played on MTV.
FF – Do you have MTV?
MT – No, I don’t. I hardly have enough money to pay rent!
FF – What are your favorite videos by other musicians?
* Polvo “Tragic Carpet Ride” – great.
* Rolling Stones “Child of the Man”/”Jumping Jack Flash.”
* Those Bjork videos are great.
* The Fall “15 Ways” by David Kliler.
FF – Why do you like these?
MT – If I like a video, it’s always because the band is great. It’s hard to seriously like the video if you don’t like the music.
Questions by Tina Spangler.