Hey Negrita Exclusive Blog - Part 3

Welcome, fellow lovers of fixable things,

I hope this transmission finds you well and that the last few rays of the dwindling summer sun are illuminating your radiant bonnets. It’s been another formidable week here at Hey Negrita HQ and everyone seems very excited about next Thursday’s headline show and album launch party at Dingwalls in London.

Yesterday I burned up to Norwich in our old Royal Mail postal van to deliver a pile of boxes, filled with thousands of neatly-wrapped copies of our new album, to the RSK Distribution warehouse. Spurred on by another batch of heart-warming reviews, strong coffee and a quick bout of early morning carnal activity, I whistled up the M1 to the dulcet tones of Hayes Carrl and Band Of Horses.

New album ‘Burn The Whole Place Down’ being delivered
at the RSK Distribution warehouse in Norwich
Despite the fact that our pallet seemed slightly insignificant in size compared to the mammoth truckload of Star Wars toys that was being loaded in when I arrived, I was filled with the kind of pride I can only imagine a young parent might feel when they drop their kids off at a new school. The words “now go out and bring Daddy back some money” may have escaped my lips as I got back in the cockpit of the Negrita wagon and made my way back to London town. Now that the CDs are in the hands of ‘the big machine’, it seems that I have done all I can for the little buggers. Very soon they will go out into the world on their own, armed only with goodwill and the few pearls of wisdom I have managed to install in them. I just hope they avoid hard drugs and loose women!

Right… enough of the whimsical neo-parental nonsense and back to the blog in hand. This week I would like to dedicate my preposterous ramblings to a creature that is said to be the product of ancient Haitian voodoo rituals and that has been terrorising our books, screens and lunch boxes for decades. Ever since ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ hit our cinemas in 1968, the zombie has been among the most celebrated figures in popular mythology, and it is no coincidence that we recently launched an animated trilogy of zombie-based music videos to spice up the promotion of our forthcoming acoustic album.

Hey Negrita trying to stay dry at Bestival last year
The fact that Zora Neale Hurston was never able to prove that the wondering body she encountered in a small Haitian village during her research way back in 1939 was in fact the zombified carcass of the deceased Felicia Felix-Mentor has had little impact on the epidemic spread of the zombie virus through the western media. It is perhaps not surprising then that the three-part musical zombie hoedown that was recently created for us by Southampton-based animation studio, Pew 36, has captured the imagination of tens of thousands of unsuspecting web-surfers, dragging them kicking and screaming to our digital lair.

Hey Negrita frontman Felix Bechtolsheimer
at Bestival last year, along with band aids
Alicia and Ella;
Let’s wind the clock back to November of last year when I received an email from a guy called Nick, who worked for Pew 36. The e-mail stated that Nick had loved our performance at Bestival and that he wanted to make some animated videos for a couple of our tunes. I agreed to meet him but decided it was probably best not to mention that we never actually played at Bestival! In fact, the stage we were supposed to headline that ill-fated weekend had sunk in the mud and my last memories consisted of little more than being lead through rivers of sludge by our two band aids, Alicia and Ella, after losing my soul in the techno tent and waking up in a pile of half-drunk tinnies and soiled condoms the following morning.

Keeping these details strictly to myself, I met up with Nick’s boss, Adam, several weeks later, when he told me that he wanted to make a series of animated music videos based on the vague concept of Hey Negrita fighting dead rock star zombies on a ship. I loved the idea of seeing the band in full 3D animation, so we agreed a time-frame and off he went. Little did I know that, despite being entirely unsuitable for the glossy airwaves of the dying MTV networks, what Adam and his gung-ho gang of graphic geeks would come back with several months later would reel in YouTube and Daily Motion fanatics by the thousands.

The first video, which depicted a brutal altercation between the band and a gang of rock star zombies lead by dead Elvis and Jimi Hendrix, appeared on the front pages of both sites as well as making the top five videos on NME.com and receiving a nomination for the UK Music Video Awards. ‘Nine To Five’, which formed part two of the trilogy, received even more attention and both are now closing in on 150,000 views on Daily Motion alone. The third and final episode will be launched next week to promote our show at London Dingwalls, where we are hoping to premiere the long-form version of all three videos.

An animated version of Hey Negrita frontman Felix Bechtolsheimer in the zombie-themed video created by animation studio Pew 36

A batch of the evil zombies featured in the new animated Hey Negrita music videos

In order to take zombification to another level altogether, our friend Mike has started building a web-based, interactive zombie-sex game where players can design their own zombie and send him (or her) into a virtual arena where they fornicate other zombies to death. Players will be able to choose from weapons like giant dildos and inflatable sheep to arm their avatar against the lude onslaughts from the likes of Adolf Hitler and a whole host of infinitely more controversial characters.

Whether the game will ever see the light of day or whether it will be banned before a single zombie falls seems almost irrelevant. What is important is that, some seventy years after Zora Neale Hurston returned to Harlem following her unsuccessful mission to prove the existence of the Haitian zombie, we were able to infiltrate the land of the living dead for a few short weeks and we even gained some new fans in the process.

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