Music video director Monkmus has completed an animated promo for up-&-coming Welsh band Los Campesinos! The video for We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives juxtaposes war-time violence and party fun.

Set on the frontlines, the video contains images with double meanings. A colourful explosion could be seen either as a celebratory firework going off or a bomb detonating. Two soldiers, standing facing to face, look like they could either be dancing or stabbing one another. A huge mob of soldiers mingling under a disco ball could either be dancing the night away or engaged in bloody hand-to-hand combat.

"I found the qualities in both partying and violence were similar when it came to movement and poses," explains Monkmus, who also worked on videos for Death Cab for Cutie, Mogwai and Badly Drawn Boy, and is represented by Hornet Inc. "Everything the soldiers are doing could be read both ways."

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"That’s one of the things that really attracted the band to Monkmus’ concept. They didn’t want a super heavy video about war," says Catherine Berclaz, producer. "They loved Monkmus’ treatment of the dancing and stabbing."
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Breaking away from his trademark muted, contemplative video style, Monkmus chose a louder aesthetic for <i>We Throw Parties</i>. He bathed the video in bold, vibrant colours, predominantly red and blue. He also kept the movement rough and the line quality loose.
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"I felt like the line quality needed to be as energetic as the colors, so we went with drawn animation," he says. "There’s a certain sweetness to the song, but I didn’t want it to be too sweet. It needed an edge."
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One of the visual centerpieces – the party/battle scene that took place under a disco ball – required animating dozens of characters. "The crowd scenes were huge, 40 to 50 characters, about a hundred layers," Monkmus says. "From a compositing standpoint, it was really dense and challenging."
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The promo was animated in a mix of After Effects and Flash. It can be watched on the <a href=Hornet Web site.

Monkmus also designed all the album packaging including the cover artwork and other illustrations throughout the package. He will follow up this project with another video for Los Campesinos! which will air sometime in March 2007.