The NYC indie rock trio filmed the video for their latest single, "Despair," on the observation deck of the world-famous building, shooting from 3:00 a.m. until the sun came up. "I'm guessing very few get to see that view from up there at those hours!" lead singer Karen O said in a statement.
"There's been a lot of career highs and lows over the years of being in a band, but in the end, how many can say they shot a video on the top of the Empire State Building?" she said, adding, "We win. Move out the way, King Kong, Yeah Yeah Yeahs are gonna get real with you up in this piece!"
The charismatic singer admitted this was the first time she'd ever been on top of the iconic building, and the band recruited their longtime video director Patrick Daughters to capture a natural performance in a slightly intimidating environment. "I felt like I could give as personal a performance because of our history together," said O of working with Daughters. "It was important to us that it felt intimate despite being filmed at one of NYC's most famous landmarks and an international cultural icon."
It also happens to be the first time the owners of the Empire State Building have approved a music video shoot in the building's 82-year history. "The way I look at it is, why hadn’t this been done before?" Anthony E. Malkin, president of building operator Malkin Holdings, told the New York Times. "Credit to them for having the gumption to ask."
Malkin added that he hopes a video shoot from a hip young band will help to keep the historic building modern and relevant. "To make sure that the Empire State Building isn’t frozen in people’s minds in An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle – we’re live, we’re vibrant, we’re 82 years young," he said.
Meanwhile, it seems that O and her bandmates Nick Zinner and Brian Chase are still in a state of disbelief about their unique accomplishment. "I gotta say I had a ‘the impossible is possible’ moment up there with Nick and Brian," O said. "If someone would have sat us down at the Mars Bar years back and told us that we'd be performing our music on the top of the Empire State Building one day, we probably would have thought that's the stuff that dreams are made of, not us, no way."
"Despair" is the second single from the band's recent album, Mosquito. Check out the video below.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Empire State Building
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs