“Volatile” the closing track from Rose Bonica’s 2018 EP ‘Don’t Let It Get To Your Head’, is her first track from that release to get the music video treatment. Directed by Tamzyn Botha the video is a dark and gritty nod to b-grade horror movies. Written by Rose Bonica after a period of solitude followed by a month of intense going out and drinking, the track echoes the struggle between these two sides of herself.
Comprised of two elements, a harsh, droning synth and melodic bells, the contrast speaks to this internal battle. “I like to juxtapose things. I think we all believe this is what beauty is and this is what ugly is and the sounds are kind of like that. I think that a grinding, gnawing reece bass is kinda beautiful and bells can be fucking ugly and annoying. So it’s perception,” explains Rose Bonica.
The video was conceptualised by Tamzyn and Rose Bonica. “I went to Joburg and had been watching a lot of unsolved crime documentaries on Netflix. When we talked we both realised that Jeepers Creepers is one of our top films. Fritzl also came up in the conceptualization,” says Rose Bonica, adding that she relates to that scenario. “Sometimes the mean bitchy side will lock the nice side up in the basement.”
Shot at Ye Olde Haunt in Henley on Klip, the location was a cult gay club in the 90s. “It was a gay club in the 90s and it had a dungeon section and now they use it as a weird bar and the rest of the space sits empty, but a lot of weird dolls and creatures and stuff so it already looks like a horror house. The woman that runs the sort of biker bar says she has a lot of contact with ghosts and apparently there is a young child that lives upstairs. So the tone of the space is already b-grade horror.”
Unlike the other tracks on Rose Bonica’s EP, “Volatile” stands apart due to its minimal nature, including the lack of vocals, which opened it up to far more interesting visual interpretations than what a lyric led video would have allowed. With two characters visually playing the parts of the two elements in the song, the video tells the story of a creature locked in a basement and being fed upon by its captor, yet it still feels drawn to them. “We got into the whole concept of Stockholm syndrome, falling in love with your captor, and that sort of story developed,” Tamzyn says of the conceptualisation. “The track really just has two parts. I wanted to create two very different characters, two very different colour palettes from each other.”
The result is an interpretation of the track, that on the surface is an “artfully-fucked up arachnophobes nightmare” but actually tells a powerful story of internal struggles.