VIDEO DEBUT EXCLUSIVE: Hard Nips “Alternative Dreamland”

Words by Jason Lee

It may only be a week-and-a-few-days into 2024 but we’re betting you could use a little escape into an alternative dreamland already and wouldn’t ya know we feel the same which makes us nothing less than delighted to bring to you and the rest of the world this exclusive premiere of the music video for Hard Nips’ “Alternative Dreamland” directed by none other than Saki Nips, the band’s guitarist/co-vocalist, with the video having received its first public screening this past weekend at C5BK in Brooklyn’s Bushwick ‘berg featuring DJ sets by DJ Kibachan and SKYMALL★FUTURE among other entertainments for those in the know…

…a video that sees three of the Nips beckoned by a mysterious Montauk mermaid (spoiler alert: the fourth Nip) to a beachside paradise on the far Eastern edge of Long Island with “bayside vanishing in sunset” then giving in to the healing waters and warmth and overall sybaritic solace of savoring the sensation of “bare feet walking in the sand” and all you have to do is hang on “tight enough [to] ride on Pegasus ready to fly away […] through thunder storm until we land on the shore” which is an awfully inviting proposition here in the dead of winter with the city feeling like a cold and constantly precipitating Blade Runner meets Escape From New York penal colony lately…

…or maybe that’s overstating things cuz hey there’s cool sh*t to do practically every night of the week should you wanna I mean this is New York freakin’ City but still it’s easy to get caught up in the mundanity of everyday existence no matter where you live not to mention the undercurrent of dread resonating across the nation and seemingly the entire world lately so when Saki describes the plot of the video it’s an altogether consoling scenario…

A mermaid waits in paradise for something to happen. Meanwhile in NYC, an office worker (Saki), a street vendor (Yoko), and a traffic conductor (Gooch) are having their own difficulties. The mermaid (Hitomi) has a stroke of inspiration. What if she could bring the party to her paradise?

*** Your ad here ***

…a scenario in keeping with the groovily dreamy vibe of the song itself as first heard on Hard Nips’ joyously uplifting yet down ’n’ dirty garage rockin’ 2021 LP Master Cat (recorded/mixed/mastered by Pete Donnelly at Katonah Souned) featuring Yoko (vox & keys), Saki (guitar & vox), Gooch (bass & vox), and Hitomi (drums & vox) gleefully weaving their musical lines around each other like four friends with an easy and long-standing rapport which indeed they have, having first met one another as regulars at a Brooklyn bar & restaurant run by Yoko (insider tip: Yoko’s Takoyaki pop-ups are a welcome sight at venues where she books gigs) with the four Japan-and-Long-Island expats eventually deciding to start a band together over during of their wine-drinking conclaves with each taking the surname Nips in a nod to the Ramones among others

…and when it comes to the island sanctuary theme of the lyrics and video it’s worth noting that “Alternative Dreamland” is a “Gooch song” (tho’ all their stuff is by their own description collaboratively developed and arranged) given that “Gooch is from Okinawa so she’s an island girl; Hitomi is from Nagano so she is a mountain girl; Yoko is from Osaka so she is a city girl; Saki is from Long Island so she’s a suburban girl (at heart)” as described elsewhere and re: the video in particular Saki tells the Deli:

[The video was] shot between the streets of NYC and the beach in Montauk. “Alternative Dreamland” is about escaping a life that doesn’t serve you.  The whole production has a DIY attitude, with Nips doing our own costumes and makeup, and me, the guitarist, directing and acting. We shot the whole thing using iPhones, and when I couldn’t be behind the camera we had great help from Taylor Shields (NYC) and Chris Walsh (Montauk).

…which just goes to show that having a rich fantasy life isn’t only about Walter Mitty style escapism but that fantasy can also serve as a vital means of re-humanizing oneself esp. when trapped in a de-humanzing situation which in this writer’s opinion applies to the Hard Nips‘ music more generally and not just this one song and what’s more it’s not only the cold that can make your nips hard but also the life-affirming rush of adrenalized energy provoked by physical or emotional stimulation one or both of which you’re likely to experience listening to Hard Nips…


Postscript from Hard Nips:  We’d like to thank Soho Farm for allowing us to shoot in their offices, and John Gosman for providing a place to stay in Montauk. Also honoring our location for “paradise”, Culloden Point in Montauk, which was the landing place of La Amistad in 1839.

Bandcamp bio: Arriving from the far east brandishing a riff-heavy, post-punk sound laced with the angelic strainings of vocalist. Whether playing parties or gigs, this four piece commands the attention of any room they play. Known for their magnetic stage presence and rowdy antics. they bring the right riffs, the right hooks and a no-holds-barred bravado that is winning hearts and minds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *