Look! It’s a band! It’s a screen-printing project! No, it’s Sleepy Kitty! Watch this St. Louis duo make art punk fun and a very inky animation for the song “Don’t You Start,” cut two from Sleepy Kitty’s 2014 album, Projection Room.
As is obvious from that album title and from this video, the members of Sleepy Kitty have a visual side to their sound making. Singer/guitarist Paige Brubeck sent us an email to explain: “Sleepy Kitty started as a band and a screenprinting collaboration basically at the same time, but most of the time they’re kind of separate things for us. I got the idea to do a screen printed animation.”
Screen-printing, for those of the digital generation, is a process of printing to a wide variety of surfaces including fabric and paper using ink and wire mesh. Both Paige Brubeck and drummer Evan Sult (ex. Harvey Danger), still use this technique in their studio space in the middle of Cherokee Street in St. Louis, Mo. Making a five minute animation using screen printing is a daunting affair, so they decided to show the printmaking process in order to flesh out the video.
“We thought it would be interesting to show some of the process in the printing studio, so we got our friend Bill Streeter, who we’d worked with on some live videos, involved for the cinematography,” Paige Brubeck wrote. “He helped us streamline our process on the animation, which was great because when we did the math my process broke down to an hour of work for each second of animation. I feel like the final result that we have is a document of our process and both sides of Sleepy Kitty.” That other side — the music — is also bright colorful and relatively analog, with leanings toward The Ramones or ’60s girl groups if Brian Eno had taken up the production. Good fun!