"I was actually watching some old cartoons from the ’20s and saw that old Disney skeleton dance cartoon," Sean Culliton, vocalist and synth player for Retrofette, told Westword. "I love the vibe of those really old cartoons, and the dancing skeleton seemed like an easy fit for the song. This was the basis for the idea of dressing our buddy Cole Anthony in a full-body skeleton suit and filming him getting down across Denver."
The track is originally from the group's debut EP, I Don't Mind, released last year. Along with the video, the act will be putting out local-artist remixes of songs from the album. Reinterpretations of "Skeleton," from artists including OptycNerd, Nasty Nachos, futurebabes, Snubluck and Lepew, will drop June 9 at the music video viewing party.
"In the song, the skeleton is supposed to be a metaphor for someone who has become bare of emotion," Culliton says. "They don't necessarily love or hate, and don't mind being the punching bag or the boxer. A skeleton is interested in the girl but keeps its distance. At the end, it tries to be something besides a skeleton but ultimately fails. So despite the upbeat feel, it's supposed to be kind of dark, and we tried to create a video reflecting that fun, upbeat nature with a streak of darkness and sort of creepiness."
During the filming of the video, produced by Hidden Woods Media, Culliton and the rest of Retrofette ran into a few problems. Because they filmed in the middle of a blizzard, they had to routinely provide Anthony with a coat and whiskey between takes, as he was wearing nothing but the skeleton body suit. They also had a run-in with police, who had received a complaint about a dancing man dressed like a skeleton.
Regardless of these issues, Culliton says Anthony "killed it."
Retrofette video release, with Erin Stereo, June 9, Fort Greene, 321 East 45th Avenue, $10.