A longtime staple in the Miami music scene, the duo, composed of Tony Kapel and Maitejosune Urrechaga, has earned a reputation across South Florida, flooding everything from gallery openings to dive bars with bass-driven riffs and stoney vocals since 2008.
The band's 2021 album release was bittersweet. Pandemic restrictions made any release party or celebration impossible, and while a virtual celebration was on the table, it never materialized.
"It sucked because there was a lot to celebrate," Kapel says, "This is probably the album we've invested the most into."
Kapel and Urrechaga had Tiburon mastered by Shellac bassist Bob Weston and featured commissioned cover art by David Fair, cofounder of the art-punk band Half Japanese.
The exhibition that acts as a backdrop to the video is the culmination of a months-long summer intensive program for teens called Locust Art Builders, where Urrechaga has mentored students in the past. When Kapel and Urrechaga walked into Locust Projects' gallery space for the opening of a student exhibition in July, they knew they'd found their set.
"It was the multiple mini-sets really — the backdrops," Urrechaga says. "It had a nightmare vibe."
Each section of the exhibition space provided the real-life couple with various chaotic backdrops that, paired with the humanoid masks the couple wears intermittently, create scenes ranging from bizarre to chilling. Bloodied handprints appear on walls in some shots, while in others, Urrechaga wears a four-eyed mask and shakes the hand of a mannequin in a darkened room.
Kapel and Urrechaga tapped filmmaker, friend, and fellow musician Ligia Carabarin-Amaguet to direct. She appears at the beginning of the clip wearing otherworldly spectacles.
"She's a really good director in a sense because we're comfortable with her. She gets how quirky we are," Kapel adds.
More than a year after Tiburon's release, the duo still found it important to give "Skulls and Muscle Tones" a music video because, as Urrechaga explains, music video culture is a part of the group's identity.
"We grew up watching music videos, so it's hard for us not to want to make one. We're a part of the MTV culture when it did have music videos to watch," Urrechaga says. "So I think that's always going to be in our head."
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE...
Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.